NetSuite talks up integration with Salesforce.com

Hoping to score new business among a rival's customer base, SaaS ERP vendor NetSuite on Thursday pushed its ability to integrate with on-demand CRM vendor Salesforce.com.

Specifically, NetSuite's announcement highlights several partner-developed applications that can be used to connect Salesforce.com to NetSuite, enabling business processes such as lead-to-cash.

NetSuite or Salesforce.com customers that want to connect the two systems would form agreements directly with the partner companies, which include Boomi, Celigo, Cast Iron Systems and Pervasive Software, a NetSuite spokesman said.

Given Salesforce.com's large market footprint -- it has more than 50,000 customers and greater than US$1 billion in revenue -- it certainly makes sense for NetSuite to align itself with the vendor, in spite of the fact that they compete on the CRM (customer relationship management) front.

For example, Intacct, maker of on-demand financials software, has a partnership with Salesforce.com. Thursday's announcement is a way for NetSuite to emphasize the fact that it can integrate with Salesforce too, "and say, 'Oh, you could go to us [for financials],'" said China Martens, senior analyst with the 451 Group in Boston.

In addition, a lot of Salesforce.com customers aren't using any on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) functionality, so if NetSuite can demonstrate truly tight integration with Salesforce, that could convince users to make further investments in SaaS, she said.

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