Looking Back at SuiteWorld 2018

More than 7,500 attendees gathered in Las Vegas last week for SuiteWorld 2018, hosted by NetSuite.

Now in its eighth year, SuiteWorld brought the Oracle NetSuite ecosystem together in one place to learn, share and grow.

I was pleased to attend the event with a team from Ultra Consultants. We attended the many breakout sessions and keynotes to keep updated on vendor activities and product direction.  My colleague Rich Sides, Ultra Partner and COO, was part of an informative panel as well.

Here are a few of our impressions from the conference.

Market Acceptance of NetSuite Products

With a theme of “Ready, Set, Grow,” the opening keynote from NetSuite’s executive vice-president Jim McGeever highlighted the vendor’s key successes over the past year.

McGeever called out that the past year saw NetSuite’s highest customer retention and employee retention on the record books.  Confirming the market acceptance of NetSuite’s Cloud-based product suite, the company recently signed the total amount of new customers than it ever had in a 12-month period.

Start with Failure, End with Success

McGeever’ s keynote, and many of the sessions stressed the importance of discipline and focus in the face of growth, along with managing the risks that come with growth. As an example, McGeever mentioned that when NetSuite embarked upon global market expansion in the early 2000’s, they ran into some dead ends with their original go-to-market strategy. So, as they worked through a “lessons learned” process by leveraging their strengths and wins to maximize customer satisfaction.

Customer Success Managing Growth

Rachel Zoe, NetSuite customer, fashion designer and CEO of Rachel Zoe, Inc. was featured in a live interview during the keynote.  Her “big picture” talk emphasized that entrepreneurship involves hiring people that bring passion and strengths that fill in any gaps within an organization.  As with the “fail faster” message from earlier in the day, Zoe talked about her first-hand experiences applying lessons-learned during high growth.

Another NetSuite customer, Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Water, was also featured in a live, on-stage interview format. The San Francisco-based provider of unsweetened, fruit flavored water has grown from a family-run business to a multimillion-dollar company in just a decade.  It was a terrific example of how a flexible enterprise platform, when evaluated and selected with an eye toward handling growth, can help a company scale its critical business systems as it goes toe-to-toe with industry giants.

Product News – SuiteCommerce

Online retailers are in a race for their survival. To keep up with ever-evolving customer expectations, merchants need an e-commerce solution they can easily manage, extend and enhance without development resources.

NetSuite launched SuiteCommerce about four years ago, and during SuiteWorld announced an upgraded set of features to the SuiteCommerce platform.

The version emphasizes the ability to run a business on a single platform, leveraging prebuilt themes and accelerated deployment, with defined workflows based on best practices.  As comes with Cloud deployment, any upgrades are automatically delivered to customers with a modular architecture that is easy to implement and modify without the need for developers.

We were impressed with integration into NetSuite ERP – as e-commerce is integrated with the NetSuite platform, so businesses gain the advantage of having a single source of real-time order, customer and inventory information to create seamless omnichannel brand experiences and streamline business processes.

AI/Machine Learning

In a video interview with NetSuite CEO Mark Hurd, we were interested to see NetSuite’s product strategies around AI and machine learning.  NetSuite’s innovations in this area will not stand alone or be isolated but instead be integrated into applications to solve specific business cases.

NetSuite featured examples where a company might apply AI or machine learning in what is termed “Intelligent Automation” where correlations in the data are used to predict what might happen next. Examples include cash flow prediction, customer lifetime value prediction, and employee performance prediction.

AI could also be integrated for “Intelligent Insights” — learning repetitive tasks that users do and doing it for them such as warehouse labor optimization, dynamic product pricing, and self-service employee HR assistance.

Finally, NetSuite platform can manage “Intelligent Interactions” to show users what information they need, when they need it within a personal context. Examples include personalized search, dynamic dashboard content, and data entry optimization.

Stay Tuned

This post called out just a few of the noteworthy updates shared by NetSuite during SuiteWorld 2018.

Watch for my next blog post that summarizes Ultra’s panel presentation, featuring our own Rich Sides.  Contact Ultra for guidance as you navigate the ERP vendor landscape.

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