We’ve been waiting for what seems like an eternity now for SAP to finally release it’s own SaaS offering Business
ByDesign. The on-again, off-again and often delayed product that is proving
so challenging both on a cultural and a technical level. (As an aside, if you’re reading this SAP please come and talk to us – we’d be more than happy to help )
Into this breach walks Netsuite who
has just announced the release of a new version of its OneWorld
product that allows SAP customers the divisional benefits of SaaS, while still
rolling up that divisional data into SaaS for aggregate reporting purposes.
NetSuite is aiming to tap a need that
large multinationals have for a flexible and functional offering that can be
rolled out qickly and cheaply to business divisions, giving them in NetSuite’s
words, “software systems that are more malleable, customisable and flexible than
that which is provided by the corporate parent company”.
Zach Nelson, CEO
of NetSuite talked up the utility of this offering saying that;
NetSuite OneWorld for SAP enables large companies to keep their investment in
legacy business applications, while deploying a modern, web-based business
application suite that reduces costs and helps make their divisions more
competitive and employees more productive
At the heart of the offering is SuiteCloud Connect for SAP which is a product
and services offering that, in essence, bridges the divide between NetSuite data
and SAP reporting, allowing data such as general ledgers, revenue information
etc to be “rolled up” into SAP for aggregated reporting.
I spoke with Dan Willmott, APAC marketing manager for Netsuite about the
launch and asked him whether this move is a change of focus for Netsuite and
whether it can be taken as a move away from the SMB market. He was adamant that
Netsuite continues to be primarily a SMB offering (especially in the APAC
region) and that this move creates another string to the bow rather than a
change of direction – it allows them to make a move up the food chain and
recognises the fact that they had minimal success at swapping out legacy systems
within enterprise – this move deftly allows them to gain a foothold within these
organisations with out the long scale decision making process that swap outs
A more cynical soul would say that an organisation like Netsuite, that has a more traditional (read expensive) sales model than other SaaS vendors needs to either shift its ARPU closer to that which the legacy software vendors achieve, or take on a more low cost sales approach. Given the amount of competition for SaaS accounting in thr SMB space, the enterprise heritage that Netsuite has, and their customer demographic thus far (on the larger end of SMB) I think this move up the food chain is a smart move.
Pricing on the services is USD3999/month for up to ten subsidiaries and my understanding is that implementation doesn’t add significant complexity to the standard Netsuite rollout (average APAC implementation time is currently running around three months).