• December 13, 2002
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

NetLedger Steals Salesforce.com Customers

Salesforce.com Inc. may be taking customers away from Siebel Systems Inc., according to Salesforce.com executives, but is also losing customers to NetLedger Inc., NetLedger says. NetLedger, a veritable newcomer to the CRM industry providing hosted CRM and accounting solutions to small and medium businesses, is already reporting that more than 30 companies have left Salesforce.com and joined NetLedger since the launch of its NetLedger NetCRM and NetSuite solutions in October. Making the switch possible is NetLedger's migration capabilities, called Legacy SFA Switch Program, which enables businesses to switch from Salesforce.com's legacy stand-alone SFA application to NetLedger's NetCRM or NetSuite. Why are customers making the switch? According to Todd Lane, CFO of The Steele Foundation, a San Francisco-based provider of enterprise risk management solutions, the ability to easily integrate the data from a CRM system into a back-office accounting system is key. With offices on four continents his organization has a strong need for integration, he says. NetLedger can satisfy that need, he adds, by providing a full suite of CRM and back-office accounting functionality through its NetSuite solution. Lane's sales team had been using Salesforce.com for less than one year when he was contemplating the switch to NetSuite in October. He had been watching NetLedger for more than one year and after the release of its NetSuite solution, he says, NetLedger's CRM offering combined with its back-office accounting solutions "now had enough functionality to make it a practical tool." Prior to the NetLedger solution Lane's sales staff had to enter client information into the Salesforce.com system and then separately key the information into their QuickBooks accounting package. Now, using NetSuite his staff can cut the administration time in half by only keying in the information once and having it appear in both NetLedger's client set up application and its invoicing application, Lane says. Separately stored information is a key problem for companies looking to have a holistic view of their customer information, says Zach Nelson, president and chief operating officer of NetLedger. "The accounting data is the same as your sales data, but viewed in a different way," he says. Having a separate sales system that does not interact with a company's accounting system has exacerbated the problem, he says. "We have one common data architecture that an entire organization can access and use. [Salesforce.com CEO] Marc Benioff is talking about doing that, but it's hard to do that post-facto," Nelson says.
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