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2/25/2014
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Dell Takes NetSuite Under Its Wing

Dell boosts its services and consulting business through a partnership with cloud ERP vendor NetSuite.

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Dell wants and needs more services and consulting business to offset its low-margin PC business. It is partnering with cloud ERP vendor NetSuite, hoping to accelerate and be part of that company's fast growth.

In a deal announced Tuesday, Dell has expanded its existing relationship with NetSuite by becoming a reseller and implementation partner. The move gives NetSuite more sales and implementation feet on the street while giving Dell more opportunities to offer its consulting and application services.

One strong fit between Dell and NetSuite is Dell Boomi, a cloud-based data-integration service that's already helping NetSuite customers make connections between cloud services and on-premises systems and data stores. The Boomi AtomSphere app for NetSuite provides an "extensive library of pre-built connectors for NetSuite-to-SaaS and NetSuite-to-on-premise integrations," according to a statement from Dell.

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Dell is also touting its domain expertise in healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, and e-commerce as a complement to NetSuite's cloud-based applications. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said in a statement that the combination of Dell's "depth and breadth of industry experience" with NetSuite's "customization and business process workflows to support vertical industry needs" will expedite the migration of ERP systems to the cloud. In this mode, NetSuite shows up mostly in mid-size businesses as a replacement for legacy on-premises deployments of Epicor, Infor, Microsoft, Sage, and other ERP systems.

The partners also acknowledged the hybrid, two-tier ERP model whereby companies maintain their existing on-premises ERP systems while using NetSuite to support new subsidiaries and locations in the cloud. In these deployments, NetSuite is the lower-cost alternative for larger enterprises that would otherwise expand their SAP or Oracle ERP footprints.

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Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 6:41:17 PM
A natural match
Dell's Boomi integration in the cloud and NetSuite's SaaS is a natural match. Not surprising that these two got together. Boomi may find it needs to make some additional connectors for the small and medium sized businesses in the NetSuite customer base.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 9:07:21 AM
Microsoft won't be thrilled
I'm sure Dell-investor Microsoft isn't thrilled about this move, but that's life. NetSuite competes with Microsoft's Dynamics enterprise apps business and, in fact, Dell uses Dynamix ERP for selected applications. Dell's HQ financials run on Oracle E-Business Suite.

Dynamics already offers GP and NAV ERP in the cloud as hosted managed services. Dynamics AX, the company's flagship ERP system, is moving onto Azure as a multi-tenant service, so that's where we'll see closer competition with NetSuite. Interestingly, Kirill Tatarinov, head of the Dynamics business, has recently been quoted dismissing cloud deployment as an important deployment mode for ERP at sizeable companies. 
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