San Francisco – In its first major public event since it went public in December, ERP and CRM on-demand vendor NetSuite has launched OneWorld, an add-on module that moves the vendor from the mid market to the low-end of the enterprise as it targets multinationals with subsidiaries in various geographies.
Based in San Mateo, Calif., NetSuite has traditionally targeted the mid-market with its on-demand suite for ERP, CRM and e-commerce functionalities, competing with other on-demand vendors such as Salesforce.com and on-premise vendors such as SAP and Microsoft.
With OneWorld, NetSuite is targeting new ground by adding capabilities to help multi-nationals reconcile financial transactions across geographies in real-time and gain drill-down into those numbers at the subsidiary level and the international level, while at the same time maintaining local control and still meeting local unique business requirements such as taxation and currency, all on one platform.
NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said the vendor brought the Web site, sales and accounting together on one system, rather than integrating disparate systems together. The next challenge was to take that model international, across subsidiaries, and he says that’s what OneWorld does.
Increasingly, Nelson also said that businesses need to sell internationally to survive.
“We’ve taken this one-system architecture and applied it to a multi-company environment,” said Nelson. “You’re running in a single instance of NetSuite, but with local control and local visibility on a single data source.”
OneWorld is available now for US$1999 in addition to NetSuite’s regular platform and user fees. Nelson said test customers have gotten up and running on the platform within six weeks.
“The ROI on this is essentially immediate for our customers. The minute it’s up and running it has paid for itself,” said Nelson. “But it’s not money savings (that’s most important) but visibility, finding little problems before they become big. The right way to run a company is fewer systems, not more. You’ll never solve the problem by adding systems.”
Sheryl Kingstone, director of the enterprise research group with analyst firm Yankee Group, says what NetSuite is trying to do with OneWorld isn’t new, in the sense it’s an old problem it’s trying to solve. It’s a problem we haven’t yet solved well though, she said, and with the new module NetSuite will be firmly competing with SAP.
“This is putting NetSuite into much more of an enterprise play. It solidifies them in the mid-market and little higher…mid-market to mid-enterprise,” said Kingstone. “It’s extremely competitive with SAP, particularly when you consider where SAP intends to position (Business ByDesign).”
With businesses beginning to embrace cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS), convincing multinationals to consider an off-premise solution will increasingly be less of a challenge, said Kingstone. However, she said Europe and Canada, lag behind the U.S. in SaaS adoption.
NetSuite partner EnabledSuccess has already completed a OneWorld implementation with one of its clients. Paul Doucet, president of the Ottawa-based solution provider, calls OneWorld a real step forward for NetSuite.
“It will allow us to bring the power of NetSuite to companies to which it was not previously a viable option – organizations with multiple legal entities operating in various jurisdictions,” said Doucet.
The EnabledSuccess client now running OneWorld is Hostopia, a Web-hosting and application delivery company with operations in Canada, the U.S, the U.K. and Europe. Philip Argent, director, revenue accounting with Hostopia, says they’ve been using NetSuite CRM on the sales and marketing side since at least 2005, but used Quickbooks on the accounting side until implementing OneWorld last month.
Hostopia does business in four currencies and Argent says OneWorld makes that process much easier. The company also operates multiple subsidiaries, which previously meant running multiple instances of NetSuite that Argent says didn’t integrate as well as they’d like. Now, all the subsidiaries run on one instance and Hostopia has a consolidated view.
“The biggest thing is the ability to integrate the sales and marketing aspect with accounting, and the ability to relay information quickly to that team,” Argent said. “With Quickbooks it was disconnected; sales would sign-up the contracts and then rely on accounting to report numbers to them once a month. Now they’re able to see the results in real-time, ” he added.