NetSuitehas been providing software-as-a-service--starting with ERP--for 13 years now. You heard that right: 13 years. Before BusinessBy Design was a gleam in SAP's eye, and before Larry Ellison, who happens to have provided the financial backing for NetSuite, could proclaim the cloud as mere vapor. Before Salesforce.com. Before Workday. Before SuccessFactors. Before anything was cloud, before everything was cloud, there was NetSuite.
Zach Nelson, NetSuite's CEO, came to run the company 10 years ago, after a stint at McAfee, and before that at Oracle. He has led the company on a fairly steady course of success. The company's market cap is well north of $4 billion, and it has doubled revenue from 2007 through 2011.
My colleague Art Wittmann sat down with Nelson on the eve of Oracle OpenWorld, where he is one of the scheduled keynote speakers. We discussed NetSuite's key product strengths and where it's having success, its "complicated" relationship with Oracle, the lengthy list of NetSuite competitors, and some of the latest cloud software trends, including social, where NetSuite has been fairly quiet compared to other software providers. Nelson's answer to this: NetSuite's core business is creating the data that can feed these social tools, and he's not interested in owning the social piece.
NetSuite, Nelson told us, is focused on running big business. ERP is still its core offering, but more than 70% of its customers also run some other aspect of its suite (e-commerce, salesforce automation, and so forth). That may not be the sexiest message in an era where Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce.com are diving into fancy arenas like human capital management, social enterprise, and marketing, but ERP also happens to be the backbone of most businesses. NetSuite continues to bet it can dominate there.
You can watch the full interview in the video player below.