, NetSuite Bolster PRM Efforts is extending its AppExchange online mart so that its component products can be more easily sold through channel partners.

The news, coming out of the company's annual Dreamforce show kicking off today in San Francisco, is part of the company's move to make AppExhange a clearing house for third-party business applications.

The company announced some Partner Relationship Management (PRM) functionality in its hosted serviceslast June , but is now making that available through AppExchange., a software-as-a-service pioneer, has been criticized by some for cutting down the role of traditional reseller partners while recruiting services partners.

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The new extensions mean that customers like Nokia or Cisco can peruse and purchase such capabilities as quoting or market development funds (MDF) management install them for their own partners, said Elay Cohen, senior product manager with the San Francisco-based company.

"We released the portal infrastructure and ability to release PRM specific apps [such as] MDF, channel planning. Now what customers can do is take any object or app and expose it through the portal to any channel they want," Cohen said.

One customer, F5 Networks, is enthused. "It very much accelerates our ability to deploy mission critical channel apps and programs and it's on demand and very customizable so we can tailor it to our own business challenges," said Dean Darwin, vice president of channel sales for the Seattle-based company. With this new offering and delivery vehicle "I can now turn my channel on a dime for any competitive threat or business opportunity," Darwin said.

NetSuite, a pioneer of ERP-as-a-server has likewise bolstered its PRM capabilities. Its latest hosted release will let customers extend compensation planning modules heretofore used by their direct sales people to channel partners, said Mini Peiris, vice president of product management for the San Mateo, Calif. company

"You can set up commission plans, margin plans, revenue sharing plans for all within NetSuite and then have payment reflected in the partner self-service portal," Peiris said.

The extensions are geared to bring partners more fully into the transactional fold, Netsuite said. Partners can now see how their vendor is tracking payments, can view commission checks as the month proceeds, check on performance indicators and what payment will be based on what is in the pipeline, Peiris said.

As the SaaS players attempt to garner channel support, Microsoft is building its response to hosted applications with Office Live and Windows Live, a slate of consumer- and small-business-focused hosted services.