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Fifteen minutes with NetSuite's Zach Nelson

Stuart Lauchlan Profile picture for user slauchlan March 3, 2014
NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson inevitably doesn't agree with Microsoft that no-one serious is doing cloud ERP. Nor we must assume do Dell or Deloitte...

Zach Nelson

If as Microsoft’s Kirill Tatarinov says, no serious organizations are doing cloud ERP, then someone’s yet to let Dell and Deloitte  in on the news as they’ve last week scaled up their involvement with NetSuite on just that front.

Actually Tatarinov did some ‘repositioning’ of his comments over the weekend - check here around the 15.50 mark - which caused me to smile ruefully at the analyses offered by Frank Scavo and Naomi Bloom:

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I look forward to see what comes out of the Convergence conference in Atlanta this week on this matter.

But for now, back to Dell, Deloitte and NetSuite.

Dell and NetSuite have announced a services partnership deal which the two pitch as creating a complete end-to-end ERP solution that can span from the customers’ data centers to the cloud.

For NetSuite, the deal will mean access to Dell’s larger enterprise customers, with Dell touting its domain expertise in healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, and e-commerce sectors as a complement to NetSuite's own interests.

I caught up with NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson earlier today who told me:

“The deal is with Dell’s services unit, the old Perot Systems group. It’s a reseller deal where they can take NetSuite to market and own the customer relationship. Usually we take the contact with the customer, but in this case Dell is at the front of the NetSuite offering.

“It’s also important in showing just how much the world has changed in the cloud. Fifteen years ago when I was at McAfee, hardware firms had no interest in offering software and services. Now that has all changed.”

NetSuite’s Deloitte relationship is another tool to help reach further into the enterprise, he added:

“This relationship comes out of our enterprise organisation with our team and their team going to the market jointly. We have had some really strong regional activity with Deloitte, especially in the UK. Now we’re making that global. We have already done client engagements with Deloitte and we’re formalising that.

“There are opportunities here in single tier running NetSuite everywhere, two-tier and through the Deloitte Digital practice to bring the ERP side of the world together with the ecommerce side. That’s important because the future of ERP is digital commerce and taking the internal operations of systems to become customer-facing.”

As for Tatarinov’s comments, Nelson has made his views known over the past week or so to various media outlets and clearly sees Microsoft as having shot itself in the corporate foot to a large degree:

“He’s tried to clarify it several times now and I’m now even more confused by what he was trying to say.

“At one level, he was trying to say that cloud doesn’t work for large companies - or what he calls serious companies. The Microsoft audience is then non-serious sized companies like the Great Plains customers. If the guy running Microsoft’s Great Plains group is not interested in those companies, then that’s great news for us.

“His second view was that companies are not using cloud ERP for end to end functions. That’s all people use us for, not just to do accounting. People use us to run complete business processes.

“This is just the classic problem that all client server ERP vendors face. They think that they’re still stuck inside the client server world. I was wasn’t surprised he believes this, but I was surprised to hear him articulate it.”


With Convergence about to kick off, I’m anticipating some ‘come hither’ temptations for Great Plains and Navision customers to come from NetSuite over the next few days.

Elsewhere the Dell and Deloitte relationships are another sign that NetSuite is trying to flesh out its partner networks with some useful enterprise allies.


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