NetSuite’s Acquisition of QuickArrow Creates Leading Marketshare for PSA

As I just wrote about in a recent post, according to the results of my TPSA 2009 Member Technology Survey, a surprisingly large percentage of members, 16%, have approved budget for professional services automation (PSA) software in 2009. As for what product they will buy with that budget, the PSA market took an interesting turn last week with the announcement that NetSuite, owner of popular PSA tool OpenAir, was acquiring PSA competitor QuickArrow.

This was especially interesting to me because I recently completed co-authored white paper with both PSA vendors, who are longtime partners and supporters of the TPSA. Here’s a link to the QuickArrow white paper: The Unique Challenges of Professional Services for Small and Medium Sized Businesses. (Sorry, registration required) The OpenAir white paper, “What Keeps PS Executives Up at Night? The Role of Professional Services Automation in Achieving Business Goals,” was just completed and has yet to be posted–stay tuned.

I had a quick call with the new combined team of OpenAir and QuickArrow folks today and asked about marketshare. According to my survey, the new combined entity has a 32% marketshare for TPSA members–a huge lead within high tech PS.  They confirmed this, saying that according to 2 outside sources they now have 20-25% marketshare for PSA in North America.

How did these two relatively new entrants into the PSA space achieve such marketshare so quickly, especially battling big brands like Oracle, SAP and Compuware?  I point to 3 primary reasons:

  1. Deployment model. Unlike legacy PSA solutions, both OpenAir and QuickArrow were 100% SaaS, meaning implementations are faster, less expensive, and had lower upfront costs.  To busy PS execs, faster is always better.
  2. Usability.  Just like Salesforce.com became a huge player in the SFA world by appealing to sales reps, not executives, OpenAir and QuickArrow effectively demonstrated the value of their solutions for PS consultants, with simple, intuitive UIs that are easy to use and provide obvious value to end users.
  3. Integration.  If you want to automate the entire quote-to-cash process, PSA needs to be integrated to CRM and ERP systems. While obviously OpenAir had ‘out of box’ integrations to CRM and ERP offerings from parent company NetSuite, they also took pains to show they could play well with others, including a tight integration to NetSuite competitor Salesforce.com that generated a lot of buzz earlier this year.

Congrats to both companies on a great transaction, and I look forward to hearing the vision of where SaaS PSA is taking the PS industry in the years to come.  If you have any questions about the acquisition, or about PSA in general, please add a comment or drop me an email.  And thanks, as always, for reading!

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