Business software giant plans China expansion
NetSuite, an online seller of business-automation software controlled by technology mogul Larry Ellison, plans to step up its expansion into China through the mainland's fast-growing e-commerce industry.
Zach Nelson (pictured), the president and chief executive of NetSuite, said the company was keen to establish partnerships with mainland online retailers to drive the adoption of its unique 'e-commerce-as-a-service' platform that merchants can subscribe to, customise and quickly deploy in the domestic and international markets. 'We think our SuiteCommerce platform will be an accelerator of our growth in China and other markets worldwide,' Nelson said.
California-based NetSuite, which was founded as NetLedger in 1998, is the world's top cloud computing-based supplier of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to companies. The firm is listed in New York and posted record revenue of US$263.2 million last year. Cloud computing enables companies to buy, lease, sell, or distribute over the internet a vast range of software, business systems, data and other digital resources as an on-demand service, like electricity from a power grid. 'Cloud' refers to the internet, which is depicted in that form in computer network diagrams.
NetSuite made its initial foray into China via Hong Kong in 2008 and has since slowly built up its presence on the mainland through systems integrators and other channel partners.
It has about 40 customers in China and eight channel partners.
The company, which has 12,000 corporate customers worldwide, launched its SuiteCommerce platform last month to provide businesses with a central system to manage all their e-commerce transactions with consumers and other businesses through a website, smartphone, social media site, or in a physical store.
NetSuite's prospects for SuiteCommerce on the mainland look promising based on the rapid growth of the online retail market.
Total online shopping revenue on the mainland is forecast to reach 1.2 trillion yuan (HK$1.48 trillion) this year from 773 billion yuan last year, according to iResearch.
The mainland's largest e-commerce players, however, have implemented their own proprietary online-selling platforms to support multiple merchants and brands.
These include the Alibaba Group's market-leading online-shopping services TMall and Taobao Marketplace, and Alibaba.com, the world's biggest business-to-business e-commerce provider.
Beijing Ule E-Commerce, a joint venture between China Post and Li Ka-shing's Tom Group, has also built a proprietary online-selling platform for various merchants and brands.
'The Chinese e-commerce market has been interesting to us because the winners have been aggregator sites like Alibaba, which list individual sellers without their own physical brand or presence,' Nelson said.
'The opportunity for us in China is that we can immediately deliver an Amazon.com-like experience for every online merchant with customers and suppliers across different touch points, whether smartphones, media tablets or social media sites.'
A spokesman for Alibaba Group said the company was always open to talks with other companies.