ERP vendor NetSuite is expanding further into Europe after establishing a "solid" base of partners in the UK.
Mark Woodhams, managing director EMEA at NetSuite, said the vendor has 25 partners in the UK, and is now ready to branch further out in Europe.
He said: "We've grown from about 35 employees in EMEA to around 880, of which just under 300 sit in the UK. The UK has always been the primary market.
"We now have 25 solid partners in the UK. Twenty five feels like a healthy number without saturating it and having all the partners compete against each other. It feels like the right kind of number to support the growth structure in the UK."
Woodhams said the main focus now is Benelux and the Nordics, with an office now in Amsterdam and plans for another possible office in Stockholm underway.
NetSuite previously got 70 per cent of its revenues from direct sales, until about four years ago when the vendor decided to drive direct sales more to accelerate growth. Channel sales now account for 39 per cent of its overall revenue.
Woodhams said the vendor's ERP market share in the UK is currently six to seven per cent, which he thinks provides an opportunity for its current UK partners.
David Turner, senior director of EMEA marketing, added: "We are still tiny in the market place really. There is plenty of opportunity for partners to go out and spread the word about us."
NetSuite is looking for around at least five or six partners in each country within southern and central Europe. Woodhams said the vendor doesn't usually use distribution but would consider it on a per country basis.
He added: "We need someone prepared to create the market. [In the UK], where we are established, it is much easier to slot a partner in. In a country where we are not very well known you need to be entrepreneurial and want to make a difference."
Turner said that an ideal partner would be someone currently selling on-premise ERPs who wants to move into the cloud.
NetSuite's main competitors are on premise ERP vendors including Sage, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Woodhams said when he started at the vendor four years ago, in the first year 52 per cent of the company's sales were conversions from Sage products.
"While we still convert people from Sage, it is now a much broader mix including Microsoft, Oracle and SAP conversions."
VAR First Hosted has been a NetSuite partner for over ten years. Its owner Andrew Peddie said he thinks the demand for NetSuite is picking up in Europe as its products mature and it becomes better known.
He said: "We were a conventional IT business and we saw the value of cloud computing long before the term cloud computing became common. We started with two people based on my credit card, and we now have more than 50 people in the team, 100 per cent dedicated to NetSuite's applications.
"I think because NetSuite has previously been a niche product, it was widely known in the US but outside of that there hasn't been as much publicity. I think now that the products have matured it gives great value. Now customers are finding us."
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