NetSuite to increase focus on ERP for manufacturers

The announcement comes during the vendor's SuiteWorld conference

Capitalizing on apparent demand from customers, NetSuite is adding new capabilities aimed at manufacturers to its cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.

NetSuite will announce a new version of its existing manufacturing ERP during the SuiteWorld conference in San Jose on Tuesday, CEO Zach Nelson said in an interview prior to the event. It's also going to announce a partnership with Autodesk that will see the latter's PLM (project lifecycle management) application integrated with NetSuite, Nelson said.

"By integrating with their PLM we're effectively integrating with their design products as well," of which Autodesk has many, for 3D modeling and other areas, Nelson added.

All told, NetSuite will now be able to tout itself as a company able to give manufacturers an integrated suite spanning from initial product design to manufacturing, distribution and sales, potentially improving its ability to compete with the likes of Infor, Epicor and SAP.

While NetSuite overall grew about 30 percent last year, its manufacturing software business shot up 60 percent, according to Nelson. "The cloud is basically transforming every industry at different rates," he said. "Now what you're seeing is the last large industry group, manufacturing, is beginning the transition."

The "ancient" systems manufacturers have used can't adapt to industry trends such as direct-to-consumer sales and new manufacturing methods, Nelson said. "I don't know what was before the Stone Age, but that's what they're running."

NetSuite is making another announcement at the conference that will take NetSuite's e-commerce capabilities, which got a boost last week through the acquisition of order management vendor OrderMotion, and allow them to be used in a "one to many" fashion between a company and its supply chain partners, he said.

In addition, NetSuite will announce a new partner program called Built for NetSuite. This will provide customers with "an added level of confidence" that partner-built applications work well with the core NetSuite software, Nelson said.

NetSuite is expecting 5,000 people to attend the conference in San Jose, up from 3,500 last year.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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