NetSuite chief executive Zach Nelson has hailed his firm's channel programme as being "the best" for SaaS partners as he talks up the company's channel credentials.
NetSuite has more than 500 partners worldwide, with around 75 partners in the UK, and 40 per cent of its business is done through the channel.
Nelson (pictured) told CRN at a NetSuite event in London that the channel was initially wary of NetSuite because it upgraded its own software, meaning there was less work for partners to do. But he said the attraction of recurring revenues won them over.
He explained: "[With] SaaS it is pretty hard to figure out how to get resellers involved in this manner of selling software, as opposed to the last generation, so I think we have a great programme which has overcome some of those hurdles.
"We thought [the recurring revenue scheme] would be important for them being successful, so every year the customer renewed they would make their percentage again. We are the first and probably still the only company that has a recurring revenue model for our partners.
"I think we have the best programme for partners from a SaaS perspective."
The San Mateo, California-based vendor was founded in 1998 under the name NetLedger, and its first product was an online accounting software solution. Nelson became CEO in 2002 and the company went public in 2007.
"We started our life as a direct company, so to be at 40 per cent indirect, is pretty amazing," said Nelson. "Even when we were really small we always knew that the channel would be important to reaching the customer base that we were targeting."
The cloud-based vendor's biggest rival in the UK is Sage, and the last few years have seen Sage partners including Siracom and Eureka Solutions move to sell NetSuite products. Nelson admits that NetSuite does look to specifically recruit Sage partners.
He added: "But when a partner has built their business around one platform, they are pretty reticent to change to another platform. What gets them to come to NetSuite is when they lose deals to another one of our partners, which happens all the time now.
"We love Sage partners; they have great customer relationships, they have great skills and they have already built great businesses on the last architecture so we are excited to have them on the next architecture."
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