NetSuite has introduced SuiteBundler, a new platform for its channel partners. The product is a new component in its development and integration toolset, SuiteFlex.
SuiteBundler offers a new generation of development tools for its third-party channel partners so they can continue to create vertical applications and more sophisticated business process customizations for end users.
Partners have already introduced several new vertical applications via SuiteBundler in the software, media/publishing, IT resellers, agricultural equipment dealerships, seaport management, retail, electronics distribution and shipping material industries, according to NetSuite. The company announced the new products at its annual partner conference last week in San Francisco.
Enabling the Channel
There is a growing trend among SaaS vendors to reach out to developers and partners. Some, such as NetSuite, have traditionally provided new tech initiatives to their third-party partners as part of their business model. Other vendors, such as Salesforce.com, have only in recent years begun cultivating these outside firms.
In this particular instance, NetSuite is following Salesforce.com’s lead by opening up its development platform, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer. In previous years it has offered development tools, such as its SuiteFlex platform, she noted. “This version, though, really packages well and productizes those tools.”
The equivalent to Salesforce.com’s efforts would be its recently introduced Force.com platform. “All of these vendors are now going out of their way to woo developers with new enticements and tools,” she said.
One problem they all face, Kingstone added, is a margin issue. In short, developers will only build what they can resell at a profit.
“The hardest piece of this is finding microverticals that can produce revenues for both developer and NetSuite,” she said.
The New Toolset
Tools in SuiteBundler:
- Bundle Builder: a three-step graphical assistant for selecting components to create an application. These components include configurable elements within NetSuite, such as user roles, dashboards, custom tabs, custom centers, custom KPIs (key performance indicators) and scorecards, custom reports, custom lists and custom forms; database elements, such as custom fields and custom records/objects; and scripted business process and application development elements, such as client SuiteScript, Server SuiteScript, SuiteScript UI Objects and Suitelets.
- Bundle Distribution: allows users to choose from three modes when making SuiteBundles available to customers. A partner creating a SuiteBundle for commercial availability, for example, would distribute it as ‘Shared’ to customers that have purchased the application. Customers using SuiteBundler for their own customizations, on the other hand, would use the ‘Private’ mode. A ‘Public’ SuiteBundle would be made available for free, much like the open-source model.
SuiteSource Bundle Repository, allows partners creating SuiteBundles to save the customer-installation-ready version of the application, while continuing to work on the next iteration in their developer account.