Oracle NetSuite VP Craig West on Partners Strategy

Co-hosted with ChannelE2E’s Content Czar Joe Panettieri, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux chatted with Craig West, Senior Vice President of Channel Sales at Oracle NetSuite on the cloud ERP partner landscape and the opportunities ahead for integrators and consultants.

Craig West_SVP_Oracle NetSuiteCo-hosted with ChannelE2E’s Content Czar Joe Panettieri, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux chatted with Craig West, Senior Vice President of Channel Sales at Oracle NetSuite on the cloud ERP partner landscape and the opportunities ahead for integrators and consultants.

How is the maturity of the cloud ERP marketing changing? And, is there still room for partners to jump in?

Clearly, there’s still room. When we look at the midmarket and when we look at the acquisition more broadly, the promise was really the opportunity to accelerate NetSuite’s progress in the midmarket, and market share and ultimately customer success in the midmarket. A year later, I think the promise is turning into reality. We’ve seen huge acceleration by virtue of Oracle investment and resources on the development side to help us deliver features and functions more quickly on the product side, and to help us deliver more localizations to more countries sooner. Those have been huge accelerators that have opened opportunities more in that marketplace.

Tell us more about the types of partners you’ve been attracting to the table in recent years.

The thing about ERP is that it’s a very hard thing to teach from the ground up. Really almost no product vendor has the ability to teach consultants how to do ERP. The kind of partners we’ve been looking for, and have always had success attracting, are the folks that already know ERP. But, they realize they have to move to the future of ERP in order to stay relevant and have offerings that their customers are going to want to buy and deploy. We have historically been that future path for those folks that have built expertise legacy ERP solutions and are looking to take that expertise and catapult it into the future. Our bread and butter has always been the midmarket. Historically, those have been midmarket providers. But, it has been an emerging global effort. We’ve launched localizations over the years, but one that has been very focused on the midmarket.

Are the partners mainly reselling the platform, or are they wrapping consulting, development and managed services around the deployment?

A little of both. Our partners are not effectively re-sellers. They do represent the product. It is in a proper re-seller model. But, there is a participation element in the subscription. And overwhelmingly, yes, they are wrapping services around that. First and foremost our partners generally consider themselves services companies rather than product companies. At the end of the day, being involved in the subscription origination to that customer is really a means to an end of the services project, which is really what they’re trying to get at.

How do the Oracle partner base and the NetSuite partner base differ and how are they the same?

Historically the difference has been the markets that they serve. NetSuite’s partner community has generally been very midmarket oriented and a bit more velocity oriented, meaning we often see midmarket projects go live in 60 to 90 days versus an enterprise project that could be significantly longer. I think the differences have really been between the target markets – whether it’s enterprise or midmarket and general sort of velocity. The opportunity is around the Oracle cloud ERP community and looking at whether there is a basis or a reason or a motivation to build that midmarket practice. And if you’re going to build that practice, if NetSuite is the solution to build it around. That’s the motion we’re trying to support right now.

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