NetSuite Snags Oakland Athletics' Star GM For Board

The San Mateo, Calif.-based software company specializes in hosted ERP systems and is reportedly prepping an IPO. It remains majority-owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.

Beane is famous in the baseball world for his non-traditional approach to scouting players and has piloted the team to winning seasons since he took his present position in 1998 -- despite the fact that he works with a budget that's a fraction of what rival big-market teams have to deal with. Beane was the star of the Michael Lewis best-seller, "Moneyball: The Art Of Winning."

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson is a big A's fan, and the company has hosted events at the McAfee Coliseum, where the team plays. NetSuite announced that the Athletics signed on as a customer two years ago.

The rest of the board comprises Nelson and NetSuite CTO Evan Goldberg as well as Deborah Farrington, general partner of StarVest Partners; Steve Fink, CEO of Lawrence Investments; and Philip Simon, president of Lawrence Investors.

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NetSuite has expanded beyond its hosted ERP roots into CRM and into an application development platform. The company is also trying to build and balance its partner program in a world where the role of traditional VARs and channel partners in its software-as-a-service (SaaS) realm remains unclear.

NetSuite competes with SaaS pioneer as well as traditional ERP and CRM vendors. Microsoft is also moving toward offering hosted versions of its CRM and ERP wares, which are already offered in the hosted model by its partners.