NetSuite Offers Social Networking, 'Unlimited' Edition Of Cloud Apps

NetSuite, which is holding its first SuiteWorld conference for customers and partners in San Francisco this week, also launched a new line of cloud applications called NetSuite Unlimited for large companies and unveiled plans to use Oracle's Exadata Database Machine to run NetSuite's cloud applications.

And during a keynote speech NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said the channel accounted for 40 percent of new bookings in the company's most recently completed fiscal quarter, up from 32 percent one year ago and 22 percent two years earlier.

"We've seen year after year how much stronger these channel partners are getting into delivering cloud services," Nelson said.

Through the deal with Yammer, NetSuite is integrating its ERP and CRM cloud applications with Yammer's enterprise social networking software to create a new application called SuiteSocial. Data created by activities running in NetSuite applications, such as a sales representative placing an order or a manager collaborating on a marketing project, can be transmitted as "activity streams" through Yammer.

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Business application vendors are increasingly adding social networking capabilities to their applications -- Salesforce Chatter perhaps being the best known. The idea is to leverage the same kind of social networking capabilities found in Twitter and Facebook for use within business organizations.

Importing NetSuite content into Yammer will help improve real-time collaboration, the companies said. "We can make all of your records much more collaborative and social," Yammer CEO David Sacks during the keynote.

Yammer is developing technology called "Yammer Technology Streams," that will form the foundation of the alliance with NetSuite. The core technology will be available in the second quarter with the "Yammer Activity Stories" API available for third-party developers in the third quarter.

NetSuite Unlimited is a new version of the company's ERP cloud applications targeting huge corporations. With a starting price of "well over $1 million per year," Nelson said, NetSuite Unlimited removes all limits on the number of supported users and company subsidiaries, add-on application modules, data storage capacity and customization support.

While NetSuite does have some big customers today, its standard suite of applications has been most popular among SMBs. And its OneWorld software is particularly tailored toward companies (large and small) with multiple subsidiaries. Nelson called those products the "foundation" of the company's business while NetSuite Unlimited "is really adding the last story of the house."

To help power NetSuite unlimited the company disclosed that it would acquire Oracle's high-end Exadata Database Machines to run its cloud applications. That announcement spurred an appearance by Oracle president Mark Hurd who gave a brief pitch for the benefits of the NetSuite-Exadata combination will provide to end-customers.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the majority shareholder of NetSuite.

NetSuite also unveiled a partnership with systems integrator Accenture and, as previously reported, a partnership with Chicago-based solution provider RSM McGladrey. The latter will resell NetSuite's ERP cloud applications and provide professional and implementation services.

NetSuite also said new customers for its cloud applications include Groupon and Qualcomm, both of which will subscribe to the company's NetSuite OneWorld applications.