SuiteWorld 2013, NetSuite's annual customer conference gets underway next week. Several of the diginomica team will be attending including yours truly. This is a show I like not least because with some 80 partners,there's a good chance of getting round to see what's on offer. With something like 5,000 people expected to attend, there is (just) enough of an intimate 'feel' for us to mingle with customers and learn about their experiences, hopes and aspirations. This will be interesting because over the last year I have fielded a good dozen or so enquiries about NetSuite as a potential partner for customers in the market for new solutions.
This year we can expect to see a strong emphasis on retail and digital commerce. This should come as no surprise given that NetSuite launched a comprehensive commerce framework just about a year ago, made a foray into strong revenue recognition in September 2012 and opened the New Year with its Retail Anywhere acquisition.
Other clues reside in the line up of speakers that include the editors of Internet Retailer and Retail TouchPoints, along with Paul Greenberg, he of CRM Idol fame and all around good guy. I like it when companies get vertical market specialists in to speak at events. It demonstrates a level of confidence in what they are doing. The real taste test will come when customers give their views.
UPDATE: Netsuite announced is it acquiring Order Motion:
NetSuite will be using OrderMotion’s technology for continuity and replenishment, as well as supporting direct response marketing efforts. The resulting product, the companies say, will be useful for almost every kind of business, from B2B, B2C, and retail use cases to wholesale distribution and manufacturing.
B2B orders often follow multi-week or multi-month planning horizons. B2C orders, on the other hand, are measured by delivery in days, and soon will be measured in hours as same day delivery options (such as Zipments) proliferate.
Order Motion positions NetSuite for this rapidly changing B2C world.
It looks as though our agenda has been pretty much set then.
Phil Wainewright and I are participating in what promises to be a lively panel discussion. My good friend Vinnie Mirchandani is moderating the panel and soliciting questions from attendees. The panel includes another good friend Ray R Wang, CEO Constellation Research and Predrag (PJ) Jakovljevic, analyst at TEC along with a NetSuite customer. I conservatively reckon the panel will have more in excess of 120 years' experience to draw upon.
Apart from retail, I hope the company will provide updates on its efforts in professional services and manufacturing. These verticals, while at opposite ends of the industrial landscape are markets in which NetSuite has enjoyed good success.
Beyond vertical markets, I'd like to know what NetSuite has to say about HCM and HR generally. The last few years, the company has been moving up the SME food chain, looking to sign off larger and larger contracts. It's a topic that features in all of the company's recent earnings calls. It seems to me that HR as a functional area is lacking and I wonder how NetSuite plans to plug this hole.
And then there will be Zach Nelson, CEO NetSuite's keynote. While some dislike his knockabout style, I enjoy listening to his irreverent approach to an industry that often takes itself far too seriously.