NetSuite recently launched "Commerce as a Service" (CaaS). The technology lets businesses manage their interactions with both consumers and other businesses via a cloud platform that delivers the customer experience 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 offers a central system to manage all transactions and associated customer interactions on any touch point, from Web site to smartphone to social media site to in-store.
"Every company wants to deliver the commerce experience that Apple delivers to customers -- an experience that recognizes the customer regardless of channel or device, and efficiently delivers goods and services in world-class fashion, projecting a powerful brand message," said Zach Nelson, president and CEO of NetSuite.
"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 personalized experience, anytime from anywhere."
CRM System Transformed
The proliferation of new end-user preferred "touch points" such as smartphones and social media has increased customers' expectations of a tailored, individualized experience, according to NetSuite. Consumers assume businesses have full visibility to their transactions across touch points and will use that knowledge to provide an optimized experience.
At the same time, 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 Web site. And physical products increasingly include commerce-embedded capabilities, which enable machine-to-machine (M2M) commerce without the involvement of humans, based upon defined business rules for predictable needs.
With SuiteCommerce, NetSuite's integrated ERP/CRM system is essentially transformed into a commerce engine that is exposed to customers in a device-independent way. Because of both the presentation layer and business logic flexibility, NetSuite said, the architecture supports any business model, be it B2C, B2B, M2M, or any combination thereof.
Blurring the Boundaries
We turned to Sanjeev Aggarwal, SM Group, a partner at the SMB Group, to get his take on SuiteCommerce. He told us the timing of this announcement could not be better.
"Technology trends are converging to create a perfect storm in the world of commerce -- one that empowers customers and raises the bar for companies to meet new, more demanding customer expectations," Aggarwal said. "Social media empowers customers with information from friends and other unfiltered sources. Mobile devices are facilitating this trend, making it possible to research and shop for products and services anytime and anywhere."
Aggarwal also noted that cloud computing and e-commerce are blurring the boundaries between brick-and-mortar and online commerce stores, creating an imperative for merchants to provide consistency and visibility across channels. This has created an environment where customers expect more from businesses throughout the commerce cycle.
"NetSuite's introduction of SuiteCommerce is designed to help businesses meet these elevated customer expectations. The company has had an integrated e-commerce offering for years, and almost 2,800 of its customers run their Web sites and storefronts on NetSuite," Aggarwal said. "However, SuiteCommerce is intended to go beyond the commerce experience to integrate social, mobile and other customer touch points."