German Auditing Board Gives Nod to NetSuite

In a direct hit against SAP, NetSuite said Monday that the German Institute of Auditors has certified its on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite.

The certification falls in line with Auditing Standard 880, ensuring that NetSuite's software is compliant with German tax law and accounting principles, NetSuite said.

It covers NetSuite's core functionality as well as the OneWorld module, which is aimed at companies with operations in multiple countries, or which are composed of different legal entities.

The nod from GIA is potentially significant from a market perspective, since SAP has yet to widely release its own SaaS (software as a service) ERP product, Business ByDesign. SAP is holding off on a major rollout until it is sure it can make enough of a profit on the application.

German SAP users were also among the more vocal opponents of SAP's decision last year to migrate customers to a more expensive but fuller featured Enterprise Support service. SAP and a coalition of user groups have since agreed on a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) meant to prove Enterprise Support's value.

Nevertheless, user sentiment in Germany generally "now tips towards trying other alternatives in the market other than the hometown favorite," said Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang via e-mail.

NetSuite has set a precedent that will "pave the way for others to enter what was once thought as an impenetrable market," he added. "[But] it's up to NetSuite to execute and deliver the right balance of price and functionality."

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