• March 14, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

NetSuite Powers Up(right)

NetSuite today launched NetSuite-Software Company Edition, a refinement of its popular on-demand CRM suite specifically designed to manage a software business and the tricky software customer life cycle. Software Company Edition adds important features for the software business model, including revenue recognition, usage-based billing, bug tracking, and new dashboards for software executives. NetSuite-Software Company Edition is the natural choice for NetSuite's first vertical solution, says Mini Peiris, senior director of product management. "Many software companies are 50- to 520-person operations, which is perfect for us in terms of NetSuite's typical customer size. We're a software company running our business on NetSuite, so we can deliver on the lessons we've learned." Customers can start taking advantage of those lessons today: The new edition is available immediately; existing subscribers have the option of transferring from the generic edition to NetSuite-Software Company Edition, according to Peiris. Many of the key features of the vertical offering revolve around ERP functions. These include billing features that support complex, multiple-SKU models crossing licensed, subscription, and on-demand products; renewals and maintenance sales management at both the customer and sales order level; and extensive revenue recognition capabilities, all fully compliant with AICPA, FASB, and SEC regulations. "Many software companies want to go public, or to be acquired by a larger entity," Peiris says. "Their accounting practices have to be compliant with strict standards." Liz Herbert, an analyst at Forrester Research, says the vertical move is savvy for NetSuite for a number of reasons. "They're right that the software industry is a good place to start-[NetSuite knows] a lot about it and what people are looking for." In addition, the space is ripe for entry, while other verticals like financial services are jammed with vendors. "A lot of on-demand companies aren't even doing vertical applications, or are doing them through VARs," Herbert says. "High technology is an important vertical, and some other vendors like Siebel and Salesforce.com address it to some extent, but nobody really has a software vertical suite." "Many software developers are heavily reliant on partnerships," Herbert says, with a nod toward PRM functions of NetSuite-Software Company Edition. Adding partner management to the list of industry-specific features, including software sales forecasting, commission management, marketing, and self-service customer portals, could make it a compelling choice for technology firms. "The power of NetSuite is that they offer the entire package of functionality." Related articles: SMBs Demand Integration
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