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NetSuite SuiteBundler versus AppExchange

While's AppExchange has a reputation for being far less successful than the company claims, that hasn't stopped NetSuite from trying to trump in the third party product and industry solutions game. NetSuite announced today a new software product called SuiteBundler which apparently permits business partners (primarily VARs), ISVs, programmers and system integrators to create vertically focused industry solutions.

I like this platform product because it includes more than just software. For example, including content such as Retail Best Practices helps consultants like myself merge software with benefits.

Suitebundler is part of the SuiteFlex platform which includes other components such as SuiteBuilder, SuiteScript and SuiteTalk. As with many product announcements coming out of Silicon Valley, NetSuite took the opportunity to spin yet another hosted software industry term now called "Service as Software", not to be confused with "Platform as a Service" from, "Software Plus Service" from Microsoft or "Software as a Service" from the rest of the industry.

Early SiteBundler industry releases have been designed or are being designed for the software, media, IT resellers, agriculture, retail (point of sale), franchises and electronics whole distribution industries.

While SuiteBundler remains to be seen in action, it comes across as a bit of a template builder. Not sophisticated nor flexible but a decent start and possibly useful for adapting a horizontal ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution to certain industry segments. The focus of a few of these industry solutions shows that NetSuite may be passing on some of the vertical markets so big they are almost horizontal and instead getting to the micro-verticals which I believe offer a much higher margin and sticky customer market.

While AppExchange (and Force/VisualForce) has more maturity, capability, participation and momentum, I think the big advantage SiteBundler has over AppExchange is NetSuite's enterprise wide application capability. Verticalizing an integrated front to back office application suite is far easier and more effective than trying to verticalize just the front office or add a third party back office to another vendor's front office. In the last 20 years, the promise of "seamless integration" between multiple vendor systems has been ridiculed as largely a failure. Having worked with multi-vendor allegedly integrated applications I will personally testify the integration is generally weak, upgrades are problematic and expensive and the technical support is maddening.

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July 30, 2007 in NetSuite, | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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