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Oracle's NetLedger Launches NetSuite

By Erika Morphy
Oct 14, 2002 11:33 AM PT

NetLedger, maker of the Oracle Small Business suite, has announced NetSuite, a new product that includes inventory, accounting and CRM. This announcement follows on the heels of last month's NetCRM unveiling.

Oracle's NetLedger Launches NetSuite

NetSuite bundles several existing applications. "The difference is the functionality that is included in NetSuite," Zach Nelson, president of NetLedger, told CRM Buyer Magazine. "We tried to keep the Oracle Small Business suite straightforward and simple. In NetSuite we have added advanced functionality, including the advanced CRM features [in NetCRM] and advanced accounting features, such as multicurrency and multilocation inventory management."

NetSuite includes customer support, accounting and payroll, warehousing and product assembly, Web store and Web presence, and employee productivity.

NetSuite -- as well as NetCRM - will be available in late October, with an entry-level price of US$4,800 per year for three users. Additional users can be added for $50 each per month. The company also will offer NetSuite Enterprise Edition for $3,750 per month.

ERP Meets CRM

Nelson said that NetLedger was the first vendor to offer an integrated, online accounting-CRM application. To be sure, the only other vendor close to delivering this integrated functionality is Salesforce.com, which is currently in beta testing for its financials module, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff told CRM Buyer.

"Other than presentation software, such as WebEx, Placeware and Yahoo Broadcasting, the only other ASP market to have serious traction today in online services is CRM," Benioff said, adding that the next market to open up will be financials, but not in the immediate term. "So far, most companies that have been in this market have not experienced success."

Until that happens, NetSuite's accounting features could prove to be a competitive differentiator from the other online CRM providers. "The value proposition is that NetLedger offers fully integrated accounting functionality, which is one thing you don't get with a pure online CRM application," Gartner analyst Joe Outlaw told CRM Buyer.

The Microsoft Factor

But it is Microsoft CRM, once it ships, that most likely will prove to be NetSuite's closest competitor, Nelson said.

"Microsoft is talking a great deal about [combining an ERP with their CRM system] these days," he said. "But their challenge is they will have two databases. Half of the data will be stored in Outlook, and half would be stored in Great Plains. Ultimately, they will have to figure out how to consolidate their data architecture."


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