NetSuite targets Microsoft and Sage with financials module

NetSuite has launched a financials module, pitching it against Sage and Microsoft products.

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The stand-alone module does not need to be deployed with the Netsuite’s full on-demand suite, which also includes CRM (customer relationship management) and e-commerce components.

The new NetSuite Financials module includes tools such as general ledger; order-to-cash functionality; inventory and supply chain features; "services resource planning" capabilities, which services companies can use to manage projects; payroll and compensation management; and NetSuite's SuiteAnalytics BI (business intelligence) package.

To entice customers, NetSuite is offering a 30 percent list-price discount on the financials module for those that switch from Microsoft GP or any Sage ERP (enterprise resource planning) application.

NetSuite is also touting the module's "seamless" integration with rival Salesforce.com. The move both tacitly acknowledges Salesforce’s dominant position in on-demand CRM.

On the second front, NetSuite is competing with the likes of Intacct, which has built an integration with Salesforce.

Overall, NetSuite's announcement represents a subtle shift in strategy, since the vendor has often pointed to its integrated family of ERP, CRM and supply chain applications as a selling point. That has apparently turned off some users who want to take more incremental steps into on-demand software.

"The suite's doing fine, but some customers out there aren't necessarily inviting us to the table because they think they have to take on the entire suite," said Mini Peiris, vice president of product marketing.

NetSuite has always offered the option of starting with financials and also sells its CRM product in stand-alone form, she added. Today’s announcement, therefore, is more about repositioning than new technology, according to Peiris.

The financials module is priced the same as NetSuite's flagship suite, at $499 per month plus $99 per user per month.

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