NetSuite Recruits SAP Business ByDesign Partners, Customers


NetSuite is recruiting SAP channel partners who work with that vendor's Business ByDesign cloud applications, following last week's news that SAP is scaling back Business ByDesign development.

NetSuite channel partners also are being encouraged to leverage the SAP Business ByDesign Sunset Migration Program, an initiative NetSuite launched last week that offers Business ByDesign customers a free year subscription to NetSuite's cloud application suite and free data migration services.

"That's out there for our partners to use," said Craig West, NetSuite vice president of Americas channel sales, in an interview. He said partners could leverage the program to help prospect for new customers and sweeten deals for which partners are competing.

West said he was told by a partner this week about a prospect that had been considering adopting Business ByDesign, but chose NetSuite when word of SAP's change in direction got out.

Last week, SAP disclosed that it would limit the scope of its Business ByDesign cloud application suite, focusing its development efforts on a new cloud application platform based on the vendor's HANA in-memory database.

Business ByDesign had more than 1,000 customers, SAP executives said, and about 200 solution providers were authorized to sell the cloud application suite.

Solution providers have been coming to NetSuite since early this year, questioning SAP's commitment to Business ByDesign and mulling a switch to another vendor, West said. He declined to specifically name SAP partners that had done so. Last week, NetSuite said that a number of Microsoft, Sage and SAP partners had joined the NetSuite Solution Provider Program, including SAP partner ADN in Guatemala City.

West said NetSuite has been offering assistance to SAP partners to make that transition, such as providing training and other services. "We've been supporting those folks," he said.

The channel chief said NetSuite is developing a program to specifically recruit SAP partners, likely offering such incentives as waiving first-year channel program fees.

NetSuite isn't alone in sensing a business opportunity in SAP's decision to pull back from Business ByDesign. This week, Oracle jumped into the fray by offering Business ByDesign customers a free year subscription to its own cloud ERP applications if they commit to a three-year contract.

SAP's Business ByDesign decision is causing ripples throughout the ERP channel. Arxis Technology, an SAP partner based in Simi Valley, Calif., was authorized to sell Business ByDesign. But principal Robert Gaby said his company only had a few customers, and SAP has steadily cut back the resources it devoted to Business ByDesign channel efforts.

"We never got that many customers. I think we had three sales," he said. "I just think they don't have the traction they were hoping for in the midmarket."

Arxis Technology added Intacct cloud applications to its product offerings about two years ago. "We felt it was a better play for the lower end of the midmarket," Gaby said. And the solution provider is in the process of adding Sage Software's Sage ERP X3 to its lineup. The company's partnership contract with SAP runs until next spring. "We'll make a decision then whether to renew or not," he said.

PUBLISHED OCT. 30, 2013