NetSuite rolls out commerce-as-a-service platform

The system is being touted as a unified hub for all e-commerce activity

NetSuite is going up against vendors such as Demandware in the market for cloud-based e-commerce platforms, announcing a new product, SuiteCommerce, during the SuiteWorld conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

While NetSuite has offered e-commerce technologies for some time, this product aims to up the ante and replace first-generation e-commerce platforms, which largely revolve around purchases made through company websites.

Today, e-commerce customers buy not only through websites but also via their smartphones, social media and in-store kiosks, said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson in an interview prior to the conference.

"It's not just about the website anymore," Nelson said. SuiteCommerce is build to handle all types of today's transactions, as well as ones done through "interfaces not yet defined," he said.

Some of the latter may come through machine-to-machine purchasing scenarios, Nelson said. For example, a surgical robot could automatically order new surgical needles it uses as supplies run low, he said.

SuiteCommerce, under development for several years, consists of two main new pieces. One, called SuiteCommerce Experience, is used for building user interfaces across multiple device types. The other is a set of services for connecting interfaces built with SuiteCommerce Experience to back-end components in the core NetSuite system, such as for payment processing and order management.

Customers who decide to use third-party tools to build out user interfaces for their e-commerce efforts can still use these services, Nelson said.

And companies that already have an ERP system from the likes of Oracle and SAP can deploy SuiteCommerce as a stand-alone system, and then integrate its data back to their core ERP, according to Nelson.

A version of SuiteCommerce aimed at small and mid-sized companies is available now, with a fuller-featured Enterprise edition available in controlled release.

Pricing for the midmarket edition starts at US$1,999 per month, while the enterprise version begins at $3,999 per month.NetSuite will differ from other e-commerce vendors by selling its software via licenses for modules and internal users, instead of a percentage of the total revenue that flows through the system, Nelson said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is

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