NetSuite's new Commerce-as-a-Service designed to deliver unified platform for M2M business models

Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO

San Francisco, CA, USA — NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), a vendor of cloud-based business management software suites, has launched its NetSuite ‘Commerce as a Service’ (CaaS) platform. This is designed for businesses to manage their interactions with other businesses and directly with consumers via a cloud platform that delivers the customer experience, via any current or future device, directly on the core NetSuite cloud ERP/CRM business management application.

At the heart of the CaaS initiative is NetSuite SuiteCommerce, a new ‘commerce-aware’ platform that provides a central system to manage all transactions and associated customer interactions with consumers and other businesses, regardless of their touchpoint (whether it’s a website, smartphone, social media site, in-store, etc.).

“Over the past decade, NetSuite has transformed how our customers operate their businesses internally. Over the next decade, NetSuite will transform how businesses operate with other businesses and with their customers through NetSuite Commerce as a Service. Our new NetSuite SuiteCommerce offering is at the heart of this transformation,” says Zach Nelson (pictured), CEO of NetSuite. “By transforming the NetSuite business application into a commerce-aware platform, we enable our customers to extend the richest set of cloud operational capabilities available anywhere directly to their customers, regardless of the device those customers are using — be it a smartphone, a tablet, a personal computer, a point-of-sale system, or touchpoints not yet developed.”

At the turn of the century, driven by widespread adoption of the internet by businesses and consumers, commerce evolved from a process that was conducted on the phone or in a retail setting to the ability to sell online via websites. This drove the introduction of stand-alone eCommerce applications designed to support the emerging requirement to sell online.

Consumers quickly adopted eCommerce for its global accessibility, 24×7 availability and diversity of products. Because the industry evolved rapidly and companies were typically running their back-end operations on legacy systems such as Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains, Sage or SAP systems locked behind firewalls with no web capabilities, companies were forced to implement disconnected solutions for selling online, resulting in fragmented customer information built with a distribution channel focus — one set of applications dedicated to retail channel, a separate set of applications for eCommerce channels, and yet another for telesales operations.

Increasingly, however, companies recognise that implementations of first-generation eCommerce systems have resulted in frustrated customers and ever-increasing integration costs as eCommerce becomes a core business competence.

In addition, the proliferation of new end-user preferred ‘touchpoints’ such as smartphones and social media has increased customers’ expectations of a tailored, individualised experience. Consumers assume businesses have full visibility to their transactions across touchpoints and will use that knowledge to provide an optimised experience. Likewise, businesses expect their suppliers to have insight into their business relationships, and assume that they will deliver a B2B experience as compelling as a B2C website.

Physical products also increasingly include commerce-embedded capabilities, which enable machine-to-machine (M2M) commerce without human involvement, based on defined business rules for predictable needs. Enterprises of all sizes have been challenged to respond to this avalanche of requirements because of the speed of change and the daunting burden of integrating inter-related systems to efficiently transact business across these various interaction points.

Rather than take the bolt-on approach of first generation eCommerce systems that attempted to cobble together multiple systems to address emerging customers and business requirements, NetSuite SuiteCommerce claims to enable companies to manage their interaction with customers (regardless of channel) directly from the most widely used cloud-native business management system. By doing so, NetSuite’s integrated ERP/CRM system is transformed into a commerce engine that is exposed to customers in a device-independent way — supporting traditional browser-based commerce as well as any emerging touchpointa such as smartphones, tablets and Point of Sales (POS) systems. Because of both the presentation layer and business logic flexibility, the architecture supports any business model, be it B2C, B2B, M2M, or any combination of these.

“Every company wants to deliver the commerce experience that Apple delivers to customers — an experience that recognises the customer regardless of channel or device, and efficiently delivers goods and services in world-class fashion, projecting a powerful brand message. NetSuite SuiteCommerce is architected to enable companies of all sizes to deliver this type of rich, touchpoint-agnostic experience to their customers,” adds Zach Nelson, NetSuite’s CEO. “The secret sauce behind the Apple and NetSuite approach is an integrated back-end system that combines core business processing capabilities with rich customer profiles, to deliver the brand promise of a personalised experience, anytime from anywhere.”

NetSuite SuiteCommerce is the result of several years of development. SuiteCommerce exposes native NetSuite commerce capabilities — including merchandising, pricing, promotions, payment processing, support management, and customer management — as services that can be leveraged by any presentation layer, while providing an integrated back-end business management system.

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