NetSuite Eyes QuickBooks Refugees


ach Nelson reckons about 20,000 small-business customers a year outgrow QuickBooks. That’s why Nelson’s company, NetSuite, revamped its Small Business Suite to capture as many refugees from the Intuit application as partners can sign up.

“Early on, in 1999, we tried to get to customers before they bought QuickBooks, but that never succeeded because small businesses would just go out and buy [QuickBooks]. We saw that when they outgrow QuickBooks is when they come to NetSuite,” said Nelson, CEO of the San Mateo, Calif., application service provider.

NetSuite clearly has had its share of success grabbing those growing customers. So far, more than 50 percent of NetSuite’s business comes from small businesses constrained by QuickBooks’ ability to support only 10 simultaneous users and track 29,000 customers, Nelson said. Now the company aims to boost that number with its NetSuite Small Business Suite--an enhanced version of the previously named Oracle Small Business Suite.

Rufus Lohmueller is already seeing results. Just last month his Raleigh, N.C., consulting company closed a deal with the new Small Business Suite. “That customer could no longer manage their inventory with QuickBooks,” said Lohmueller, CEO of Lohmueller Consulting.

“It’s that integration that customers are looking for,” said Lohmueller, who figures about 25 percent to 30 percent of NetSuite’s new business is customers that have outgrown QuickBooks. “Having that seamless data conversion tool from QuickBooks to NetSuite Small Business is a big advantage. And we use the same check stock as QuickBooks does. That makes for one easy conversion.”

 Published for the Week Of September 20, 2004