Last week, cloud business software giant Netsuite announced a new partnership with Microsoft, whom Netsuite CEO Zach Nelson described as “kind of a competitor” – thereby making himself king of the understatement. Back in 2010, Microsoft was offering a credit of up to $850 to US companies using NetSuite if they switched to Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV or Microsoft Dynamics SL.
But now the gloves are back on and the two companies are shaking hands, it seems. Steve Guggenheimer, Corporate Vice President of Developer Platform & Evangelism and Chief Evangelist for Microsoft, said: “Our joint vision is all about giving people the freedom to get more done through the broadening set of devices they interact with that in turn helps businesses innovate and grow.”
Integrate to Innovate
Ironically, the deal with Microsoft was brokered by NetSuite Chief Marketing Officer Fred Studer, who was manager of Microsoft Dynamics solutions until 6 months ago. “Our entire philosophy is to buy the best, if we can afford it, and it makes sense for us,” says Studer.
At its core, the deal involves integration between Netsuite’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software, used to track operational and financial data) and Microsoft’s cloud based office software suite, Office 365, with planned single interface access. Microsoft’s Azure platform will also become Netsuite’s first choice for the building of custom software enhancements, with a single sign-in required.
Customers will be able to connect NetSuite data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365, gaining new insights into their business, while the Azure infrastructure will allow Netsuite customers to build new software applications that integrate Netsuite’s cloud business management capabilities with Azure’s mighty storage and computing powers. NetSuite is also set to migrate its entire employee base to Office 365. “Microsoft has won the war,” stated Studer. “Office 365 is the definitive platform for productivity. We’re privileged to have that partnership.”
Benefits for Both Companies
“The cloud business model that NetSuite pioneered in 1998 is becoming the de facto standard for how fast-growth businesses are run,” said Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO. However, he knows its limitations: “We don’t have a general-purpose platform, so the Azure relationship is really important for us,” he admits.
Microsoft appreciate the benefits too, though, with CEO Satya Nadello describing the integration as like “opening the doors of the front and back office, bringing together ERP and productivity to transform how people work.”
It’s a powerful combination that’s likely to leave Amazon Web Services floundering in their wake…