Why NetSuite isn't bothered about chasing Salesforce or any other competitor

SuiteWorld 2022
(Image credit: NetSuite)

Oracle NetSuite is unconcerned about chasing the leaders of the pack in sub-markets like CRM, despite its stake in these areas, the firm’s GVP of Strategy has said.

In conversation with TechRadar Pro at SuiteWorld 2022, Jason Cowan answered questions around the company’s ability to compete with Salesforce in the CRM market, as well as single-product vendors in other segments covered by its platform.

“At the end of the day, the core to Salesforce is CRM and the core to NetSuite is the ERP financials,” he told us. “I don’t think that means we need to chase Salesforce, to create a best-of-breed CRM. We can have a very compelling offering for a lot of industries, without saying we have to win in every market.”

Greatness in ‘suiteness’

Although NetSuite is a powerhouse in the ERP market, it plays second fiddle to Salesforce in CRM specifically. Equally, Salesforce is fast expanding outwards beyond CRM - into areas like ecommerce, analytics and so forth - in such a way that may have implications for NetSuite.

However, Cowan is confident that, by leaning into its heritage in finance, its strength in the cloud and relationship with Oracle from an infrastructure perspective, NetSuite will continue to grow its market share.

At SuiteWorld, NetSuite has still been eager to highlight its recent investment in CRM. In particular, the firm launched a new CPQ service designed to make it simpler to configure, price and quote products to a high degree of accuracy. But the real emphasis is on finance and accounting.

“We’ve invested in our CRM, with new sales dashboards and additions like CPQ, which is probably one of the largest CRM upgrades we’ve made. [But our primary focus] is on empowering finance teams by improving visibility and insight into cash flow, spend and profitability.”

The same message was echoed earlier in the week by James Chisham, VP International Product, who explained that NetSuite “couldn’t possibly do everything”.

“We can’t be all things to all people. That’s very difficult to achieve,” he told TechRadar Pro. “If we look at financials as the backbone of what we do for our customers, building on that is super important. It’s about improving those processes, taking away some of the pain and manual effort.”

Both executives also suggested that NetSuite derives a significant advantage from the interconnectedness of its product suite, an attribute described by the company as “suiteness”.

“What we’ve always tried to do is use the power of our suite in a joined up way. And separately, we’ve always been happy to have a rich ecosystem of partners that fills any gaps for us, covering off areas we don’t cover,” added Chisham.

The key to deepening this value proposition, according to Cowan, will be to lean into themes like data visibility, machine learning and UI enhancement in the months ahead. Although he was unable to supply us with specifics, the suggestion was that NetSuite has a few tricks up its sleeve yet.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.