The messaging on the first day of the SuiteWorld 2017 conference was very much about how Oracle and NetSuite plan to take on the world post-merger.

In November, Oracle closed a $9.3 billion deal to buy NetSuite. Now, the combined companies, styled Oracle + NetSuite, are aggressively coming for their competitors.

During the opening keynote at SuiteWorld 2017, being held April 24-27 in Las Vegas, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd’s primary mission was to contextualize the acquisition for customers of both companies. He described NetSuite as “now a global business unit inside Oracle,” promising that the cloud computing company would continue to operate with independence, and be able to leverage the scale of Oracle without being encumbered by any of its bureaucracy.

He said that he insisted NetSuite employees “not take the call” when Oracle managers attempt to change their processes.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd addresses attendees at SuiteWorld 2017.
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd addresses attendees at SuiteWorld 2017.

In describing the difference of culture between the companies, Oracle + NetSuite’s executive vice president of development Evan Goldberg said he thinks it will be a good fit.

“The roots of NetSuite are from Oracle,” Goldberg said during a follow up press conference. “Zach [Nelson, former CEO] and I built the culture [at NetSuite], but we’ve worked with Oracle for many years. It’s not like we’re an alien being. I think we can fit very well [inside Oracle], especially since we’ve been given this opportunity to operate independently.”

During the keynote, a customer asked how Oracle plans to help them gain access to its biggest competitor, SAP's, customer base.

Hurd cited SAP’s investment in the S/4 HANA Hub as “brilliant” for Oracle + NetSuite, because “SAP focused on rewriting a database but not their core application.” Hurd called this is “big mistake,” as he believes on-premise solutions are going the way of the dinosaur. “When we win business, about 30-40 percent of the time, we’re replacing SAP,” Hurd added. “I would love to take them out.”

Other expansion plans Hurd described included an international growth strategy for Oracle in two stages. First, and immediately, Oracle plans to invest in Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg), the Nordic states, Mexico, South America, Germany, Japan and Southeast Asia. Phase two will see Oracle expand into China, India, Brazil, France and the UAE. The phases are based on the speed at which the company can complete a release cycle in each region.

During the keynote, Oracle + NetSuite executive vice president Jim McGeever also announced immediate expansion of the business unit into 13 countries, and the establishment of several new data centers.

NetSuite's Goldberg noted that the company's previous efforts to expand were slow going as it didn’t have enough resources to expand in complex markets such as Brazil and Japan. With Oracle behind NetSuite, expansion will accelerate considerably, he said.

Expanding into new verticals including retail, software, ad agencies and not for profit was noted as another key strategy for Oracle.

“We didn’t spend $9.3 billion to disinvest in business,” said Hurd. “It’s part of a grander strategy … $9.3 billion doesn’t lie.”

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