One of the leading solution providers of cloud based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications announced the launch of a new certified consultant program last month. Called the NetSuite Certified ERP Consultant program, the exam will test the candidates through two exams - the SuiteFoundation Exam and the ERP Consultant Exam. At a cost of $500, the new certification program is presumably the worldâs most comprehensive certification program for cloud ERP consultants.
The announcement has already set off ripples in the cloud ERP space - both among the consultants as well as the clients. It is believed that the new certification program would help the certified consultants differentiate themselves from the low cost, low experience alternatives who may not have sufficient real-world cloud ERP knowledge. What this means is that clients looking for consultants may now be able to validate the expertise claimed by the consultants. Having said that, it is also believed that there is now likely to be a distinct price differentiation between the certified consultants who may now be able to charge a premium for their certified implementation skills and the non-certified consultants who may now be forced to drop their rates in order to be able to compete.
For the launch of the certification program, NetSuite had partnered with a number of partner consultants including Accenture, Deloitte, TrueCloud, First Hosted, NetSoft, etc. The Canadian NetSuite partners include ERP Guru which recently announced that seven of their consultants have already received their NetSuite certification.
Besides the cost factor that is now expected to come into play among certified NetSuite consultants, one of the other areas that is likely to be impacted is the adoption of the cloud ERP applications. While the overall growth of cloud ERP is expected to continue at a 14.7% CAGR until 2015, the market share of the various competitors in the market itself could see some minor changes. With a cloud ERP certification exam, NetSuite now offers a way for clients to evaluate various consultants before hiring them. In the absence of a similar evaluation benchmark from competition, it is likely that the growth of NetSuite against competition is likely to be sharper than earlier estimated. This is with the assumption that NetSuite competitors do not come up with similar consultant certification exams themselves.
The newly launched Certified NetSuite ERP Consultant exam is expected to increase the overall quality of consultants in the market over the long term. This should only be good news to enterprise customers as more and more of them migrate to a cloud based ERP solution from traditional on-premise technologies. It will be interesting to see how NetSuite competitors react to the launch of this certification program. Do you expect new cloud ERP certification programs to launch over the next 2-3 months? Tell us what you think in the comments.