As Zach Nelson kicked off last week’s Netsuite’s Partner and Developer Conference – SuiteCloud 2010 in San Francisco, there was a real focus on the importance of their platform as a way for partners to play a critical part in helping to take his company to the next level.
They kicked of the special launch event that featured a video of some of their key partners including TrueCloud, InsideView (who has been profiled in this blog), Aria, Hein & Associates, PaceJet, RootStock Software and Demand Solutions Group.
I think it is great with companies are building their business around their partners and creating a cool ecosystem where everyone can make money… more on that in a minute.
Zach then covered some Cloud Computing trends;
· Fake SaaS – He compared the NetSuite offerings, which are Cloud-based to Microsoft’s GreatPlains offering which is just a hosted version of their same on-premise offering. Still single tenant, version locked and requires Citrix to make it work like a true SaaS application. These types of business models will find it almost impossible to make money using a Fake SaaS. Other vendors mentioned here were Lawson and SAP.
· SaaS-based Financial Systems Are Popular. He showed a Gartner market slide (from 2008) that showed NetSuite as the fastest growing FMS provider.
· Traditional License Software Firms Are Hurting – This is nothing new because Saugatuck Technologies, Ray Wang from Altimeter and Montclare have all written about this but this slide says it all…
Customers are moving away from the old software model.
· The Cloud can now handle complex business processes. This has been demonstrated by vendors like NetSuite, Workday (Flextronics), Amazon AWS and SuccessFactors (Siemens) servicing very large and complex clients.
· Customization is no longer the Achilles heel of Cloud applications. In fact, it was argued that customization with NetSuite is now a killer feature of their Cloud offerings.
· Channels are emerging as an important component of a successful Cloud business model.
· The Cloud is getting social. With applications like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, Fluid, Mzinga, InsideView, applications are more focused on communities and content than ever before.
There was a funny segment that discussed the complexity associated with the development of years of on-premise software, which he called an infrastructure hairball. It is much more cost effective to manage a single architecture, database and system of record. He mentioned that the cost of managing an SAP system (ala hairball) was approximately 3% of a company’s revenues, while operating their system was only 0.1%.
Then Zach got back to the partners and referenced a number of applications that are being built on top of the NetSuite platform – SuiteCloud , like RootStock Software’s MRP application. Other providers who have integrated into SuiteCloud include Amazon Web Services, Google, InsideView and HostAnalytics.
New Holland has approximately 9,800 customers and they wanted to automate and enhance their relationship with their partners/distributors. They started working with NetSuite in 2007.
IRON Solutions is the Kelly Blue Book of agricultural equipment and offered a very complex product configurator along with CRM capabilities that allowed distributors better create and manage pricing and leads. They launched their new products built on NetSuite, IRON HQ for new product promotions, IRON Builder for pricing and lead management, IRON Guides for appraisal and trade and IRON Search for promotion and sales.
New Holland wanted to balance both the science and art of their business to move more of their customers to the web. Darwin Melnyk, CEO from IRON Solutions and David Greenberg from NewHolland whipped out their iPads and demonstrated their new applications.
Increasingly these type of vertical partner applications are going to be popular with customers looking for more tailored solutions for their specific businesses. NetSuite has more than 200 channel partners and sales through their channel has grown by 40% on a compounded annual basis. Which is quite healthy given our recent recession.
New partner announcements included;
· ISV/OEM’s – JCurve Solutions
· BPO – GenPact is building an ERP Outsourcing business on NetSuite
I mentioned at the beginning why working with partners like NetSuite can be really profitable and with their new SP100 program, channel partners can get 100% of their first years revenue when they move older client/server applications to NetSuite.
Overall, it is nice to see major players embrace their partners and give them an opportunity to build their business and help their partner – a real win-win for everyone.