Business Features - Business As Usual ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: , sectionmatch: 1

More Pinoy businesses turning to cloud technology for growth

NetSuite executives led by Evan Goldberg, founder and Chief Technology Officer (second from right) and Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO (center) answer tech journalists' questions during the press and analysts session at the cloud firm's annual global user conference in San Jose last May.    

SAN JOSE, California — As  the Philippines bats for the integration of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) into the global trade, it acknowledges that part of their success will hinge on using and taking advantage of electronic commerce platforms and even cloud computing to aid their business growth. 

At the recent ASEAN trade minister’s meeting, the government expressed hope that these businesses can leverage e-commerce and cloud technology for their growth in regional and global markets. 

American enterprise software company NetSuite supports the globalization of  Filipino SMEs, believing in their potential for expansion in Asia and the rest of the world. The cloud ERP and omni-channel vendor has a large presence in the Philippines and counts over a thousand clients that have embraced the cloud to expand their businesses. 

“There’s definitely opportunities for Filipino SMEs. We think those are the companies that is going to benefit most from the new Asean trade pact. These medium-sized businesses that want to take their products and services to Malaysia and Thailand and so forth with the trade pact," said James Dantow, NetSuite Vice President for Worldwide Support and General Manager for the Philippines, during a round-table interview with NetSuite executives on the sidelines of the cloud firm’s annual global user conference dubbed “NetSuite SuiteWorld 2015” here last May.”

"NetSuite wants to sell and enable its local customers. We want the Philippines to be competitive in Asia and the world with the cloud,” he stressed. 

NetSuite founder, chairman and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Evan Goldberg, also harped on the power of small retailers to make it big in the future with the use of the cloud. 

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

In a separate interview where Goldberg discussed the advantages of NetSuite’s omni-channel solution for commerce, he said NetSuite will always be supportive of small retailers.

”A lot of our customers are relatively small, specialized retailers, 5, 10, 20 stores, that kind of thing, obviously, we’re getting the big customers too,” Goldberg said, in reference to their clients who are maximizing the benefits of their omnichannel product.

"NetSuite keeps its eye on smaller, growing startups because that is where the great companies of the future are going to come from,” Goldberg said.

Unknown to many, NetSuite has been providing e-commerce and cloud computing software to medium-sized Filipino companies not just big conglomerates.                 

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said in the beginning, the company was designed as an ERP software provider for small and mid-sized companies. And even though, it’s already handling large enterprises now, NetSuite is still true to its mission of helping “small companies act big.”

A success story is Island Rose, an e-commerce Filipino company that sells roses and chocolates, which has been NetSuite’s partner for seven years. The company has been leveraging the features of NetSuite to increase its market sales for the past few years.

Dantow also cited their client Roxas Holdings Inc. which has been utilizing the cloud to achieve their growth targets.

”Roxas Holdings Inc. is banking on the  Asean trade pact, and they see huge opportunities in the cloud. It uses NetSuite’s B2B portal world for their invoicing, shipping and order management... these are the features that these businesses are leveraging to scale up,” Dantow said.

Reginald Singh, NetSuite’s vice-president for Asia, shared Dantow’s view, saying  SMEs  would definitely  want  the right cloud platform to go global.

”The challenges and aspirations that these SMEs face in the Philippines is similar to other businesses that I’ve talked to in other parts of Asia. They want to have a platform that can scale up with them and give them the flexibility, efficiency and agility to do that and NetSuite is a great platform, a great potential for these types of businesses, it has a very strong value proposition.  We see a growing number of customers in that segment. I was a NetSuite customer for four years and I’ve been here for one and half year, and I saw a big change in Asia for the last 12 to 18 months. Companies are now more open to adopt the cloud,” Singh added.                           

Naturale Labs, Explorer Freight use the cloud to scale up

Dantow cited two medium-sized Filipino companies that have adopted NetSuite’s business management solutions for its Philippine and Asia operations.  These are Naturale Labs, the maker of Beach Hut Sunblock and Explorer Freight Corp., a freight servicing and customs brokerage company.

”Explorer is using NetSuite for its whole end-to end shipping and delivery, not just in the managing the freighting but in the storing and the delivery of the items while Naturale Labs sells their  product in Indonesia, Bali and Thailand and they want to increase their sales so they work with NetSuite,” Dantow said.

Naturale Labs, which has a headquarters in Manila and a satellite office in Indonesia, is the maker and distributor of the popular Beach Hut sunblock line, the first and only sunblock in spray form. It currently manufactures and distributes 10 product brands and is being sold in Phuket, Thailand and Bali, Indonesia. The company is using NetSuite to run its business processes in the cloud, including financials, sales reporting, order and inventory management, distribution and purchasing from suppliers and manufacturers. 

A subsidiary of the larger Dragon Edge Group (DEG), Naturale Labs also uses NetSuite to manage distribution to retailers that offer Beach Hut products in more than 3,000 supermarket, convenience stores and other retail locations in the Philippines. 

Dennis Balajadia, president and founder of DEG, said NetSuite  has provided Naturale Labs with “great transparency into inventory and sales that we never had in our previous environment.” 

“We can now easily run reports on sales and automate large numbers of transactions on a daily basis. We’ve eliminated a great deal of manual work and can focus more time and resources on growing the business,” Balajadia said.

Prior to NetSuite, Naturale Labs was relying on manual processes with Excel spreadsheets, e-mail and paper reports.  But as the business grew, the company faced process delays and limited visibility because of its manual, time-consuming and potentially error-prone mix of systems, said Balajadia. 

 After going live in NetSuite in February 2015, with the help of CloudTech, a 5-Star NetSuite Solution Provider partner in the Philippines, Naturale Labs said it “gained real-time monitoring of sales and inventory across multiple locations, enabling Naturale Labs to ensure that its network of retail partners are stocked with Beach Hut sun lotion according to seasonal demands.” 

Explorer Freight, on the other hand, used to do business on a pair of outdated, homegrown on-premise applications.But now the company is leveraging NetSuite for its end-to-end workflow-driven efficiency across its core business processes, including financials, supply chain, customer relationship management (CRM) and warehousing operations, allowing the company to better serve its B2B customers, including firms in the utilities, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) industries, as well as companies shipping general cargo.

”One of the key reasons we chose NetSuite was that it could expand to our needs and provide the flexibility for our expected growth in the next five years,” said Kristine Pearce, Explorer Freight Comptroller. “NetSuite is a unified system that allows us to efficiently manage operations and monitor the business. We can maintain our traditional excellence in customer service while gaining the competitive advantage of a modern cloud solution.”

In addition, Explorer Freight staff can now view real-time financial and order information on demand rather than waiting for a monthly report. 

 "The good thing about the cloud is that it enables real-time collaboration of the different parts of the supply chain, Dantow stressed.

”We’ve had customers who used to take weeks and weeks to get a consolidated inventory with antiquated client/server ERP systems. With the cloud, they can open their device and have their inventory dowloaded in four or five seconds. Because of that, people working in trucks, sales, food services and pharmaceuticals can get orders in minutes, by uploading and streaming so that it makes them more productive, and they get the same cause and effect in a short time. All of our customers are excited in using the NetSuite platform,” he  added. 

Large companies in the Philippines like Jollibee and ABS-CBN continue to partner with NetSuite in their aim to conquer the global market.  

“Jollibee is using NetSuite to expand its business in China and Vietnam. Our company is offering a competitive advantage to our clients,” Nelson said.

NetSuite’s partnership with Microsoft  

One of the highlights of the conference is NetSuite’s announcement of its partnership with Microsoft in an effort to create new, innovative and future-proof solutions that connect NetSuite’s cloud ERP to Microsoft Office 365, Windows and Microsoft Azure.

The goal is to deliver “high-impact value, productivity and simplicity for mutual markets and customers.” 

With the collaboration, NetSuite is aiming to make things easy for its clients by forging “new and exciting partnerships to deal with the ever-increasing rate of change and a multitude of disruptive factors impacting each and every industry.”

"We’re thrilled to work with Microsoft to deliver a fluid cloud environment across the key NetSuite and Microsoft applications that companies and their employees rely on to continually improve their day-to-day operations and run their business better and more efficiently,” Nelson said.

Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella via a video message, welcomed the partnership, saying the integration is “like opening the doors of the front and back office, bringing together ERP and productivity to transform how people work.”

 Under this new partnership, there will be an immediate integration between NetSuite and Azure Active Directory that lets single sign on (SSO) for customers using NetSuite together with Azure Active Directory, thus cutting down the need for users to manage and use multiple passwords.

Nelson said that in the coming weeks, NetSuite and Microsoft will begin a cloud-to-cloud integration between NetSuite and Office 365, providing seamless access to both technologies within a single interface and improving productivity and collaboration across a variety of roles, from marketing, e-commerce, business analytics, retail store associates, financials and more. 

There will also be  integration with Microsoft Excel so that clients can connect NetSuite data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365 to visualize information and discover new insights into their business.

On the last quarter of 2015, NetSuite will move from AWS and on-premise deployments to leverage Azure as its preferred cloud infrastructure platform and will use Azure for testing and development. NetSuite also launched its SuiteCommerce InStore, a system that integrates comprehensive omni-channel capabilities into an enterprise-class, mobile-first, point-of-sale (POS) solution that “seamlessly unify the online and in-store customer journey.”

The company also announced big contract wins at the convention. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) will run its entire global financial operations on NetSuite OneWorld. International surf clothing company Billabong, on the other hand, has chosen NetSuite’s omni-channel feature, saying it configured to their needs of a single platform that has retail, web, B2B and B2C operations.

Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, on the other hand, also announced that it has implemented a new equipment and supply online ordering system for Domino’s Pizza franchisees. The new system is built on the NetSuite SuiteCommerce platform and enables Domino's network of over 1,000 independent franchisees in North America to easily order equipment and supplies online.

At the conference, NetSuite also mentioned its acquisition of Bronto, an omni-channel marketing software that will boost the cloud firm’s omni-commerce platform. Bronto will be fully integrated into the NetSuite platform but will operate as a separate unit.

"The cloud has come a long way and it is definitely the way to go forward," Nelson proclaimed.

”We’re at the ‘end of the beginning’ of the cloud, in that the cloud business model that NetSuite pioneered in 1998 is becoming the de facto standard for how fast-growth businesses are run.

The debate about cloud is over. If you are a software company and you are not in the cloud today, you will be out of business soon,” he said.

Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us: