NetSuite steps up professional services assault

SaaS vendor NetSuite reveals SuiteSuccess implementation and methodology-based product push to take on traditional ERP client/server vendors such as SAP.

NetSuite headquarters

Not content with growing demand for hosted business applications among small and medium enterprise (SME) users, NetSuite has announced a major professional services initiative intended to woo larger mid-tier customers away from big vendors like SAP.

Known as SuiteSuccess, the company's new professional services scheme will offer training, support and a dedicated methodology for mid-tier customers to use when planning and executing their deployment activities and managing the cost of acquisition and implementation.

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"Let's say you pay 75,000 for an enterprise software licence. You can traditionally expect to pay 1.5 to four times that cost again to actually implement the software," said Mini Peiris, vice president of product marketing at NetSuite.

"Most people are looking to cut that cost to a 1:1 ratio," Peiris added.

Mid-tier companies face many challenges in deploying a complex business solution such as ERP, as many lack the dedicated skills of an on-site ERP support team, and cannot justify the cost of such a resource after initial implementation. Nonetheless, they still have the same complex business processes that need to be customised and integrated into the solution being deployed.

NetSuite hopes that by providing a triple-play approach to professional services of consulting, training and support, it can position its hosted suite of business applications alongside traditional vendors that also offer professional services either directly or through resellers.

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To support its professional services activities the company also announced the addition of an outsourced call centre in the Philippines in addition to its existing facilities in the US and Canada.

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"Providing 24/7 support can be very challenging for mid-market ERP customers and potential customers," Peiris said.

"Locating the support centre in the Philippines has many advantages. Language is a bonus, with a high standard of English spoken, while there are also financial and cultural advantages over locating in other popular offshore centres."

NetSuite is also expanding its professional services push across mainland Europe, with French, German and Spanish speakers working within the UK and European division. The company stepped up its professional services push after the acquisition of OpenAir earlier this year.

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