San Jose, Calif. – Small and medium-sized businesses often use enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to help their companies act like enterprises, but the reverse is arguably more important, Jason Maynard, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development with ERP software giant NetSuite Inc. told an audience today during a presentation at SuiteWorld 2016.
“The little guys all have big ideas – I get that,” Maynard said. “But the irony is that big companies all come to us and ask, ‘how do we become more agile and nimble like the small companies?'”
To answer that question, Maynard and his colleagues presented what they called the “four pillars of strategic focus,” which Maynard noted are both a challenge and a necessity regardless of a company’s size:
- Global expansion, which Maynard said NetSuite was striving to address with the OneWorld platform expansion that was announced earlier this week;
- A hybrid business model, which Maynard noted is especially important in today’s business world, and supported by NetSuite’s new SuiteBilling feature, which can monitor revenue for both a business and its individual departments;
- Excellent execution, supported by new budgeting, reporting, and resource management tools such as the recently unveiled intelligent order management feature; and
- Future proofing, which is why NetSuite relied on data centres when building its ERP software, Maynard said: that way, the system can always remain up to date, with every upgrade automatically shared to every NetSuite user across the cloud.
To present an example of a business that successfully reinforced all four pillars, NetSuite industry director Chris Hering invited Eric Luehmann, senior director of financial systems with financial services provider Bankrate, Inc., to the stage.
Though originally founded in the 1970s to sell stories to magazines and newspapers, the New York City-based Bankrate adapted to the Internet and became known as a financial services disruptor in Canada, the U.S., and China – until last year, when it became better known as the subject of a restatement that led to a $15 million USD fine for accounting fraud.
Hired to clean house, Luehmann implemented NetSuite at Bankrate in only two and a half months, explaining that he needed something mature enough to trust, but also agile enough to support the company’s future growth.
“As remarkable as this story is and as diligent as Eric sounds, he was able to get NetSuite up and going in two and a half months,” NetSuite’s Hering said. “So the story here is not only… that a company was able to come back… [with] the right systems in place, but they were also able to do it at the speed of business today.”
Speaking afterward to ITBusiness.ca, executive vice president of strategy and corporate development Maynard said that while he had faith in NetSuite’s ERP offering, particularly the platform’s new billing and revenue monitoring features, they could only be as effective as customers would allow them to be.
“We want our customers to understand that our vision of widespread hybrid models is happening faster than most people realize,” he said. “We’ve been working on the capabilities to support them – the billing and unified revenue recognition – for years, but we think in the next couple of years it’s going to become a necessity.”
José Ruggero, research firm Gartner, Inc.’s managing vice president of ERP and enterprise app suite research, says NetSuite’s ERP offering is quite effective as well.
“An ERP is not just a system or thing, but the backbone of a company,” he told ITBusiness.ca. “Without it you can’t innovate, you can’t grow, you can’t be flexible, you can’t be agile… but the good news for NetSuite’s customers is these guys have been at it for a long time.”
By building its ERP solution in the cloud, Ruggero said, NetSuite not only ensures its functionality but is able to provide its customers with a reliable, subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) – and few of the company’s competitors, if any, measure up.
“For the companies that they’re targeting in the mid-market, it’s a great solution for them because they can get NetSuite’s system up and running very, very quickly,” he says. “Plus with the new services they’ve announced around recognition and billing… many companies struggle with that, and they seem to be in the clear.”
Stay tuned to ITBusiness.ca throughout this week for more updates from SuiteWorld 2016.