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April 2, 2009

NetSuite floats to Salesforce’s cloud

Aiming for slice of hosted vendor’s 50,000 clients?

By Steve Evans

NetSuite has announced a new venture with Salesforce.com that will see the on-demand vendors integrate ERP, eCommerce and CRM apps in the cloud. The new platform, called SuiteCloud Connect, will see NetSuite aim to grab some of Salesforce’s 50,000 clients.

The two companies will be using a number of partners on the project, which aims to enable Salesforce’s customers to integrate their customer relationship management (CRM) apps with NetSuite’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) and eCommerce platforms.

The companies believe that the new service will expand the capabilities of traditional CRM, as customers can now use order management, fulfilment and accounting within their CRM system.

Visibility into back-office customer data should enable the sales team to access information such as service issues, billing and order and shipping status.

Paul Turner, product marketing at NetSuite, told CBR that the aim was to improve the flow of data between the applications.

“It’s about creating a bi-directional flow of customer data, available in real time,” he said. “By keeping key data in sync the sales agent has a 360 degree view of the customer. This means it is not eating away at the big benefit of SaaS – lower total cost of ownership.”

The two companies are traditionally considered rivals in the hosted world, so it seems surprising to see them unite for this project. However, the move is expected to present NetSuite with the opportunity to grab some of Salesforce’s 50,000 customers, which it clearly feels is a chance it cannot miss.

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“It’s a numbers game,” said Turner. “Salesforce has 50,000 customers and we feel that many of them are comfortable with SaaS and are ready for the next step. If we can secure 2% of that total, we’ll be happy.”

Partners on the project include Celigo, Boomi, Pervasive Software and Cast Iron Systems.

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