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May 10, 2011
NetSuite is expanding its SaaS strategy beyond SMB into enterprise accounts. Along the way, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson does not expect to the cloud company to experience channel conflict with cloud integrators and VARs.
“We sell to the Fortune 5 million,” quipped Nelson. “We have 200 channel partners and 100 inside sales reps. There are plenty of customers to pursue without experiencing channel conflict.”
During the NetSuite SuiteWorld conference today in San Francisco today, Nelson said channel partners now drive 4o percent of NetSuite’s quarterly revenues, up from about 30 percent in 2010 and roughly 20 percent in 2009. “We’ve seen the growth in our channel. And we expect continued growth.”
That said, Nelson conceded that NetSuite has rules of engagements to help channel partners avoid run-ins with NetSuite’s direct sales team. In fact, Nelson said NetSuite now routes customer leads to its best partners. And large partners are pulling NetSuite into new deals. A prime example: Accenture helped NetSuite win business with Qualcomm, Nelson asserted.
To my surprise, Nelson has mentioned channel partners multiple times today — during keynotes and private sessions with media and analysts. Remember: Most of the audience here at NetSuite SuiteWorld involves end-customers. But Nelson continues to bang the drum for NetSuite’s channel.
Assuming his comments are sincere, the cloud-related channel chatter is refreshing.
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