The Power of NetSuite for KANA

At our SuiteWorld conference in May, I had the pleasure of conducting a customer panel with executives of three software companies and discussing with them their companies and the challenges they faced before implementing NetSuite. All of panelists are using NetSuite to run their financials, but in very different financial structures—one is a VC-backed company, another a public company and the third a private equity, or PE-owned, company.

Our panel conversation started with Jay Jones, the Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer of KANA. KANA bills itself as a leading provider of service experience management software, serving a number of enterprise customers as well as public sector organizations. Having been a public company before, KANA now operates as a private company owned by Accel-KKR.

Jay described how he inherited the challenge of solving KANA’s “software hairball”—a combination of a homegrown CRM system, two disconnected instances of Epicor and a web-based expense reporting application, coupled with spreadsheets and no single system of record for customers and products. (Jay’s slide highlighting KANA’s situation is below). As Jay noted, he had to get the situation under control if KANA was to scale. 

After seeing a presentation that Zach Nelson gave about NetSuite and how companies have used it to fix their hairballs, Jay was hooked.  He worked closely with KANA finance and the rest of the team to get them on board and address their concerns about moving the cloud. As Jay explained it, KANA realized immediate benefits upon moving to NetSuite—and those benefits have continued as NetSuite helps support KANA’s growth.

Leveraging NetSuite, KANA has been able to seamlessly manage three acquisitions in less than six months, something Jay couldn’t have even considered in the pre-NetSuite environment. Jay described the ease in which they have been able to manage the systems aspect of acquisitions, and how with NetSuite, they’ve taken complex product catalogs from their acquisitions and simplified them in NetSuite.

In addition, Jay rattled off some pretty impressive points:

  • NetSuite provides a stable and fully integrated platform across three continents
  • Financial close takes less than one-third the time required in the previous environment
  • Order processing time has been reduced by over 20%
  • A custom record for the installed base of products and services allows for consistent analytics across the business
  • Custom records for tracking sales lead conversion and transaction velocity has improved visibility and execution
  • NetSuite enabled KANA to consolidate its product catalog from over 1,000 items just over 100

Interestingly, while each of the three software companies represented on our panel had very different businesses and financial structures, their challenges and the benefits they gained with NetSuite were very similar. I’ll save the Eloqua and RightNow Technologies stories for other posts.

- Ranga Bodla, Industry Marketing 

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