NetSuite on Mission to Eradicate Software ‘Hairballs’

NetSuite is planting a stake in the Asia Pacific market, with the launch of its first partner conference in the region this week.

The conference, SuiteCloud APAC 2010, involves more than 60 channel partners, independent software vendors and developers. It is a roving show for NetSuite, with stops in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, and Manila.

NetSuite held a SuiteCloud conference in the U.S. earlier this year, according to Paul Turner, senior director of product marketing for NetSuite.

It has also held seminars and meetings for clients globally in the past, he told CRM Buyer. “This, however, is our first partner event in the region.”

Demand Drivers

Partners in the Asia Pacific are citing the same demand drivers from clients and the market as their counterparts in the U.S. do, said Turner.

“Increasingly, resellers and ISVs want to add SaaS to their lineup of offerings. They like the model and its business case.”

Growing Market Share

NetSuite is launching its show as the company is posting strong market share growth in the region. Between 2007 and 2009, NetSuite grew market share by more than 83 percent in Australia, Gartner reported. During that same time period, it grew market share by 80 percent in North America and nearly 90 percent in the UK — NetSuite’s two major markets.

NetSuite’s success in the Asia market is another indication that SaaS has become a worldwide phenomenon, said ThinkStrategies’ principal Jeff Kaplan.

Mobile has a stronger penetration in this part of the world as well, which has helped cloud adoption, he added.

A Wad of Competition

NetSuite faces competition from some familiar companies — as well as domestic firms, added Kaplan.

“Salesforce has made a lot of progress there, especially in Australia,” he pointed out. “There are also a lot of indigenous companies based in both Australia and New Zealand that are offering similar capabilities.”

NetSuite can be counted on to distinguish itself from competitors’ offerings — sometimes in colorful terms. CEO Zach Nelson reportedly likened one competitor’s system, Great Plains, to a “hairball” — a reference to the company’s latest marketing campaign.

“We’ve had a lot of customers switch to use from Great Plains so we have some familiarity with the system,” Turner said. “With all the many different data entry points, and its complexity in general, a diagram of the system can look like a hairball.”

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