NetSuite hooks up with Amazon's storage cloud

The partnership will allow NetSuite users to offload less crucial files to save money

NetSuite has integrated its on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) software with Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service (S3), the company announced Wednesday in conjunction with its annual partner and developer conference in San Francisco.

The SuiteStorage connector is meant to give customers a lower-cost option for storing files that don't necessarily need to reside within NetSuite itself, said CEO Zach Nelson.

"When we store data in NetSuite, it's in an Oracle database," he said. "That's very expensive storage. We're saying, if you don't need this stuff online, go store it in Amazon."

SuiteStorage allows customers to interact with data stored on Amazon directly from within NetSuite. It was developed by NetSuite partner and reseller Celigo with NetSuite's SuiteCloud development framework.

The company also said Wednesday that Iron Solutions, which provides software and services for farm equipment manufacturers, dealers and buyers, has used NetSuite and its tools to build a customized application.

Overall, the announcements are supposed to underscore two points: that SaaS (software as a service) is extensible and customizable, and that new selling models are emerging for applications like NetSuite.

"To all those naysayers that say SaaS isn't customizable ... this shows it," Nelson said. "They built a micro-vertical edition right on this platform."

The Iron Solutions announcement follows its pact with Australian vendor JCurve Solutions, which sells a rebranded, simplified version of NetSuite to companies with five to 20 employees. That deal means NetSuite gets to keep a toe in the low end of the SMB pool, even as it courts larger companies with moves like the Amazon integration.

The Amazon deal has other positives for NetSuite, said Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research. For one, it "enables NetSuite to focus the performance of its application on active data," she said.

NetSuite is also realizing that "the more partners they have, the more they can scale," Wettemann added.

The prospect of more vertical editions bodes well for customers too, since having specialized features out of the box boosts the chance the application will meet business needs, she said.

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