NetSuite Aims at Enterprises With 'unlimited' Push

On-demand ERP software vendor NetSuite is expected to announce a new push into large enterprises on Tuesday during its SuiteWorld user conference in San Francisco.

Dubbed NetSuite Unlimited, the announcement is less about a specific product than about an array of partnerships, services, applications and technology improvements meant to respond to the demands of the world's biggest companies. The move represents a further shift away from the small and medium-sized businesses that have largely constituted NetSuite's user base since its formation in 1998.

One component of NetSuite Unlimited is a new partnership with services firm Accenture, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said in an interview. Accenture has created an ERP (enterprise resource planning) practice around NetSuite's software, he said.

In addition, NetSuite is beginning to roll out Oracle's Exadata database machine in its own data center, to work in conjunction with the company's existing data center operations, Nelson said. In that data center, Exadata could end up supporting larger NetSuite customers' application instances, as well as more resource-intensive workloads such as e-commerce, Nelson said.

NetSuite does not expect to replace the likes of SAP and Oracle as large enterprises' primary ERP system.

Instead, the company is more intent on serving as the second pillar of a "two-tier" ERP strategy, wherein its software is deployed in an SAP or Oracle shop's new subsidiaries or offices around the world and then tied back to the main ERP core. Microsoft, Epicor and other ERP vendors have adopted a similar marketing strategy.

In addition, Qualcomm has signed on to use NetSuite in some capacity, according to another announcement planned for Tuesday. NetSuite's software "presents us with an opportunity to begin centralizing some parts of our e-commerce systems and further streamlining the management process," said Peter Rubenacker, Qualcomm's vice president of information technology, in a statement. More information wasn't immediately available.

NetSuite also is planning to discuss a deal it has signed with e-commerce company Groupon. The "deal-of-the-day" website is expected to go live on NetSuite in 26 international markets, "replacing hundreds of spreadsheets with a single cloud ERP system," according to a statement.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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