Cloud

NetSuite launches “commerce as a service” so any company can be the next Amazon

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

If you thought cloud companies lacked a sense of humor, think again. NetSuite’s SuiteWorld partner conference in San Francisco opened with a “Wayne’s World”-themed video, in which chief executive Zach Nelson (as Wayne) and founder Evan Goldberg (as Garth) talked about the company’s grand plans to change business software.

Those plans include a new e-commerce focused service, SuiteCommerce. Nelson unveiled the new “commerce as a service” offering, which manages online, mobile, and brick-and-motar transactions and customer interactions.

“We’re transforming how your business operates and how your business interacts with other businesses,” said Nelson. “Customers want to transact with several different devices and they want you to remember them across devices.”

SuiteCommerce includes enterprise resource planning services, customer-relationship management features, and support for global transactions NetSuite is also offering a SuiteCommerce API so it can integrate with a partner’s technology.

One the first companies to partner with the SuiteCommerce is mobile payments startup Square. NetSuite’s services will connect with Square Register, a mobile point of sale system using a cash register. On Square’s side, merchants will have a way to take payments and then they can use SuiteCommerce to manage sales and customer interactions.

“SuiteCommerce has support for any device, any business model, and it can modified for an ever-changing landscape,” Nelson noted. The hope is that any company can be the next Amazon, equipped with a full-featured online store.

NetSuite already has a strong e-commerce presence in its business, with 11.2 million products being managed on 2,800 websites run by the company, according to Nelson. Now it is branching out to manage online and in-store sales and reduce the “hairball” of communication that happens during every transaction. The company is also focusing on machine-to-machine business transactions, where humans aren’t involved.

“The human as a CRM system will be a thing of the past,” said Nelson in reference to the increasing use of machine to machine transactions.

NetSuites counts Evernote, Roku, Jawbone, and Airbnb as customers. Nelson also announced that SAP, a major competitor to NetSuite, has renewed its license with NetSuite to use its services for part of its business needs.

The company, founded in 1998 long before the likes of Salesforce, provides a suite of accounting, customer relationship management and other business software through the cloud. It calls it services “enterprise resource planning” (ERP).

Photo: Sarah Mitroff/VentureBeat