Salesforce.com took another step toward extending its reach beyond just CRM and becoming an on-demand development environment. The company today announced an original equipment manufacturing (OEM) program. And NetSuite Inc., continuing to highlight its back-office and front-office on-demand integration, took a shot at SAP as it strives to become "SAP for the midmarket."
Salesforce.com is launching the new OEM program at an event in San Francisco today. Under the program, partners that have developed on-demand applications for Salesforce.com's AppExchange, its application sharing directory, can now offer their tools to non-Salesforce.com customers. The program changes the game for new software companies, according to Phil Robinson, Salesforce.com's chief marketing officer.
"In the past, you had to buy hardware and development tools to create a development environment. Then you had to build applications and the product you're trying to develop," Robinson said. "Then you had to build your own data center to serve applications through your client. Salesforce.com changes that. Simply point your browser at Salesforce.com. The development tools are a free service and we will host it for you on demand through our data center."
In fact, one OEM partner is launching its company in conjunction with Appforce, Salesforce.com's event today. MyLoanBiz provides an on-demand application for loan officers.
The program is being launched with three other OEM partners as well. DreamFactory Software is offering DreamTeam, a teamwork automation tool for project management, collaborative calendaring, and document management. Rally Software Development is delivering a product management tool to help companies launch products and upgrades. And Remend Inc. is offering REO agent, a tool for realtors and mortgage lenders.
Salesforce.com charges a fee of $25 per user to its partners. The products will be available on AppExchange, but partners will also sell through their own direct sales channels.
SAP for the midmarket?
Meanwhile, San Mateo, Calif.-based NetSuite was taking aim at enterprise business applications vendor SAP. In an event originally intended to be held during Sapphire, SAP's user conference in Orlando last week, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson highlighted new functionality in NetSuite's version 11 product.
NetSuite had planned to host its program at a hotel across the street from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando where thousands of SAP users were gathering for Sapphire. Once SAP got wind of the event, however, it pressured the hotel into canceling. Hosting an event at a hotel completely booked with SAP personnel and press covering the event was "poor sportsmanship," according to an SAP spokesperson. NetSuite moved the event online and presented itself as the business applications vendor for the midmarket.
"Someone will consolidate this market, and when I say consolidate, I mean become the system of record for the midmarket," Nelson said. "You need to own the transaction. SAP won the enterprise market. Siebel didn't. A suite built around a transaction engine is what the winner of this market will have."
New functionality that provides dashboards for multiple user views, including a new customer dashboard and integration that allows companies to see CRM information in the back office and order information in the CRM system, lets NetSuite own the transaction, Nelson added. He demonstrated how NetSuite 11 allows users to share documents, such as an overdue invoice between sales and billing. SAP is too complex, rigid and difficult to integrate for midmarket companies, Nelson argued.
SAP, which hybrid option.