NetSuite, the San Mateo, Calif.–based provider of on-demand CRM and enterprise resource planning software, has ignited another salvo of cloud-computing fireworks with the recent announcement of its SuiteCloud Ecosystem. The company describes SuiteCloud as "a comprehensive offering of on-demand products, development tools, and services" designed to help customers and developers take advantage of cloud computing.
The SuiteCloud Ecosystem is composed of two parts:
- SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN)—a development program for software designers that includes not only access to the hardware and software for hosting cloud applications, but the ability to integrate core NetSuite ERP and CRM functionality as well.
- SuiteApp.com—the online marketplace for NetSuite customers, developers, and partners to meet and exchange applications and ideas.
Several developers are already on board with applications available on SuiteApp.com, including:
- Adaptive Planning
- BlueBridge One
- Daston Corp.
- Nolan Computers
- Online One
- OZ Development
- Postcode Anywhere
As a development platform and marketplace, SuiteCloud Ecosystem will inevitably draw comparisons with Force.com and AppExchange, the platform and market of NetSuite software-as-a-service (SaaS) competitor Salesforce.com. NetSuite's current effort is positioned as quality-over-quantity, with the marketplace serving as a launch point for deeper relationships and partner opportunities. This contrasts with AppExchange's larger footprint and more freewheeling appearance -- the bazaar to NetSuite's trade show. "We are more closely aligned with customers' corporate strategies," says Guido Haarmans, vice president of the SuiteCloud Developer Network. "That includes better vertical integration as well as the ability to serve the more-complex needs of larger companies."
In a recent report from AMR Research, "NetSuite Wants You On Their Cloud," senior analyst Ian Finley described NetSuite's position in SaaS and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). "Providers like Amazon[.com] and Google have generated much of the PaaS buzz to date, but SaaS vendors, like NetSuite, have a unique advantage in the battle for customers and partners -- they have an ‘installed' base," Finley wrote. "A company that already has NetSuite ERP should put SuiteCloud on [its] short list for PaaS providers. SuiteCloud's NS-BOS [programming platform] has a built-in integration advantage over competitors. Independent software vendors and systems integrators looking to satisfy a niche market's ERP needs should consider joining the NetSuite Cloud. NetSuite ERP provides an application foundation that pure platform providers lack; and, most importantly, a pool of thousands of customers already committed to NetSuite."
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