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NetSuite SuiteWorld 2022: Partner SCS Cloud Grows Managed Services Business

Wade Tyler Millward

“We‘ve been able to use some of the more flexible pieces of NetSuite to help them (customers) better run their business accordingly,” Bobby Coffin, an SCS Cloud executive, told CRN.

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Bobby Coffin, vice president of operations at SCS Cloud

New NetSuite functionality, a growing managed services business and even the supply chain crisis have helped fuel growth for partner SCS Cloud, which expects another year of more than 70 percent growth in new customers.

Bobby Coffin, vice president of operations at Clearwater, Fla.-based SCS Cloud, a NetSuite partner, told CRN in a recent interview that about 40 percent of those new customers come from the food and beverage and health and beauty verticals.

“A lot of expansion there,” Coffin said. “Lot tracing [tracking inventory to its origin], light manufacturing, outsource manufacturing have all had pretty high demand [for] NetSuite functionality. And then also a lot of ecommerce integrations, 3PL [third-party logistics] integrations and EDI [electronic data interchange] integrations. … From an integration perspective, that‘s been the bulk of the growth we’ve been seeing this year so far.”

[RELATED: NetSuite SuiteWorld 2022: The Biggest Announcements]

NetSuite, a subsidiary of Austin, Texas-based database services and cloud vendor Oracle, wraps up its annual SuiteWorld conference this week. SuiteWorld 2022 was held in person in Las Vegas and online.

A new accounts payable automation feature, a new tool for warehouse tracking and an add-on for configuring, pricing and quoting products are among the vendor’s biggest announcements made at SuiteWorld.

And some of the coolest vendors to post on social media from the conference included spend management platform Airbase, blockchain-based payments-as-a-service company Paystand and plenty of services partners.

Coffin told CRN that customers have been extending sales cycles given concerns around a potential recession in the U.S. And product-focsed customers have felt the effects of the global supply chain crisis.

Still, SCS has found opportunities in leveraging deferred payments and quarterly billing for customers especially concerned about the economy.

And the company has helped customers with NetSuite’s tools for managing fulfillment interruptions, he said.

“What it has allowed us is to really leverage NetSuite flexibility around saved searches and reportings and reminders and dashboards … really helping the clients manage their exceptions in a much more efficient way since the number of exceptions has increased in frequency,” Coffin said. “Definitely all of our clients have been impacted by the supply chain crisis, but we‘ve been able to use some of the more flexible pieces of NetSuite to help them better run their business accordingly, which has been great.”

Here’s what else Coffin had to say.

What SCS offerings are popular with customers lately? 

NetSuite has been hot in general. We‘ve had a pretty stellar year. We’re looking at potentially another year of growth north of about 70 percent, which is amazing.

As far as demand from the customers, we‘ve been seeing really, really big demand in the food and beverage space. Probably north of 35 to 40 percent of our new logos have been either in the food and beverage or health and beauty space.

So really, a lot of expansion there. Lot tracing [tracking inventory to its origin], light manufacturing, outsource manufacturing have all had pretty high demand [for] NetSuite functionality.

And then also a lot of ecommerce integrations, 3PL [third-party logistics] integrations and EDI [electronic data interchange] integrations. … From an integration perspective, that‘s been the bulk of the growth we’ve been seeing this year so far.

Does SCS have a geographical focus? 

We’re throughout the country. We actually have a subsidiary in EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa]. So we‘re on a lot of the shorter lists of partners that have both a U.S. and EMEA subsidiary.

So our practice is growing in the U.K. I think we‘re at double-digit employee count over there now, which is awesome.

But I would say we‘ve got quite a few clients in the Southeast and Northeast regions. A few through the Midwest. And we actually have quite a big presence in Colorado and California as well. … We’re somewhere between that 85 and 100 range [of employees].

How is SCS growing its NetSuite practice? 

We‘re constantly investing in our people, hiring good caliber employees.

Also investing in training our employees – even employees that are already, quote, unquote, NetSuite experts – through continued training and best practices for implementations. … Being a services company, your people are the product. So that‘s probably where the bulk of our investment is going, is our people.

And really putting forward processes for good implementations is where a lot of our internal efforts have been going. And as far as expansion goes, I think we‘ve been doing a great job with acquiring new NetSuite logos and implementing new clients.

And we see a lot of opportunity on the managed services side. Each year, our client base grows by 20, 30, 40, 50 clients. So we‘ve quickly found ourselves supporting well over 120-plus clients to one extent or the other, a couple of hours a month or many hours a week.

So we‘re really starting to put more investment in our managed services practice so that we can not only implement new customers on NetSuite but continue to support them as their business expands. So that’s been a focus of ours for the latter half of this year and will be a big focus in the next [year].

How is SCS building the managed services business?

It definitely is a hiring thing. We need consultants that not only understand NetSuite, they also need to understand how to quickly look at the landscape of NetSuite and figure out what‘s going on and support the client.

Also investing in tools used to help manage our clients – managing tickets, customer profiles, notes about the customer, who‘s been assigned to the client, etcetera.

So some internal software and tools and processes put in line to not make it so that we can just support 50 clients, but so we can support 100, 150, 200 and continue to expand. … We continue to expand senior-level project managers or solution architects that can really step in and help design an implementation and really lead it successfully – those individuals are worth their weight in gold. So trying to find some more of those has been big.

People with ERP consulting experience plus accounting experience has been a big area where we‘ve seen a lot of opportunity. Our company is continuing to expand it to the services vertical and the software vertical, where supply chain management, manufacturing, inventory, etcetera, is maybe less of a primary concern, more focused around some more complex revenue recognition or expense management.

Are your new customers moving off of another product and onto NetSuite?

It‘s very common to see us coming into clients that are outgrowing their current stack and pushed QuickBooks and Excel and some of these other softwares to their limit and they can no longer be supported there.

To move to that next level, they need something that can integrate effectively, manage inventory effectively, etcetera. So I would say this was probably the story 30 to 50 percent of the time.

And then working with companies that have been around for a while and they‘ve got either a homegrown, on-premises solution or old, legacy, on-prem solution that the person who built it or the company that built it is no longer supporting it or retiring, etcetera. So they need to come on to something modern. It’s pretty evenly split between those two scenarios.

Is customer spending strong despite recession fears in the U.S.? 

It‘s definitely become more noticeable that customers are crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s and rereading all the contracts, all the invoices.

About a year ago at this time, people were like, ‘NetSuite’s great, we‘ve got money, let’s go, sign us up.’

And now it‘s a little bit more of, we really have to sell the value of the tool. It’s been a bit of a change, but we‘re definitely still seeing that capital investment made from our clients.

And they understand that NetSuite will allow for their growth to really expand. Even if you can have a small percentage growth and expansion, that‘s going to pay for NetSuite many times over. … It is an expense, but you will be able to scale on this and run more optimally as a company, so it’ll pay for itself very rapidly. So that‘s been one piece.

The other one is Oracle Financing. … It has been helpful to offer six months deferred payment and quarterly billing so we can really make sure the system is up live and running before they start paying for it from a cash flow perspective. That‘s been a helpful tool to proceed with more sales in this environment.

Has the supply chain crisis been a factor for your customers? 

Any product-based company, whether they‘re doing manufacturing or not, has been impacted one way or another. I mean, depending on the commodities that they work with, it has varied. But it has absolutely impacted [customers].

It‘s interesting, though, that this supply chain crisis has kind of actually moved our ability to leverage NetSuite’s supply chain automation tools and predictive analytics, etcetera.

It‘s made it a little bit more difficult to take advantage of those. … But what it has allowed us is to really leverage NetSuite flexibility around saved searches and reportings and reminders and dashboards … really helping the clients manage their exceptions in a much more efficient way since the number of exceptions has increased in frequency.

Definitely all of our clients have been impacted by the supply chain crisis, but we‘ve been able to use some of the more flexible pieces of NetSuite to help them better run their business accordingly, which has been great.

Is hiring a challenge? 

It‘s tough. We work with a number of recruiters and they do bring in some good candidates but they definitely come at a cost in those scenarios.

And I think that sense of, ‘Do you hire somebody with the knowledge or do you hire somebody with the skill sets and then do the training yourself?’

Our opinion is, absolutely hire somebody with the skill sets and doing the training yourself is the right way to go. But the challenge with that is you need to have a resource or two that can do those trainings. And with so much of our company focus on great delivery to our clients, and expanding our business operations, at that point, we‘re going to need to hire a trainer ourselves.

If there is an academy or there was some sort of kind of preparatory school to take somebody with a Microsoft experience and take a controller who‘s got accounting experience and then put them through a two-week or four-week or a six-week crash course and have them come out the other end of being somebody who can start to work inside of NetSuite.

Those may exist or they‘ve been talked about, but I definitely think an area for opportunity both for us and just for the NetSuite ecosystem in general is that ability to groom your own talent and really grow from within and hire people that have the right culture to be a successful consultant at a partner or a successful individual and train them in NetSuite versus find[ing] somebody with NetSuite and hope that they’ve got the right culture fit.

But we‘ve tended to have to focus a little bit more on the latter just given the labor crunch.

Wade Tyler Millward

Wade Tyler Millward is an associate editor covering cloud computing and the channel partner programs of Microsoft, IBM, Red Hat, Oracle, Salesforce, Citrix and other cloud vendors. He can be reached at wmillward@thechannelcompany.com.

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