NetSuite’s annual SuiteWorld conference officially kicked off this Monday at the San Jose Convention Center in the heart of the silicon valley, with the expo (SUITEexpo) opening its doors on Tuesday. For anyone heavily invested in the NetSuite ecosystem – NetSuite, its partners and its customers – this is the biggest week of the year. NetSuite and its partners get to demonstrate and sell new products and features to prospective customers, while existing customers attempt to get the maximum bang for their subscription buck by attending training sessions, breakout sessions and roaming the expo hall looking for potential solutions to make their NetSuite experience easier and more productive for their business.
This is my fifth visit to a SuiteWorld and every year it seems to attract a bigger crowd. Part of the reason is probably the (smart) decision to give free passes starting last year that allow access to the expo and keynote presentations. The audience appears to be getting more and more global – I heard quite a few Australian and European accents among the attendees, and met a solution provider with a team based in Uruguay.
Celigo is once again a platinum sponsor this year, which translates to a bigger booth and prominent placement at the expo among other things. This, I believe in addition to our brand name recognition and reputation, sent a lot of footsteps towards our booth today where we have our sales engineers manning several stations demonstrating our various solutions. For me, one of the interesting aspects of visiting SuiteWorld is meeting clients with whom I’ve exchanged dozens of emails and phone calls but have never met in person, and this year didn’t disappoint.
As a software developer, I try to attend NetSuite founder and CTO Evan Goldberg’s keynote live, partly also because of the parody skit that opens his keynote every year (which is usually not broadcast on the live stream due to legal restrictions). However, this year I attended CEO Zach Nelson’s keynote and wasn’t disappointed. There were big announcements (partnership with Microsoft on Office 365, and American Express) and guest speakers (Billy Beane of Oakland A’s fame).
There was a lot of focus on NetSuite’s eCommerce platform – SuiteCommerce. It was first announced three years ago and it’s clear that NetSuite has paid a lot of attention to it. With stats claiming the SuiteCommerce web store checkout process to be faster than even Amazon and an announcement about a new customer acquisition who will be using NetSuite primarily for eCommerce rather than its ERP features, it’s clear that NetSuite is moving to claim a bigger piece of the eCommerce pie. And that’s sweet music to a software developer’s ears.
More to follow on SuiteWorld 2015…