A new year, a new SuiteWorld! It has been nearly three years since Oracle acquired NetSuite and we are still incredibly excited about this dream team and what they bring to market. The overarching themes for SuiteWorld 2018 included international growth, attention to SMBs and micro-verticals, and continued investment in technology like AI and machine learning.
At SuiteWorld 2019, we expect NetSuite to double down on these themes with an emphasis on several specific micro-verticals, its SuiteCommerce Extension Network and new product enhancements that leverage data and predictive analytics. In this blog post, we’ll explain our predictions for NetSuite’s big event and share a few thoughts on trends for 2019.
Our team is attending SuiteWorld so this blog post will be updated afterward to provide an event recap and our takeaways. We also plan to embed videos of the keynote speeches. Let’s get started!
Micro-verticals to Watch: Apparel & Footwear, Food & Beverage, SaaS
In 2018, NetSuite released a “Health & Beauty Bundle” that included improved reporting tools, unique dashboards and new capabilities that were specific to this micro-vertical. NetSuite also formed a dedicated team to ensure its product suite addressed the needs of the health & beauty category. It wouldn’t surprise us to see similar bundled offerings for other micro-verticals like apparel and footwear, food and beverage, and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
The retail industry performed well in total sales for 2018 despite recent reports of a Q4 decline. Total sales increased by 3.7 percent (YOY) in 2018, great news for the apparel and footwear micro-vertical. If retail growth continues to slow in 2019, that can embolden NetSuite to highlight its ability to cut IT costs, optimize processes and achieve greater efficiency.
Food and beverage is also a good candidate for a new NetSuite bundle or related offering. NetSuite Food and Beverage Industry Principal John Bek believes that smaller, more nimble brand manufacturers will continue challenging big brands as startups in this industry have raised $9.5 billion from private equity firms since 2013. Next-gen fast-casual restaurants are gaining momentum and solutions from NetSuite can be ideal for SMBs and enterprises looking for a scalable ERP that is modular.
SaaS is another micro-vertical that could see extra attention from NetSuite in 2019. The valuations for SaaS companies are approximately 10 times their revenue and there are a few big-name IPOs (Slack, TripActions, etc.) that could happen this year. Typically, there is a public market correction to these valuations but overall interest in this micro-vertical will likely remain as cloud infrastructures improve and 5G technologies are implemented.
Investment in Technology
Last year, NetSuite revealed its Commerce Extension Framework and announced the world’s first intelligent cloud suite that was purported to help businesses receive better insights, engage in automation and utilize predictive analytics. These are both excellent investments for NetSuite but we believe the Commerce Extension Framework will be more impactful in 2019.
The Commerce Extension Network has many benefits for SuiteCommerce and SuiteCommerce Advanced (SCA) users, and we anticipate NetSuite will roll out additional capabilities and support as more businesses actively use it. Over the next year, we think more companies like SuiteCentric will build unique extensions and bundles to resell within the NetSuite store. Blog extensions and donation pages will likely be at the top of this list.
One promise of the Commerce Extension Network includes making the sales and buying process easier for both sides of the equation. Businesses creating extensions have access to a larger potential customer pool and another referral channel. It also speeds up the time to purchase as NetSuite customers can have minimal engagement with service providers or sales teams.
NetSuite’s intelligent cloud suite will certainly provide value to customers in 2019 and can help future proof its technologies. Continuing to invest in AI and machine-based learning is encouraging because it’s a sign that NetSuite is betting on itself. While we do not have any specific predictions for the intelligent cloud suite, it wouldn’t be surprising if an announcement about automation was made for a single business user group like finance and procurement professionals or HR professionals.
Meet with SuiteCentric at SuiteWorld!
Let us know if you are planning to attend SuiteWorld 2019! We’d love to meet you and learn more about your business.