NetSuite’s ‘North Star’ on the Path to Enterprise Evolution

Adrian Bridgwater, Guest Blogger

May 25, 2016

NetSuite offered some specifics on its developments for businesses in the software industry on the second day of this year’s SuiteWorld 16 conference and exhibition. In a fast-paced keynote, founder and Chief Technology Officer Evan Goldberg, joined on stage by NetSuite CFO Ron Gill outlined how NetSuite supports software companies along every step of their evolutionary cycle.

Start-up, mid-market, up-market, enterprise

Goldberg defined the phases that firms will go through on the road to success from start-up, to midmarket, onward to being an up-market operation and then finally on to enterprise-level status.

“NetSuite tends to attract software companies (or at least software-centric companies) as its customers, but that’s probably because we ourselves are a software company,” said Goldberg.

Positioning NetSuite as the ‘only business system a firm will ever need’, Goldberg told some of the story behind the firm’s own growth.

Although Goldberg had initially wanted to build a company focused on sales and the front end, he explained how he went through an initial decision-making process with mentor and co-founder Larry Ellison on the telephone and decided instead on a focus on back-end, delivering accounting over the Internet.

Define your North Star

“This was our ‘North Star’… the thing we were aiming to reach, we had that goal for long term growth defined from the start,” Goldberg said.

Winning in the midmarket arena requires agility, flexibility and the ability to scale according to Gill. Gill joined the company just at the point when it was preparing for IPO and witnessed firsthand a tough period of growth.

“As we moved towards becoming a fully-blown enterprise level company we had to put in place deliberate processes that were designed for scale. Firms at this stage need to establish controls but at the same time remain agile,” said Gill.

These companies also need to build more rigor in financial processes and yet also retain the balance between control and innovation.

Nimble, yet still controlled

Gill underlined these comments by explaining how hard it is to be nimble and yet controlled.

“Maintaining the ability to pivot with control in the midst of corporate change, innovation, growth and acquisitions is one of the reasons companies have looked to cloud-based Internet-centric platforms like NetSuite to run their business on,” he said.

Talking about the longer tail path towards enterprise growth, Goldberg pointed out that the thing about the North Star is that you never actually reach it. Instead, we have to realize that it is a process of constant reinvention.

“Firms will need to unlock subsidiary growth and still move like a start-up but maintain governance, risk and compliance,” said Goldberg.

How it all works, inside NetSuite

Putting the specific color and context into this whole presentation was a role designated to John (Tex) Peacock, Product Manager -- Software Vertical at NetSuite.

Peacock used a series of specific NetSuite functionality presentations to show how to perform actions such as intercompany transactions, architecting business systems to NetSuite OneWorld and building intelligence into a firm’s IT stack by using the NetSuite platform to create the right transactional relationships between entities.

Goldberg and team want NetSuite and its total platform to be viewed as a prime example of how its own customers can architect their own evolutionary journey towards growth.

Talking about big picture concepts and talking about the individual processes of operation, NetSuite wants enterprises everywhere in every vertical to succeed and keep growing while they remain on the NetSuite platform itself – because, as Goldberg reminded us in closing – NetSuite is the only business system a firm will ever need.

NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.