SuiteWorld 2017 was destined to herald a new direction for cloud computing following Oracle's $9.7 billion (£7.6 billion) acquisition of NetSuite in November last year. The largest cloud ERP conference in the world has moved across the Serra Nevada mountain range from San Jose, California to Las Vegas, Nevada, where its new parent company added its name to the 2017 event, now called Oracle+NetSuite SuiteWorld.
The elephant in the room that is the acquisition by Oracle was unlikely to remain hidden for too long. Oracle and NetSuite executive vice president Jim McGeever chose to address it head-on from the start, when he opened the conference in place of the notably absent NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson.
"We are now a global business unit inside of Oracle," he explained. "That means all sales, all services, all support and all the development is still contained inside a single business unit. That all reports to Evan [Goldberg] and me, and we report to the CEO of Oracle Mark Hurd. Most important at NetSuite, and for most of our customers, there is almost no change whatsoever."
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd took to the stage at the Sands Expo and Convention Center to outline his plans for NetSuite and for Oracle's transition to the cloud.
"You're going to see 70-80 percent of our market begin to shift from the traditional outcomes to the cloud market," he said. "We are now the fastest growing cloud company."
Oracle plans a decade-long march to the cloud, combining a SaaS suite built on established standards in a platform designed to be extended, for both on-premise and in the cloud.
NetSuite, he said, will enable the company to "set a new standard for customer delight", to lead the ERP market with an unrivaled suite that has the capacity to grow while maintaining its strong partner ecosystem.
"Our strategy is to give NetSuite all the benefits of Oracle scale, and try to give it none of the inconveniences of Oracle's bureaucracies," he said. "That's the trick of scale. My job as a leader is to make sure that NetSuite gets the benefits but none of those problems."
Separate products working together
Hurd pledged to invest more money in R&D and to accelerate the expansion across the globe in two separate phases. Phase one involves an immediate investment in Benelux, the Nordic nations, South America, Germany, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Phase two moves the growth to China, India, Brazil, France, and the UAE.
The global expansion will add Oracle's resources to NetSuite's established product, and aims to drive growth across three areas: data centre, field offices and development centres. The objective for Oracle, said Hurd, is to "almost incubate NetSuite".
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