Offshore cloud not an issue, claims NetSuite CEO

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The flambuoyant chief executive of software as a service player NetSuite yesterday claimed his company’s Australian customer base wasn’t phased by the fact that its datacentres are hosted in the United States, in a visit to Sydney in which he also commented on the impact of the National Broadband Network.

A number of large Australian organisations have publicly and privately lamented over the past several years the fact that large cloud computing providers such as Microsoft, Salesforce.com, Amazon, NetSuite, Google and more don’t have datacentres in Australia.

The issue for many in the financial and public sectors relates to the ability to control and secure their data if it’s offshore. NetSuite operates its main datacentre on the west coast of the United States, and is setting up a new facility for disaster recovery on the east coast.

“The fact that the data is hosted in the US really hasn’t been an issue today for Australian customers,” Nelson said in a video interview yesterday (see above). The executive said his company hadn’t lost any major customers in Australia that he knew of because of the issue.

NetSuite has some 600 customers in Australia and New Zealand, which Nelson claimed made his company the largest provider of cloud-based enterprise resource planning software down under.

The executive said that “more importantly”, his company’s customer base of medium-sized companies recognised that NetSuite’s datacentre practices, its ability to do backup and recovery and so on, were “far more efficient and available” than customers could do themselves.

The CEO acknowledged, however, that NetSuite was “absolutely” considering eventually rolling out infrastructure in Australia, with the potential for a regional datacentre to be hosted either here or in Singapore.

“As the world evolves, you will certainly see us expanding datacentres around the world,” he said, noting Asia was NetSuite’s fastest-growing market, so it would make sense to build infrastructure in the region.

The Federal Government’s flagship NBN project would, he said, make it more attractive for NetSuite to build in Australia. “The NBN will certainly change the experience of our customers in using NetSuite,” he said. “The NBN tilts the scales towards Australia.”

Video credit: Delimiter. Additional reporting by Jenna Pitcher

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