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NetLedger to Power Oracle Small Business

Small business ASP NetLedger Inc. struck a major deal with Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ:ORCL), with Oracle choosing NetLedger to power the new Oracle Small Business Suite.

"We're already seeing huge benefits in just the past few days," NetLedger president and CEO Evan Goldberg told InternetNews. "Oracle has been massively promoting the idea that running a business with a suite of applications is a cost-cutting mechanism for larger businesses. Now that message is even more effective, since it applies to all businesses."

The new Oracle Small Business Suite, powered by NetLedger, targets small companies, typically with less than 100 employees, offering an integrated suite of application services including financials, customer relationship management, purchasing and e-commerce.

NetLedger has always had a close relationship with Oracle. NetLedger's four founders are Oracle alumni, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been a major investor from the start. NetLedger will focus on promoting the Oracle Small Business brand, as well as other private-label offerings that Oracle is helping to bring in, Goldberg said.

"We're focusing on the Oracle Small Business suite. Most small businesses think that Oracle software is not for them, but they know that it's high-quality. Our job is to go out there and leverage the Oracle name and let them know that now it is for them," Goldberg said.

An advantage of the partnership is an easy transition for growing companies from the Small Business Suite to Oracle's E-Business Suite for larger companies. In addition, there will be integration between the two so that two companies using the different suites can easily do business with each other, Goldberg said.

NetLedger, which started with online accounting applications, expanded its suite in April 2001 with the launch of 1 System. The NetLedger brand will be retained, with the "powered by NetLedger" tag, since that brand has developed some recognition, especially among accountants, he said.

The revenue-sharing partnership, although it is very tight, stops short of a merger or acquisition, though Goldberg won't rule that out as a future possibility. He points to Novell outsourcing parts of its primary product line for years, calling a future merger "one of many options."