SuiteWorld 2023: NetSuite’s silver jubilee showcases the rise of generative AI
Alongside the 38°C Las Vegas heat, NetSuite’s annual conference – SuiteWorld 2023, coinciding with its 25th anniversary, was jam-packed with new product announcements and insights on financial leadership. As NetSuite celebrates a quarter of a century at Caesars Palace, it becomes the latest in a series of large tech companies to announce greater investment in generative AI.
Here were the main takeaways from the annual conference, hosted by ERP and CRM company Oracle NetSuite:
Impact of generative AI on business
Generative AI is at the centre of the revolution. AI can help increase user productivity and reduce costs, helping businesses reach their goals faster and more efficiently. Evan Goldberg outlined many of the new offerings, including NetSuite Text Enhance, where businesses can leverage AI to produce relevant drafts or refine existing content.
25 years ago, Goldberg pioneered cloud computing with the release of NetLedger, but the dotcom bubble burst, causing the stocks of many tech firms to tumble. Coming into 2024, Goldberg looked at AI and explained how history repeats itself – in good and bad ways.
Goldberg advised companies in 2023 to begin – get experience by deploying. That will separate the winners. He also emphasised that generative AI encourages customers “to do more with less and grow their businesses.” He predicts it will increase user productivity, reduce costs, and improve overall business efficiency.
Diversity & inclusion
Workplace relationships are more than someone to moan about the boss to or have lunch with. As companies think about inclusion strategies and diversity, sponsorship is one of the greatest leverages they have. Deloitte Digital’s keynote Diversity & Inclusion focused on elevating the need for sponsorship, alongside mentorship, within organisations. For example, Evan Goldberg and Larry Ellison enjoyed an informal sponsorship relationship and look how that worked out.
The key takeaway for businesses was to continue to challenge conscious and unconscious bias within the workplace, while intentional leadership skills – namely transparency, communication, and diplomacy – will lead to retaining employee engagement.
In his keynote, Goldberg outlined business growing pains and how to address them. Manual processes hold businesses back from anything, from expanding into new markets to increasing outflow. According to Goldberg, AI will help untangle these disconnected systems and is a solid foundation for growth. He goes on to say that AI is only as good as the company data, referencing the new NetSuite product – the NetSuite Benchmark 360. This new product allows businesses to compare with peers, showing where metrics are lagging. Acknowledging the belt-tightening seen across all industries, Goldberg reiterated that with an integrated suite, businesses can achieve more and spend less.
“We have a big vision for the quantum leaps of AI and we’re going to see it woven through the features we’re announcing. These features will allow you to achieve more while spending less in both your financial foundations and in powering your growth.”
Throughout the conference, there were murmurs of a new Silicon Valley tech movement – one that argues that the development of technology, especially AI, should be allowed to motor ahead without constraint.
Last week, tech billionaire Marc Andreessen published a 5,000-word ‘Techno-Optimist Manifesto’, which summarises the accelerationist ethos. While Goldberg unapologetically aligns NetSuite with AI, the company has only taken tentative steps into generative AI – keeping humans in the loop at all times.
As global organisations continue to struggle with uncertainties in the economy and the challenges of high business costs, a prevailing consensus emerged: the imperative to achieve greater success with fewer resources. NetSuite aims to offer a solution by freeing up workers from menial tasks, allowing them to focus on more meaningful responsibilities, through the adoption of generative AI. Only time will tell if they have done enough.