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Why NetSuite looks to exploit SA opportunity

Why NetSuite looks to exploit SA opportunity

Global provider of cloud-based financials, ERP, HR, Professional Services Automation and omnichannel commerce Oracle NetSuite says it now has the human resources and required supportive infrastructure to expand its operations in SA.

The company has confirmed its intention to extend its focus in the country and the surrounding region with the addition of a dedicated sales team and country manager.

In a statement the company said the dedicated sales office will be led by Khaled Ismail, Vice President, Oracle Digital Application Business, East, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (ECEMEA), who will manage sales and marketing strategy for the region.

"In this role, Ismail will manage an organisation of 250 sales professionals with almost 20 managers and directors. He will also be directly responsible for all the supporting functions working for ECEMEA OD from pre-sales, sales development, marketing and customer success," the company explained.

According to the IDC's South Africa Enterprise Application Software Market 2017-2021 Forecast and 2016 Vendor Shares study, the country's EAS market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.2% over the 2017–2021 forecast period.

"Although 2016 was a difficult year for the IT market in South Africa, outsourcing, managed services, and cloud players took advantage of this situation to grow their revenues. Another challenging year is forecast for 2017, with managed services continuing to grow despite the economic malaise, and with cloud cannibalising traditional datacentre spending such as colocation and hosted application management. Digital transformation continues to impact IT strategies, particularly as they pertain to the adoption of cloud services," said Jonathan Tullett, Research Manager, IDC South Africa.

Ismail continued, "The South African market is uniquely positioned for this expanded investment in the region. Companies here are realising the value, flexibility and scalability of the cloud and are beginning to understand that their aging, legacy on-premise systems are no longer meeting their needs in this digital age."

Martin Painter, Sales Director EMEA at NetSuite, said the company has been eager to expand to South Africa for some time and now has a solution, available through various channels, for fast-growing businesses.

Oracel NetSuite also used local service providers for many years, but not having offices or dedicated sales resources in the country meant limited exposure.

"The acquisition of NetSuite by Oracle has now given NetSuite the boost with investment into resources that enables us to directly target the market through dedicated salespeople, pre-sales people and the infrastructure to support them," says Painter.

"The recent addition of additional partners such as Brighthouse (Dimension Data), EOH, Inplenion International, LightCone and BCX have both substantially increased the choice, coverage and implementation capabilities in the market," he adds.

The NetSuite team describes the value proposition as an opportunity for the market to tap into a business management system powered by Oracle at the back end "while being a totally user friendly business driven system at the front," says Painter.

This proposition is targeted at fast-growing and expanding companies primarily within the SME sector.

"For smaller businesses, it makes sense that someone else is providing the infrastructure, service, uptime, updates and security that a smaller organisation needs but does not have the resources or budget to cover," says Painter.

Partner ecosystem

As part of its expansion strategy, in addition to its existing partner in the region, BlueBridge One, NetSuite added four new implementation partners operating in South Africa, including Business Connexion, EOH Mthombo, Dimension Data, and XZQ Services.

Oracle NetSuite has for some years been servicing the rest of Africa with partners such as Softype and has experienced successes in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Mauritius.

"We are continually looking to optimise the way in which we take NetSuite to market providing an industry leading cloud solution to the many businesses across the region. To do this, Oracle NetSuite will be looking for additional partners in most regions to provide customers right across the African region more choice in implementation and set-up," Painter adds.

South Africa is the primary focus initially and the company is looking to work with several implementation partner prospects in the South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

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