NetSuite Recruits Leading Sage Reseller To Its Partner Program

Solution provider Blytheco has signed on to become a NetSuite channel partner and will launch a cloud computing practice based on NetSuite's cloud ERP applications.

Blytheco, based in Laguna Hills, Calif., is one of Sage Software's biggest resellers and Blythco's decision to partner with a Sage competitor is a significant move. In February, Blytheco joined SugarCRM's partner program and began reselling that vendor's CRM applications as well.

NetSuite, which held its SuiteWorld 2012 customer and partner conference in San Francisco this week, also said it has recruited Grant Thornton LLP as a systems integration partner to the NetSuite Solution Provider Program. Grant Thornton, the U.S. member company of Grant Thornton International, will implement NetSuite's cloud applications to mid-market businesses across a range of industries.

[Related: NetSuite Channel Chief Tells Partners Cloud ERP Ready For Liftoff ]

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"The cloud is here to stay as a proven delivery platform and NetSuite is relevant to what customers are looking for in a fully integrated suite of business applications," said Stephen Blythe, Blytheco founder and CEO, in a statement. "We see a significant opportunity to meet customer demands and make a market impact with a cloud solution proven to improve business efficiency and visibility while allowing businesses to scale on demand."

Blytheco, which has more than 5,000 SMB and enterprise customers, will sell, implement and support NetSuite's cloud ERP/financials, CRM, e-commerce and supply chain applications. The Blytheco statement said the solution provider chose to join NetSuite's partner program after "thorough due diligence on NetSuite's cloud solution, customer successes, customization capacity, market position, financial stability, partner channel program and future direction."

Sage recently changed the prices it charges for traditional perpetual licenses for some of its core ERP applications, resulting in price increases for some of them, and channel partners have complained that the move means tighter margins for them. Sage is also rebranding some of its ERP applications and other products to emphasize the Sage name, and some partners are upset with the loss of such brand names as MAS 90 and Accpac.

"Blytheco is, and continues to be, a very important partner to Sage," said Joe Langner, Sage executive vice president of mid-market and CRM Solutions, in a statement. "While we would prefer that our partners focus 100% of their attention on Sage solutions, we understand that some partners from time to time will add additional offerings to their portfolio of services.

"I continue to be very excited about our relationship with Blytheco, as well as all of our partner organizations. I believe our new subscription pricing options, near term advancements in our ERP and CRM solutions, and an accelerated movement to leveraging the web and mobile devices will continue to add more value to our customers, while offering additional opportunities for our channel partners to grow their product and services revenues," Langner said.

Blytheco has been careful to say that its expansion to SugarCRM and NetSuite is not directly related to the changes at Sage. But, Craig West, NetSuite's vice president of channel sales, said in an interview that he expects the changes at Sage will drive some of the vendor's partners to NetSuite. "We're going to see a real groundswell in the Sage community to move to us," he predicted.

NEXT: Grant Thorton's Decision to Join NetSuite

The decision by Grant Thornton, a major accounting firm, to become a NetSuite systems integrator stems from demand from the firm's customers, West said. The channel chief said the partnership is similar to the relationship NetSuite has with RSM McGladrey Inc., the national accounting firm that joined NetSuite's partner program one year ago.

"We see increasing interest from our clients in taking greater advantage of cloud business solutions that are reliable, scalable, agile and customizable," said Paul Kanneman, Grant Thornton's Business Advisory Services national managing principal, in a statement. "These solutions are being adopted to improve the performance of mature processes, such as financial management. More importantly, cloud solutions are driving new ways of doing business -- through mobile and social technologies -- that will help organizations gain a competitive advantage over traditional business models."

Also joining the NetSuite partner program is Frank, Rimerman Consulting, which is launching a cloud-computing practice based on NetSuite's business management applications, targeting such vertical industries as manufacturing, wholesale distribution, life sciences and the public sector.

NetSuite now has between 140 and 150 partners covering the Americas, West said, with another 75 to 100 in other regions of the world. New business generated by partners grew 50 percent in 2011, according to West.