Dell, NetSuite forge cloud partnership

Feb 27, 2014
Austin American Statesman

Dell Inc. and business software maker NetSuite announced a partnership Tuesday aimed at driving their technology deeper into corporations. Each side says the arrangement, under which the Round Rock-based PC maker will sell NetSuite software to Dell customers, will transform its business


For NetSuite, which initially attracted small and mid-sized customers, the alliance could help take the company’s technology into more large companies. For Dell, the partnership provides a new revenue stream from software as the newly private hardware maker has been trying to reduce its reliance on relatively low-margin PCs and servers


NetSuite, which emerged in the 1990s as one of the first companies to sell business software as an online service, helps companies manage chores such as maintaining financial records, automate bill paying to suppliers and keep tabs on inventory. The German software firm SAP the leading vendor of such software, known in the industry by the acronym ERP, for enterprise resource planning


NetSuite’s 2013 revenue grew 34 percent, but the company still faces an uphill battle getting the largest companies to build their businesses around a supplier of its size. Gartner estimates SAP had nearly 25 percent of the ERP market in 2012, the latest year its figures are available, while NetSuite’s share was less than 1 percent


The partnership effectively allows NetSuite to annex Dell’s army of sales people. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said the feet on the street are especially important for sales at large corporations, international units of multinational companies, and other areas where NetSuite hasn’t made great inroads


Dell also will customize NetSuite software as needed to a customer’s needs, and help companies complete the tough job of moving their data to new financial software and training employees how to use it. The agreement builds on an existing partnership between NetSuite and a part of Dell called Boomi, which helps companies mesh together their old and new software


For Dell, which last fall completed a $25 billion deal to go private, the NetSuite announcement shows how the company is trying to make money from areas outside its traditional strength in computing hardware


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