Lee Thompson, SVP and GM, Asia Pacific and Japan, NetSuite

August 10, 2015

Lee Thompson, SVP and GM, Asia Pacific and Japan, NetSuite

Please provide a brief overview of the company?

NetSuite enables companies globally to run complex mission-critical business processes in the cloud. Since it was founded in 1998, we have become the leading provider of business management software suites for divisions of large enterprises and mid-sized organisations seeking to upgrade their antiquated client/server systems. We enable companies to manage core key business operations in a single system, which includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Accounting, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Ecommerce. NetSuite enables companies to lower IT costs significantly while increasing productivity. Companies can operate across multiple territories, in multiple languages and currencies and ensure that they are able to gain real-time insights into their business 24/7 and from anywhere and from any device.

What sets the company apart from your competitors?

NetSuite was born in the cloud, so to speak. Cloud is at the heart of what we do and what we offer our customers. There are very few application software vendors/business process management software vendors today that can accurately claim to be a ‘true cloud’ solution – meaning that they are able to provide customers with multi-tenancy, multiple upgrades, a single version of the truth and all the benefits of a single application instance. NetSuite offers a full platform to run a business, while providing a robust ecosystem of partners providing complementary applications and the ability to customise the product for over 24,000 customers across the globe. Our legacy and the completely integrated functionality of our solutions is a huge advantage for us.

Who are typical prospects/customers?

Our sweet spot tends to be mid-market enterprises and divisions of large enterprises across the region that are looking to free their business from antiquated on premise systems locked behind a firewall. But the scalability of our cloud-based, mobile-enabled and social solutions means that our customers stretch across the spectrum of a company’s growth trajectory from small businesses poised for growth to global enterprises. We support more than 190 currencies, 19 languages and country-specific accounting standards across the globe so enterprises can deploy NetSuite to every corner of the globe with confidence.

When talking to customers/prospects what things are top of their agenda’s today?

Over the last few years we have seen the conversation with customers significantly shift as cloud-based technologies have matured. When NetSuite entered the market 17 years ago, we disrupted the industry with the idea of charging for software on a subscription basis. But as the cloud-based software industry is growing and expanding, we spend less time talking about the benefits of the cloud and more time on the actual functionality and the tangible business benefits that real-time access anywhere insights bring to an operation.

What are the company’s greatest challenges right now?

In APAC our key challenge is ensuring that we equip ourselves for continued and sustained dynamic growth. The region has woken up to what I like to call the ‘cloud inflection point’ and the opportunities for growth are exponential. This means ensuring that we attract the right staff; we already have over a thousand employees in APAC and bringing on additional talent almost weekly. We are also looking to boost our solution partner network which means ensuring that we attract high calibre partners. We will continue to sell directly but the channel will become key for us to meet our ambitious growth plans and help us leverage the potential that NetSuite has to gain further market share across the region.

And opportunities?

A key reason I joined NetSuite was the tremendous upside for growth that I can see across the Asia Pacific and Japan region. This is being powered by several factors. Firstly the cloud inflection point; no-one is building new on-premise business software solutions so cloud is now the future for business operations. Secondly agility; businesses need to be able to move swiftly and efficiently into new products, services and geographies wherever they happen to be and across any device. Finally, technology enabled globalisation means that many businesses need to raise their game and provide a more sophisticated omnichannel B2B and B2C experience in order to retain relevancy and market share.

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