Although relatively newer compared to open-source technology, cloud computing has soared in use and popularity because of one distinct advantage: applications.
Jan Pabellon, a Filipino executive at NetSuite who serves as director for international products based in the company?s Philippine office, said that while open-source and cloud are not exactly two opposing technologies, businesses have shifted massively to the cloud due to a host of factors, among them affordability and the ability to deliver unique functionalities.
?Open-source is okay at the infrastructure level, but not on the applications level. This is because it?s not on the operating system where differentiation happens, but in the applications,? said Pabellon during the SuiteWorld 2016 conference in San Jose, California last May.
Pabellon said this is also the underlying reason why there are few successful applications companies in the open-source landscape ? whether local or foreign.
?In fact, the only multi-billion open-source company is Red Hat. This is because they build infrastructure shared components where there?s more value in sharing and contributing codes,? he pointed out.
Pabellon explained: ?When you talk about applications, it?s really about delivering functionality to businesses. It?s hard for people to contribute codes because the needs of each business are unique each time. Thus, it?s very hard to have a common code base for all types of business.?
The executive said the main value of open-source, aside from being free, is its flexibility. But the NetSuite platform, he said, also possesses that trait because a business can tailor the software to its needs using the cloud-based platform.
?As a business, I don?t need to have access to the source code since I just need the ability to tailor it to my needs. In open source, you need to have a large base of users to be able to justify that investment,? said Pabellon, who is one of NetSuite?s top executives.
Compared to traditional software makers or even those that are migrating to the cloud just now, pure cloud computing firms like NetSuite also have the upperhand in various areas, according to Pabellon.
?Unlike old software firms who are transitioning to the cloud only now, it will be hard for them to completely discard their business model because that?s how they earn. It?s anti-thetical to their business. The situation is even tighter for publicly listed firms as they need to earn for their shareholders,? he said.
Cloud companies also have faster development process, Pabellon underlined. ?As announced [at SuiteWorld], we refresh our system every six months now, which I think is sustainable. This is because from Day 1, this already our business model,? he emphasized.
Pabellon said one of the major announcements at SuiteWorld that would benefit local firms with regional or global ambitions are the enhancements to OneWorld, a NetSuite platform that allows firms to seamlessly handle different currencies and other local requirements.
The improvements to OneWorld, the official said, include intelligent order management that enables local distributors to effectively track the supply and demand of goods that pass through its distribution network.
?Here in the Philippines, most our products are coursed through distributors. If you?re the principal, it?s hard to track and see everything. Now, OneWorld has intelligent recommendation that advises, for example, the location of a warehouse that is nearer to the customer,? Pabellon shared.
?It?s business intelligence at a higher level. And the good new is that it is designed for very small businesses, which we have a lot in this country,? he concluded.