NetSuite Takes Aim At Bringing The Cloud To Manufacturing

Speaking from the main stage at the third annual SuiteWorld conference, under way in San Jose, Calif., this week, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson told the gathering that "NetSuite for Manufacturing" will build upon similar offerings that were used to support contract manufacturing.

"There is a sea change coming to manufacturing," he said. "Developments like 3-D printing and direct-to-consumer manufacturing will undoubtedly have far-reaching effects. The cloud is going to transform how manufacturers operate."

[Related: NetSuite Buy Boosts E-Commerce App Lineup ]

Intended to be used in conjunction with the more horizontal Suite offering and the SuiteCommerce bundle for the support of global commerce, NetSuite for Manufacturing will be the company's new cloud-based tool designed to provide a broad range of functions to support overall management, product lifecycle management, CAD/CAM, and a host of other elements specific to the manufacturing space.

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"We know that manufacturing devices is different from manufacturing something like pharmaceuticals," said Nelson. "Our general strategy is to build an industry-based solution that serves as a platform, and then let third parties address the last mile to meet the needs of the manufacturing verticals."

This is being seen as good news by at least one channel partner who focuses on manufacturing.

"I'm glad to see them moving in this direction because there is a whole untapped market that needs to be served," said Les Jankiewicz, NetSuite team lead for McGladrey, LLP, a Schaumburg, Ill.-based channel partner. "We can now go in with a strong manufacturing back-end that has support for things like bills of materials and costing capabilities. This move enables us to better compete with on-premises alternatives."

NetSuite for Manufacturing joins previous software tools aimed at providing support for distribution, hardware, software and services.

"When you look at speed to market and other market pressures, the cloud is the best thing for manufacturers," said Roman Bukary, vice president of manufacturing and wholesale distribution at NetSuite. "Our job is to give them the right tools to make that happen.

"Discrete manufacturing for things like devices and consumer goods is job one," Bukary continued. "Over time, we will extend our capabilities, either natively or through partnerships."

In other news, NetSuite announced a new alliance with global integrator Capgemini. The partnership is aimed at opening new customers for the San Mateo, Calif.-based company, both within North America and beyond.

"International revenues have not grown as quickly as North America," said NetSuite COO Jim McGeever. "You're going to see a lot more investment in international markets moving forward, and Capgemini will be a big piece of that effort. And they can also help to open new doors in the enterprise, as well."

In addition to Capgemini, NetSuite currently has integration alliances with Accenture, Deloitte and Wipro.

This week's event has roughly 5,000 registered attendees, representing the largest turnout in the event's three-year history.