NetSuite envisions a broader footprint in Asia-Pacific in “high growth” markets and will seek to do so by expanding its partner ecosystem. The Oracle-owned cloud software provider also hopes to entice customers with a “full-suite” integrated platform that offers automation and delivers beyond ERP functionality.
Over the past two years, organizations have accelerated their digital transformation and learned how to operate in a hybrid work environment, said NetSuite founder and executive vice president Evan Goldberg.
At the same time, they have faced supply chain disruptions and had to look to new geographies to regain resilience, Goldberg said during a briefing with Asia-Pacific media. at NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference in Las Vegas this week.
Amid the need to manage the fluctuating costs of a volatile supply chain and support a hybrid workplace, companies needed to ensure that people had access to the same consistent data, wherever they were, did he declare.
NetSuite executives tout the value of a “full-suite” software platform that provides a unified view and efficient management of core business operations, including inventory management, manufacturing, customer support, sales and workforce management. This also ensures more accurate data analyzes and forecasts.
Automation, in particular, plays a crucial role in simplifying and speeding up business processes, according to Goldberg.
NetSuite’s Accounts Payable (AP) automation, for example, simplifies and automates bill payment processes, including data capture, payment, and reconciliation.
Unveiled at the conference this week, the new offering has helped companies streamline key processes that were slow, tedious and error-prone, Goldberg said.
With this tool, NetSuite said organizations can decide when and how to pay vendors, giving them control over their cash flow.
Goldberg believes automation will continue to play a key role as 5G and advanced computing technologies expand service delivery and data access, especially in operating environments in industries such as manufacturing, logistics and retail.
Asked about the evolution of NetSuite tools to meet these new demands, he pointed to the opportunities for using robotics in warehouses and factories and introducing automation earlier in the operational life cycle. Creating work orders, for example, could automatically trigger production processes.
Small businesses could access such “end-to-end” automation, not just large manufacturers, he noted. “Automation is the name of the game,” he said, adding that it would enable employees to be more productive and efficient, focusing on processes that generate more value for the business as well as on tasks that still require human judgment.
Coupled with artificial intelligence and analytics, automation would further help organizations manage rising costs and mitigate the effects of a volatile supply chain, he said. Automating more, eliminating errors and gaining efficiency would be increasingly crucial as margins shrink, he added.
Key partners for APAC growth
According to KK Pan, NetSuite’s Vice President for Asia-Pacific, the fact that NetSuite offers a comprehensive software platform that delivers beyond a single ERP function is the key message that it also wants customers of Asia-Pacific retain.
“There is a unified platform that we leverage with a single source of data that can be easily shared across the organization, functions and processes,” Pan said in an interview with ZDNET. “It’s also about helping our customers scale as they grow.”
In Asia-Pacific, he said NetSuite is seeing strong growth in the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand, where there are growing unicorn communities, high-growth start-ups, private equity firms and startups.
Markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines also have large young local populations, he noted, adding that India was another market the software provider was looking to increase its presence.
To carry out its expansion plans, Pan said NetSuite will focus on building its ecosystem of partners and enabling them to better serve these growing markets.
Channel partners have played an important role in the development of localized features, he noted.
India, for example, was a huge, hugely diverse market. He said partners who can help NetSuite with localization and productization are particularly present in these markets.
The software vendor was “accelerating” its frameworks for local partners to better sell, implement, support and build applications on NetSuite platforms, Pan said. He mentioned his SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN), a platform of tools designed to allow his partners to create specific functions tailored to a client’s business needs.
“That’s how we gain speed and localization in a country and a vertical,” he said, adding that the vendor has SDN partners in markets including Japan and South Korea.
Besides developing localized features, the partners also played a key role in providing support in markets where NetSuite did not have a direct presence, he noted.
The software provider has operations in Singapore, Japan, China, Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand. Customers outside of these markets in the region are served by its distribution partners.
In addition to training and improving the ability of its partner ecosystem to support customers, NetSuite is also exploring plans to expand its operations in certain markets.
Indonesia, in particular, was a market the software provider was looking at “seriously” and putting more sales resources into, he said.
Asked about the number of NetSuite partners in Asia Pacific as well as its growth rate in the region, Pan declined to provide details, saying only that it currently has “hundreds” of partners. He said the region was seeing growth rates “equivalent” to the supplier’s global figures.
NetSuite said its cloud ERP revenue recorded a 27% annual growth rate during its first quarter of 2023, which ended August 30 this year.
Its clients in Asia-Pacific included PropertyGuru, Carousell, ShopBack, Ninja Van, Jollibee and LalaMove.
Singapore-based Eileen Yu reported for ZDNET from NetSuite SuiteWorld 2022 in Las Vegas, USA, at the invitation of Oracle NetSuite.
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