How NetSuite Helps Australian Businesses Grow | Scott Wiltshire
How NetSuite Helps Australian Businesses Grow | Scott Wiltshire
“Imagine interacting with the NetSuite screen. As it’s typing in all the things –the content that you don’t really want to type, but you have to– it’s suggesting the right products at the right time, in the right place. Providing you insights that are very actionable in that same string. I can’t wait to see the adoption of that. That means NetSuite customers around the world (about 37,000) are going to get access to doing things so much easier, faster, and with fewer errors than ever before.”
Today I’m speaking with Scott Wiltshire, Vice President & GM, Oracle NetSuite ANZ.
Founded in 1998, Oracle NetSuite is the world’s first cloud company. For more than 25 years, NetSuite has helped businesses gain the visibility, control and agility to build and grow a successful business.
First focused on financials and ERP, they now provide an integrated system that also includes inventory management, HR, professional services automation and omnichannel commerce, used by more than 37,000 customers in 219 countries and dependent territories.
In this episode we talk about the triggers that would lead you to move from an App Stack centred around the smaller GL’s like QBO or Xero to an ERP solution like NetSuite. It’s interesting to note that NetSuite has “SuiteApps” which are a collection of third-party NetSuite integrations vetted and approved by Oracle NetSuite. At the SuiteWorld 2023 conference there were hundreds of vendors representing Apps from the Oracle NetSuite marketplace. Some that listeners may be familiar with include Expensify, and ApprovalMax. As well as “SuiteApps” bespoke solutions can be built for NetSuite users. My understanding is that sometimes users opt to use a third party application rather than a similar module available within NetSuite due to functionality, flexibility or pricing. So essentially you could have an ERP level App stack.
I was kindly hosted by Oracle NetSuite to attend their largest annual gathering of the NetSuite community, at their flagship conference SuiteWorld 2023 in Las Vegas.
Can you share with us a bit of who you are? Where are you from? And what do you do?
Scott: Okay, yes, absolutely. My name is Scott Wiltshire. I’m the vice president and general manager for Australia and New Zealand for Oracle NetSuite. So I am lucky enough to lead the Australian New Zealand operations for our NetSuite solution and NetSuite team. We take our NetSuite cloud ERP to market. From Sydney, Australia, Northern Beaches, specifically, but currently sitting in Las Vegas at our global user conference, SuiteWorld ’23.
Heather: Which is very sweet, isn’t it?
Scott: Everything sweet around NetSuite. It’s amazing.
Heather: Yes, with a theme it’s a bit sweeter, isn’t it?
Heather: Let me jump in with the sort of hard questions initially.
How does NetSuite stand out from other ERP solutions?
Scott: Right. Okay.
Heather: Now that we’ve given away the sweetness of it.
Scott: It is. Besides being extremely well much sweeter, much sweeter than our competition. So the unique thing about NetSuite is, hopefully you’ve seen a little bit about this, we saw our founder, Evan Goldberg, up on stage.
Heather: It was very impressive to be founder 25 years later, still here.
Heather: One of those blow-up car party flippy doll things on the stage with him.
Scott: Oh, yes. The wacky inflatable arm flailing car sales sort of thing. He did a great job there, didn’t he? But yeah, I mean, he’s part of the biggest part of our story. I think, is, you know, we were founded 25 years ago. We were born in the cloud. So back then we’ve always been one version of the system. Over the internet, only. There has never been an on premise. We’ve never really had to re-platform because of you know, we’ve acquired all these cobbled together solutions, or they’re on premise, and we’ve put them on to cloud. It was born in the cloud, from day one. So in its architecture, Evans was the CEO, but obviously, the chief architect or the CTO from day one, and still is today.
Heather: All right.
Scott: He’s the visionary for the product. So to have that, there’s another part of that uniqueness is having that very clear vision for where we wanted to take NetSuite from a architecture perspective, from a solution perspective. It has been very steady, very, you know. Single focused for all of these years. So we’re extremely lucky to have that that’s very rare. And it’s absolutely unique to our competition. So, yeah, so what do we do better? Well, were born in the cloud, where all 37,000 customers are on the same version of the product. The product gets newer, every year, not older. We provide or release two major upgrades every year. And we do something like 300 minor updates during the year as well. So you know, as my customers keep telling me, this is the last ERP they’ll ever need. It grows with the customer. And now engagement, we’ve got a huge customer base. We’ve learned a lot about ERP, in Australia and New Zealand, but obviously around the world as well. So our engagement style now is really helping people unlock the value of NetSuite, and you’ll see we’re talking about suite up or unlock the suite. Again, plenty of sweets there. But that’s about just engaging with clients to help understand their business, how their business is evolving over time. Because you know, the businesses that signed up with us, even last year, they’re different businesses to what they were last year. And but certainly if you’ve been with us for many years, your business is changing rapidly over that time the marketplace is changing, the industries are changing. But not only that, NetSuite changing to it’s getting better and better and newer and newer. So we do a lot of work with our clients to provide them a dedicated account management team to ensure they’re getting the most out of the system. And it’s been tailored to utilise in the best possible way to provide the most value for their business.
Heather: It’s very interesting. I know that I’m bumping into people around here who are working for NetSuite. They tell me the culture has a wonderful culture. It sounds like that’s sort of been born home from 25 years ago as well.
Scott: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, I’ve been at NetSuite for 10 years. The average tenure in some of our teams is just amazing. I’m by no means like an old timer, so to speak. Well, you’ve seen Evans there for 25 years, but there’s still a crew, you know, 15 plus years. And I think that speaks to the culture of the business, when you can retain your staff keep them happy, they’re still turning up to these events, feeling super excited. I mean, it’s just so energising to come to a place like this and see the potential of NetSuite and see the ecosystem. Got a huge partner ecosystem, obviously, huge customer ecosystem. See, all this energy in and around NetSuite. It’s, yeah, it’s a real shot in the arm. I love it. I love it. And I think you know that we all feel that. I know, when I go back to Australia. We’re not lucky enough to have the entire operation on pause, so they can come here to see that there’s plenty back in Australia. But we do regional events like this, which very similar. Just a smaller version, obviously. But it gives the same sort of impact. I know, I always sort of joke, you come to an event like this, and it makes you a NetSuiter for life. And it really does. You know, my management team has been around for multiple years. And they’re all here thinking, wow, this is so, so cool. So we’ll go back and take that energy to the market and share the messages, or the latest product releases that sort of thing.
Heather: Absolutely. So many of our listeners are sitting in this SME space. Talking about that sitting on app stacks, which was very much a negative or anti app keynote this morning. It was very focused on the sort of single source of truth, single source of data truth. So the accountants and the bookkeepers? They’ve got clients who are sitting in the SME space, probably the M space, medium space, what are the triggers that they should be going, okay? We need to start talking. NetSuite might not be me, but we just need to have an introduction.
What are the key triggers or indicators that they should be contemplating an ERP solution like NetSuite?
Scott: Yeah. So what are the triggers? So we we work with a lot of companies that start to outgrow accounting, right? We really cater to the small, medium size, but all the way up to multi billion dollar companies as well. Like I said, NetSuite can grow with you. So we are, you know, partner for life in that regard. But what are the triggers? So often, if you’re an accountant, or your finance team, you’re starting to think you might have more than one in your finance team. You’re starting to think about your financial clothes, processes and thinking, Man, this is taking too long, maybe longer than it should be. You’re you’re doing manual consolidations, things like that, you’re thinking, wouldn’t it be nice for a system to take over this, get rid of all this manual processing. Also, when you’re struggling to get visibility into your business, like real time visibility to use to that you need to provide actionable insights to your team. So they can make more data driven decisions. Those things, they’re the triggers. So the people coming to us are saying, you know, we’ve got too many systems. I can’t I need that single source of truth. Or my financial closed process or consolidations are taking too long. I can’t give accurate reporting to the board, or I’ve just had to, you know, go back to the CEO for the third time and say, sorry, here’s the actual numbers, those last ones, ignore those. If you’ve had ever had any of that experience, you should be talking to NetSuite because we can help you, right? This is the beauty of NetSuite. You can start very small. It is cloud, it is consumption based. So you can bite small, chew fast. You can take a little bit, scale up and scale down if you need to. And you there’s a much better way and provide you know, the CEO a dashboard so they can log in and get the real numbers.
Heather: I think it’s really important for them to hear that you can actually start small.
Heather: If you are a small business seeing issues, then it’s something that you need to start contemplating.
Scott: Absolutely. Yep. Come and talk to the team reach out to us. www.netsuite.com. And, yeah, it’s just check it out. And we can take you through a product demonstration or something like that, to see if it’s suitable for you now. And if it isn’t, at least you’ll know, in the future, if you start thinking about scaling your business.
Scott: The sooner, the better. The longer you’re on NetSuite, the more value. And we know we’ve got the data that supports that. That’s why we’re, you know, we’re changing some of our licensing to more flexible arrangements to bring more people on. Because more people in your business using NetSuite, the more efficiencies, you’re gonna gain. The more value you’re gonna see.
Heather: Look, that’s really interesting.
There’s been an announcement about flexible licensing. How important is it people are aware of that?
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. So what does that mean? That means that, you know, we also have financial users or general users that you pay a certain amount for. But you know, we’re gonna look at doing cut down user licences for, you know, warehouse workers, or, you know, maybe support, that sort of thing. So, again, it’s just providing that flexible option. So you can bring more of your time into using the system interacting with the single source of source of truth, or working from the same page.
What do you see as some of the trends impacting the Australian or Australian New Zealand business landscape?
Scott: Sure, so the there’s a couple of things. You know, obviously, the adoption of cloud technology is, you know, first and foremost, for us. But we’re not really selling the cloud story too much these days. That trend has kind of come and it’s here to stay. I don’t know whether it’s a trend anymore. But yeah, we so you know, our customer base typically all have a Cloud First policy, right? Or a strategy around well, let’s use cloud based technologies, because we don’t want to focus on our IT and maintaining systems, ourselves and the costs and the overheads and all of that. So that’s absolutely there. Obviously, the biggest hot topic at the moment is AI. As you’ve seen from the keynote speeches and the product releases. We’ve got an amazing roadmap of something like 80 solutions built from that, incorporating AI to help businesses achieve, you know, do more with less effectively. So that’s a trend that’s not going away, but I’m sure the hype cycle will come down a bit. But as we release those functionalities, it’s going to have a huge impact for our customers for NetSuite users. Because, again, it’s their core system of truth. So as you’re interacting with the system, if it’s starting to kind of key ahead and suggest actionable insights for you, you know. Just the sky’s the limit in terms of like, what does this mean? Just imagine keying in, in interacting with records in the system. And it’s populating a lot of the content for you. And suggesting things that you can really action in that same screen to maybe to upsell or cross sell or, you know, sell products in the right to at the right place at the right time. Products that are in stock, or higher margin or something like that. So there’s some really amazing announcements there. And that’s in line with the themes that we’re seeing. One other theme that I’m noticing, I’ve personally noticed this over the 10 years that I’ve been in the business 10 years ago. You know, when we when we went to customers, or they’re looking at evaluating NetSuite, and they decided to go with us, you can customise NetSuite to a very large degree. And those, you know, the two major releases still carry those customisations forward. So it’s fantastic opportunity for us. But 10 years ago, customers were really starting with a blank piece of paper and trying to design their own ERP asking for very unique accounting processes because their business’s unique. Thankfully, that trend is really shifting to more of adopting leading practices. So we’re getting larger, far more sophisticated businesses than I’ve ever seen before. Far more complex businesses that I’ve ever seen before come to us and say we want to adopt leading practices, you’ve done this 37,000 times. You might know something I’ve only done this once So twice, you know, in my career, how about utilis? How this should work and how we should run, you know, financial systems of processes for my type of business. And that trend is really good to see.
Heather: That is a great trend, because I know that you’re just like, why have you created something new? we can just do what everyone else is doing, it will work.
Scott: Well, that just means every implementation is unique when we do that. That means that the time, it blows out the cost, the expense can blow out. But adopting leading practices, NetSuite is very unique to this. We know how to do this so much that we will give you a fixed price quote, for your implementation. That is absolutely unique in industry. And we can do that because we, again, 37,000 times we have that experience to say. We’ll put our money where our mouth is. Here’s how we here’s how a business like yours should operate from this kind of financial processes. Sure, you can chop and change a little bit here and there. And we can account for that no problem. And everyone does to a degree, but generally only a small degree these days, thankfully. But then yeah, we can roll you out. And the sooner you’re up and running, the sooner you’re interacting and using a system, the sooner you’re getting value and driving efficiencies, reducing cost. And that’s what we’re here to do. That’s the game.
Heather: I imagine if you’re implementing sort of saying, Okay, this is a streamlined implementation, this is typically the way we see it done. It actually makes it easier to hire people who’ve worked in another NetSuite solution, because they’re working on a similar workflow.
Scott: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you’ve seen the ecosystem here, we’ve got a huge amount, you in a very healthy partner network. And the user group, the user, community administrators, and things like that consultants around NetSuite is really thriving. But yeah, absolutely. The expertise comes along with that. And isn’t it much better to work go with what works, evidence based, you know. This has worked over and over again, let’s go with that, as opposed to, you know, maybe just trying to build something new.
Heather: Absolutely. And when when we are juggling talent shortage is easier to have someone who is trained.
Scott: Absolutely, we are juggling talent shortages. And that’s a big part of what we’re focusing on helping our clients do more with less. Because we know, it’s harder to get people to harder to keep people. So to be able to, you know, provide a better experience for the people that you do have and automate a lot of the kind of the low end tasks, the low value tasks. Free those people up to do much higher, more fulfilling parts more strategic, you know, activities for your business.
Are there unique challenges or opportunities Australian businesses can take advantage of in the region?
Scott: What’s unique to us? I think, for the Australian market, that is nothing terribly unique. We were, I guess the distance from the rest of the world is a little bit unique, you know, supply chain. Challenges aren’t new to us, being so far away, but you know what, that’s more about the culture than I see that the response isn’t technology response. I don’t think they’re I think Australians are more resilient. They’ve got that challenger attitude. And we see some fantastic Australian businesses come on to NetSuite in a growth phase of their business and go global and really challenge you. And we’ve got some amazing customers. I was out with Jason that last night from Speedmaster, who’s, you know, an Australian, ecommerce, automotive parts supplier with 2000 skews, if you can believe it, been managed. And he’s now based in the US and running a business that is multiple times the size that was when they joined with NetSuite. But still with the same core size of this staff, this same team. So driving huge efficiencies, there is kind of a wall-to-wall NetSuite now. But to answer your question, you know, what’s unique in the Australian marketplace? I think it’s more just to do with the culture than anything about the technology. We are challengers, were early adopters. We need to get things done now, despite the challenges that we see. And that’s, you know, how good is that? I deal with a lot of customers. I’m very, very lucky because, you know. Typically, people start thinking about NetSuite when they’re in that idea of like, can I scale this business? I’m going through some growth. So you know, the customers that we’re working with very exciting. It’s an exciting time for them. It’s exciting time for us.
So I did notice that the product roadmap they had Australian tax compliance, I believe, with its integration through avalera?
How does NetSuite cater to the specific needs of companies in Australia and New Zealand?
Scott: Avalara. Yeah. So for stripe so a lot of our products almost all of them are localised for Australian use. Now, compliance tax, that sort of thing. Local language nuances. Yeah, see, ANZ it’s a and Zed and ANZ. And we have, again, a very healthy partner network, partner ecosystem, both on solution providers, as well as what we call our SDN partners, their technology partners that build applications on NetSuite. We have a bunch of phenomenally successful Australian partners that are localising things and building solutions that cater to the local market. We have a huge customer base, and a very healthy partner network down in Australia and New Zealand.
Do we have a few unicorns on NetSuite in Australia?
Scott: We do. We actually do.
Heather: Don’t need to name them.
Scott: Yeah. But I was just thinking there. How many are there? I might be sharing too much? Because I don’t think there’s that many. But we do. Yes.
Heather: That’s very good.
What’s been one big takeaway for you from the SuiteWorld 2023 conference?
Scott: Look, I think I can’t go past this AI. You know, I know it’s hyped on the you know. I struggle with it, because of the hype factor. But then I’m just thinking the practicalities of it. I imagine interacting with the screen and NetSuite screen. And it’s typing in all the things, the content that you don’t really want to type, but you have to, and it’s suggesting, you know, the right products at the right time in the right place, and helping you providing you insights that are very actionable in that same string. I’m thinking, how is this going to impact our customer. I just can’t wait to get it. I can’t wait to see the adoption of that. And what that means for NetSuite customers around the world 37,000 customers are going to get access to just be doing things so much easier, faster, with less, you know, errors than ever before. So what is the benefit there? It’s like it’s mind blowing.
Heather: Yeah, it is mind blowing. And customers who are curious, and who experiment with it. We’ll see the velocity of ahead of other people will just be amazing.
Scott: That’s right. Yeah.
Heather: Like someone was saying that. He can see doing updating 30,000 skews in 10 minutes. With it. Using the GPT.
Scott: Yeah. We’re partnering with Cohere, but it is generative AI. So it is generating content for you based off, you know, the training that it’s had. But and learning from your account. So, I mean. I just can’t wait to hear the benefits of what people are doing with this. I mean, that one that you just told me I’m like, well…
Heather: Yeah. The interesting thing is, they can do it that way, but then they could put it into Spanish and into Italian. And they’re going multi country, multi language.
Scott: It’s incredible, isn’t it? That’s the most exciting thing to me. But I honestly I got to sit down and think about this, but and even the stories that we will hear in a year’s time of how people are using that to drive efficiencies through their business. I just can’t wait to hear them.
Heather: Yeah, yeah, it will be exciting.
Scott: It’s a good reason to get on NetSuite.
Heather: Thank you so much for joining us on the cloud stories podcast really enjoyed talking with you.
How can our listeners get in contact with you or with a NetSuite team in Australia, New Zealand?
Scott: Yeah, it’s really as simple as hitting a website www.netsuite.com. When you do that from Australia, it’ll put an AU somewhere. When you do that from New Zealand to get you to the right people. We have a big team in Australia. So you know, you hit the website, have a look, take a product to get someone you know, reach out to us on any of the methods. We will be in touch with you very quickly. No strings attached. If you just want to find out a little bit more about the solution, get a product demo, even if you’re thinking about for next year or a couple of years time, or what if if I decide this product, this business that I’m going after is gonna go big. I just want to know how, what I should be thinking about now. So when the time comes, I can go through this in a smooth process and, you know, worry about my business and not about my it. Fantastic.
Heather: Thank you so much, Scott.
Scott: You’re welcome. Thank you for having me. It’s been pleasure.
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About Heather Smith
USA Accounting Today listed Heather as one of 21 people helping shape (and reshape) the accounting industry in 2020.
A technology and lifestyle accountant with a deep understanding of automated integrated cloud business tools and how business apps can be implemented and utilised effectively to improve workflow and surface information useful for data-informed decisions. She extensively shares her methodologies, business strategies and work-life balance practices through the ‘Cloud Stories’ podcast, multiple Cloud Accounting books, the Accounting Apps newsletter, blogs and social media platforms.
A FCA, FCCA, FICB, commerce graduate, and accredited trainer.