HCM Applications At Core Of New Oracle-NetSuite Alliance

The partnership is the third such alliance Oracle announced this week, coming on the heels of far-reaching alliances with longtime rivals Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

The Oracle-NetSuite alliance sets up the two companies to compete more vigorously with application developer SAP, a chief rival to both vendors, and cloud HCM application vendor Workday.

[Related: Oracle Expands Partner Cloud Opportunities, Steps Up Rebate Incentives ]

Unlike those "strange bedfellows" announcements, Oracle and NetSuite already have close ties. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is the majority shareholder in NetSuite, and Oracle once offered NetSuite's applications under the Oracle Small Business Suite label.

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"These are two companies that like each other," Oracle president Mark Hurd said on a conference call to announce the partnership. "We're going to put a lot of effort into making this alliance extremely successful."

The two companies will integrate Oracle's HCM Cloud applications with NetSuite ERP, the company's application suite for small and mid-size businesses. NetSuite ERP already has an HCM component, but Hurd and NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, who also was on the announcement call, said the move will give joint customers the option of using Oracle HCM Cloud with the NetSuite software.

Hurd said the integrations would be developed over time, starting as soon as next quarter. Oracle will dedicate sales resources to work with NetSuite on joint deals, and Nelson said his company's sales representatives would refer customers to the Oracle product where appropriate.

Oracle HCM Cloud includes modules for talent management, recruiting, employee performance management, compensation management and other tasks.

"Customers will benefit from the commonality of the products' underlying Oracle-based architecture and the enormous investment in R&D and customer service that both companies bring to the table," Nelson said.

Systems integrator Deloitte is playing a role in the alliance, developing a practice to offer tools and implementation services to help customers implement the combined Oracle-NetSuite applications.

Earlier this week Oracle said it would certify and support its software, including its flagship database and middleware products, on Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud platform and Hyper-V virtualization technology. Oracle is also providing license mobility for customers who want to run Oracle software on Azure. Microsoft, in return, is offering fully licensed and supported Java for Azure.

Tuesday Oracle and Salesforce.com announced a nine-year pact under which Salesforce will standardize on Oracle's database, Linux and Java middleware and use Oracle's Exadata Database Machine in its data centers.