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NetSuite Rolls Out Software Vertical App

By Erika Morphy
Mar 14, 2006 3:54 PM PT

Continuing to develop its verticalization strategy, NetSuite has launched "NetSuite Software Company Edition," an application for the software industry. Not surprisingly, its design was based in part on NetSuite's own experiences, the company said.

NetSuite Rolls Out Software Vertical App

"Running a software company is complex -- especially in the new world of Software as a Service, combined with the complexity of financial compliance," said CEO Zach Nelson.

"After years of using NetSuite to manage every aspect of our business, we are happy to extend our experience to other software companies," he added.

Compliance, Billing, Dashboard

Among the highlights of this new application:

  • Support for revenue-recognition accounting standards, including regulations promulgated by AICPA, FASB and SEC. It also supports Sarbanes-Oxley compliance with Section 404.
  • An advanced billing feature that allows finance departments to automate billing processes, as well as to create invoices based on the related license agreement and service contract.

    Embedded renewals and maintenance sales management processes with start and end dates at the customer level. At the sales order level, the system triggers automatic reminders for contract renewal. Tailored billing schedules handle maintenance invoicing.

  • Fifteen preconfigured dashboard options for every major user in a software organization -- CEO, CFO, controller, sales VP, sales manager, renewals manager, support VP, support manager and engineer -- who tracks financial data including sales on billings, GAAP and cash basis; forecast on billings; GAAP revenue, quota bearing reps on board; pipeline weighted and unweighted.

30-Plus and Counting

Until now, this particular approach to verticalization has been the exception in NetSuite's product development strategy. Most of the verticals the company has rolled out thus far have been in conjunction with partners. Critics of such an approach say that it leads to a fill-in-the-blanks industry specific application -- at best -- with NetSuite relying on partners to deliver the true value add.

On the other hand, proponents note that it would be impossible for NetSuite to develop so many industry-specific applications any other way. Indeed, most firms partner with best-of-breed content providers for vertical applications.

"For the most part, NetSuite's goal has been to find a partner that can take its [vertical] template and bring industry-specific content to it," Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer. In particular, over the last year or so, NetSuite has been focusing on building out this aspect of its business, she said.

In January, NetSuite upped its strike capability considerably in this area, introducing more than 30 vertical applications. These products, which focus on industries and functional areas ranging from project management to healthcare to retail, were developed by partners using the company's integration tool, the NetFlex Applications Program.

To name just one example, contact-center service provider LivePerson developed LivePerson Chat for NetSuite, which offers multichannel sales and service functionality through LivePerson's operator interface.


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