Disruption is the new game in town

Evan Goldberg, co-founder, CTO and chairman NetSuite Inc.

Evan Goldberg, co-founder, CTO and chairman NetSuite Inc.

IT’S not like every day when you get the chance to interview one of Silicon Valley’s more successful “techies” who are helping build technology companies that have turned global. One assume someone like Evan Goldberg would have a thousand and one thoughts running through his mind at any given time, but on this particular day he was focused on where his company is headed. He is after all in the middle of their biggest and most successful event this year ̶ the annual conference called SuiteWorld 2015. Goldberg is the co-founder, chief technology officer and chairman of publicly-listed NetSuite Inc.

The software company is currently the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based financials, such as the enterprise resource planning (ERP) and omni-channel commerce software suites.

Founded in October 1998 by Goldberg and Oracle CEO and Chairman Larry Ellison, it was then known as NetLedger Inc. Goldberg ̶ a summa cum laude in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University ̶ spent eight years as vice president at Oracle Corporation.

The company’s official documents showed it was during one of the founders’ conversations when Goldberg complained to Ellison there was no decent suite of integrated e-business applications to run his small business. So the Oracle chairman encouraged him to “invent his own.” And invent he did. When he left Oracle, Goldberg started mBED Software and built groundbreaking website technology. Shortly after, he founded NetSuite with his friend and former boss.

At the NetSuite SuiteWorld 2015 held at the San Jose Convention Center on May 4-7 in San Jose, California, Goldberg took some time out to talk to select members of the Philippine press that include The Manila Times. In particular, he said: “We’re really proud of what we’ve done in the Philippines, since the time we formally opened there in January 2007, before we even became a publicly-listed company.”

Goldberg adds that his whole excitement now comes from the success of the conference, which he says is their biggest to date.

“This conference is a great moment for us, it’s the culmination of a ton of work from people all over the company,” the soft-spoken CTO said, referring to the NetSuite employees that came together from different parts of the world. Apart from the NetSuite solution providers, the event also brought in ISV partners, industry thought leaders and representatives of approximately 24,000 companies and subsidiaries from across the globe using the NetSuite’s cloud-based business management software.

In particular, Goldberg highlights some new key partnerships, such as their strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft to create new, innovative and future-proof solutions that connect NetSuite’s cloud ERP to Microsoft Office 365, Windows and Microsoft Azure.

He also mentioned the launch of their SuiteCommerce InStore, a system that integrates comprehensive omni-channel capabilities into an enterprise-class, mobile-first, point-of-sale (POS) solution. He explained that what this does is to seamlessly unify the online and in-store customer journey.

Goldberg pointed out that they now have a greater presence in the Philippine market and hopes to be able to help more Philippine-based businesses run their systems more effectively, and to respond to all the disruption that every business is experiencing now, as things are changing very quickly. “This notion of disruption, that the rapid pace of technology is causing disruption in every industry, that’s what NetSuite is all about ̶ helping you respond to disruption changes in your market ̶ and also create disruption by enabling you to move very quickly as a business, change how you operate.” As the world turns to mobile gadgets for business and lifestyle, the way the world does business will have to change and adapt, he emphasized.

Amid all this talk about how businesses are changing, Goldberg admits there are some things within NetSuite that they tend to keep going back to. Whether it’s the casual atmosphere that was started by the internet generation, or the peanut butter and energy drinks that always seem to be a part of their staple, he says the one thing he always looks to for inspiration is their “original vision, which is to build the best systems to run a business. There’re always ways you can improve, and we listen to our customers. But I also try to get out there, I try to read the news.” He says he “loves the idea of recognizing patterns and seeing how it can apply.” In sum, he says what many originally saw as an emerging pattern of disruption is now the new world norm. As the new tech buzzword goes, it’s “disrupt or be disrupted,” and it’s entirely your choice, where you want to be.


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