Two months after ending a licensing deal with Oracle, mid-market business applications supplier NetSuite is using its entry-level software relaunch to woo customers of Intuit's QuickBooks.
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It has upgraded its NetSuite Small Business application, formerly known as the Oracle Small Business Suite, with usability features and data migration tools targeted at QuickBooks users.
NetSuite hopes its web-based bundle of sales, accounting and e-commerce technology will attract customers outgrowing older and less scalable accounting-based software systems.
While the company would like to expand its presence at the smallest end of the business applications market - it claims to have converted 1,000 companies from QuickBooks to NetSuite in the past five years - only a small proportion of NetSuite's customers use the entry-level package, according to chief executive Zach Nelson.
To address the needs of the upper mid-market NetSuite plans to launch a more advanced version of its software at the end of September, Nelson said.
The addition will expand its portfolio of products from software aimed at tiny organisations with a few dozen employees to larger businesses with more than $100m in annual sales.
NetSuite, which reports a customer base of 7,500 companies, competes in the hosted CRM market with suppliers such as Salesforce.com. Its differentiator is a focus on integrated front- and back-end systems for small and medium-sized companies. NetSuite also sells ERP and commerce applications, which can be bundled together into its eponymous NetSuite software.
The company's co-founder and majority owner is Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison. He still takes an active interest in NetSuite, according to Nelson, but Oracle and NetSuite have taken steps to distance themselves as their products compete more directly.
Oracle has been edging toward the small business market, though its definition of "small" remains significantly above that of most supplier dedicated to that market - it was only last year that Oracle ended a requirement that customers spend at least $250,000 to be eligible to license its E-Business Suite.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service