- Accounting-only version to launch with payroll, bank feeds, local support
- JCurve Solutions has merged with a public company to drive growth
- Costs $49 a month per user
NetSuite, an enterprise business management program used by global companies, will soon relaunch a simplified version for small business customers in Australia and New Zealand through Australian partner JCurve Solutions.
The entry-level program, due within two weeks, would include a free online trial, automated bank feeds, payroll and an Australian 24/7 support centre. The program would be marketed as JCurve Go to businesses that wanted to expand their business from a handful of employees to 100 or more (see JCurve’s TV commercial at the bottom of this post).
Businesses that outgrew JCurve could move invisibly to the full NetSuite program. “The biggest differentiator for JCurve and NetSuite is that seamless transition from one or two people to 100,000,” said Mark Troselj, NetSuite vice president for Asia Pacific.
This was the second attempt by JCurve to crack the lower end of the market. JCurve Solutions acquired an exclusive licence in 2009 to promote a small business version of NetSuite in Australia and New Zealand. The company had spent the first four years “learning to walk” by simplifying the NetSuite interface to suit small businesses, said Graham Baillie, managing director of JCurve Solutions.
JCurve’s initial approach was to build a software “wizard” to help businesses move across from their accounting program to JCurve, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application which included a customer database, inventory and e-commerce portal as well as an accounting engine.
However, JCurve underestimated the resistance to change by business owners who baulked at the complexity of an ERP, Baillie said. Businesses preferred to trial software before committing and were put off by the lack of a free trial.
“The big difference now is that we match Xero in features and price,” Baillie said. JCurve was modifying the program to encourage a stepped implementation from a basic accounting program to fully fledged ERP.
“It’s like when people get an iPhone. First they just make phone calls, then they send some emails, and then they start looking up things on the web. It’s a staged use of the tool,” Baillie said.
JCurve Solutions had merged with a publicly listed developer of phone expense software, Stratatel, to acquire “more horsepower and profile” to achieve its ambitions, Baillie said. The combined company had 65 staff and was led by Baillie, founder of outsourcing company Converga, and chairman Nihal Gupta, an entrepreneur with 30 years’ experience in consumer electronics and IT innovation industries.
While Xero had validated the market for cloud accounting software, Xero and rivals MYOB AccountRight Live, Saasu and Reckon One were too limited to help growing companies, Baillie said. “Accounting is only one part of a small business’ life. While they can add bolt-on applications, they’re not owned by the same company. Is the reporting the same? Who supports it?” Baillie said.
“This is a transitionary period. Eventually small business will wake up and realise they have an application that only does half the work. Those businesses that do it early enough are going to be the most dynamic in the years to come,” Baillie said.
JCurve had released a television commercial for the new program.