NetSuite buys OrderMotion, fleshes out e-commerce portfolio

The order management software tackles problems caused by an increasingly complex retail industry

NetSuite is beefing up its cloud-based ERP software's order-processing features by acquiring OrderMotion, a move that could strengthen its appeal to customers in retailing. Terms of the deal, announced Wednesday, were not disclosed.

OrderMotion's technology is aimed at companies that ship products directly to consumers. This is a business that has become more complex of late, thanks to ship-to-store programs, where a customer orders a product online and heads to a retail location to pick it up.

In addition, companies are increasingly looking to use their retail locations as regional distribution centers in order to save time and money compared to using a massive, centralized warehouse operation, said Andy Lloyd, general manager of commerce products at NetSuite.

OrderMotion's software is used in conjunction with e-commerce applications such as Demandware, as well as NetSuite's own SuiteCommerce software. NetSuite won't necessarily attempt to push OrderMotion customers toward its own offering, however, according to Lloyd. "Generally when we do acquisitions, the directive we get from [CEO Zach Nelson] is 'don't break it,'" he said. Still, "when a company is operating on a single system and has one view of the data, systems work best and companies run best," he added.

NetSuite's software runs on the Oracle technology stack. OrderMotion, however, is based on Microsoft .NET, Lloyd said. While "some cross-pollination is going to take place," another consideration behind the acquisition is the high quality of OrderMotion's senior technical staff, who will be joining NetSuite, he added.

This is not the first acquisition NetSuite has made in the retail software arena, coming after its recent purchase of mobile point-of-sale vendor RetailAnywhere.

Forrester Research analyst China Martens said the OrderMotion acquisition is a smart move by NetSuite.

"Order management is an area that has tended to be somewhat neglected by both business app vendors and customers," Martens said via email. "Since it can be rather diffuse, elements of order management sit within CRM, ERP, and SCM, and then somewhat alone and disconnected between those apps. Naturally that siloing, and often a lack of full process automation, has led to issues."

Companies are also struggling to provide customers with a consistent ordering experience across multiple channels, to give customers and partners more "more visibility and feedback throughout the order life cycle," and to "achieve tighter integration across sales, distribution, warehouse, and service centers, and legacy ERP," Martens added. "Carving out a more specific order management offering may help NetSuite appeal to firms faced with all the above challenges."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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