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NetLedger Adds President to Spread the Word

Saying that the company "is at an inflection point," NetLedger Inc. CEO and co-founder Evan Goldberg said yesterday that it's time for the San Mateo-based Web-native ASP to get the word out about the company's small business suite, which includes integrated accounting and Web site building tools.

To help move NetLedger forward, former Oracle and Network Associates executive Zach Nelson has joined NetLedger as its president and chief operating officer.

"We decided I needed sort of a running mate," Goldberg told ASPnews. "I'll focus on driving the technology and vision." Nelson will focus on "navigating the direct and in-direct sales channel. We need to get the information out there. That's where Zach comes in."

Nelson told ASPnews that his immediate focus will be on brand awareness and distribution issues. "We have to make sure that small businesses in Nebraska know who we are."

NetLedger, which is sold most notably under the Oracle Small Business Suite brand, will continue to focus on the small to medium-size business (SMB) market, which it classifies as companies with between 50 and 100 employees.

This continued focus on the SMB market is in stark contrast to many Web-native ASPs (e.g. Salesforce.com and Atomz), who see gold in the enterprise market. "The small and medium-size business market is still massively underserved," Goldberg said.

Nelson said smaller companies and Web-native applications are a natural combination. "Small-to-medium size businesses are perfect fit for us. Large companies have legacy issues to deal with."

Pure-play ASPs that provide an independent software vendor's application also have issues that ASPs like NetLedger don't have. "We own the code and don't have to deal with multiple or new versions and infrastructure issues. We use the Internet as a platform."

One of the biggest challenges for Nelson is to establish a more diversified sales channel. Nelson said he plans to grow its in-direct sales and OEM branded sales. Through its current sales consultant program, NetLedger has achieved some modest success. "Five to 10 percent of the our revenues is related to a partner of one type or another -- either a CPA or classic VAR (value-added reseller)."

Nelson is certainly no stranger to the ASP model. While at Network Associates, Nelson served as president and CEO of subsidiary myCIO, a business-to-business security ASP. Nelson told ASPnews that the service started operation in June 1999 and grew to $38 million in revenue.

Before joining Network Associates Nelson was vice president, World Wide Marketing at Oracle Corp (where he worked with Goldberg). He also held executive positions with Sun Microsystems Inc.

NetLedger Version 8 is due out later this summer. It will add, among other features according to Goldberg, tools that help SMBs automate their marketing efforts. (See NetLedger Expands, Gears Up for New Version.)

NetLedger is listed by ASPnews as a Top 20 Provider.


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