There’s a growing trend among companies to use the cloud to manage and store not only simple business processes like email, but also higher-end, more sophisticated ones. Indeed, in some cases demand for such functionality is outstripping supply. In response, vendors are turning to a long-standing tradition to build out functionality — forging partnerships — in order to get to market sooner.
Consider NetSuite’s recent partnership announcements: In one fell swoop, the company ratcheted up its cloud computing bona fides by several notches.
It has struck new deals with Amazon Web Services, business process outsourcing company Genpact, global IT services company Wipro Technologies and agricultural equipment information company IRON Solutions — all of which enhance its CloudSuite platform’s application development functions or channel distribution reach.
Flocking to the Cloud
“More organizations are willing to move critical businesses processes to the cloud,” Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research, told CRM Buyer.
“NetSuite has recognized that and is finding partners to help customers manage that process — as well as customize and implement it,” she said.
NetSuite, of course, is hardly the first company to move forward on this path: The company holding the leadership position in the cloud computing CRM space is Salesforce.com.
Amazon — one of NetSuite’s partners — has also been breaking ground in this area, although in its case, it has been targeting SMBs as a utility computing model rather than as a platform for development.
What NetSuite brings to the table, Wettemann said, is its focus as an integrated ERP-CRM suite.
Introduced last year, SuiteCloud, now in version 2.0, was also upgraded with such new features as backup for application management in the cloud, cloud-to-cloud integration with single sign-on authentication, and new graphical workflow management software.
This latter feature provides point-and-click functionality that can create and alter custom workflows to support a company’s own processes.
What the Partners Bring
The deeper functionality, though, will come from the new partnerships.
Genpact, for example, will provide implementation services to Netsuite SuiteCloud customers.
NetSuite and Amazon Web Services have formed a partnership that connects their cloud platforms and allows developers to build new software applications based on their respective offerings.
IRON Solutions’ partnership and its subsequent product development is an example of new vertical functionality. The company has built a customer and equipment lifecycle management application called “IRON HQ” for New Holland Agriculture equipment dealers in North America.
Cloud computing has made data storage much easier.