By Sarah Lacy
NetSuite (NYSE:N), one of the handful of companies to build a big company out of the early 2000s software-as-a-service funding scrum, is now making a push into cloud based enterprise software, according to several announcements being made this morning by CEO Zach Nelson at SuiteWorld, the company’s user conference being held in San Francisco.
As with most of these user conference announcements, there will be the usual fanfare and big-name guests trotted out– in this case, Oracle President Mark Hurd and Yammer CEO David Sacks. But NetSuite is also announcing two new enterprise customers: Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Groupon. Both companies are using NetSuite for their international operations specifically, and the latter is an impressive win.
Groupon has been called the fastest growing company in history and NetSuite isn’t just selling them software for one part of the organization– NetSuite sells core enterprise resource planning, financial software.
There are few companies that could test NetSuite’s claims to be quicker, more flexible and more robust than other cloud-based ERP vendors, given that Groupon’s volume of deals, scale of countries, hyper-growth and amalgamation of data are core competitive advantages. The software helps manage international headaches like currencies and local taxation compliance, and will replace hundreds of spreadsheets. Five of Groupon’s markets were live on NetSuite’s software after six weeks, 26 of them will switch in the coming months, and by the end of the year, the company expects operations in 46 countries to be operating on NetSuite’s software.
Groupon’s aggressive and immediate push to go international has been unprecedented among US Web startups, and if others follow suit, NetSuite may have identified a lucrative new niche of large customers who don’t have time for traditional ERP implementations– or the old-economy hangups about doing business in the cloud. After a rocky start as a public company– in part thanks to the financial crisis– NetSuite’s stock has more than doubled this year. It’s up again today on the news.