NetSuite: ERP 'Perfect Storm' Spells 'Huge Channel Opportunity'


A confluence of three industry trends is generating major sales opportunities for partners, according to NetSuite's vice president of channel sales.

"On-premises ERP solutions experience refresh cycles of about eight to 10 years, and that refresh is gathering momentum," said NetSuite vice president Craig West, during the company's SuiteWorld conference being held this week in San Jose, Calif. "On top of that, the cloud has emerged as a game-changing technology at the same time that we are seeing increased demand. Between the three of those things, we are seeing a perfect storm that represents a huge channel opportunity."

West added that for the past two years, NetSuite has invested heavily in channel enablement, as well as technological enhancements. He says those efforts are helping the San Mateo, Calif.-based company gather momentum with cloud-focused channel partners.

[Related: NetSuite Takes Aim At Bringing The Cloud To Manufacturing]

"NetSuite is gathering depth that matches the breadth of its portfolio," said Daniel Edwards, partner at NCompass Solutions, an Atlanta-based solution provider. "They're making great strides in a number of key areas such as converting areas of customization into modules that are much easier to work with. Beyond that, we can see them helping us to get into more opportunities."

Those opportunities also translate to an increased emphasis on differentiation at the level of the partner," said Lou Balla, president of Bethesda, Md.-based Nuage Consulting Group, a developer of cloud-based business applications and NetSuite partner.

"We differentiate through smooth implementations backed by our knowledge of the technologies and the business needs of our customers," Balla told CRN. "And we're glad to see them evolve their product line and move further upstream into the enterprise. This adds credibility to their brand and opens up more customers."

West also noted that he's seeing an increased number of accounting firms function as channel partners.

"These are mostly firms that do things like taxes, audits, and compliance," West said. "But they're also getting back into the business of helping their customers with system selection, which actually helps them to standardize and makes their functions more efficient. They used to do those things in the past, but got out of the business as the software stack became more complex. But, cloud is something that is more manageable to them, so we're seeing an uptick in deals coming from those firms."

PUBLISHED MAY 14, 2013