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NetSuite Announces Prefab On-Demand Apps

NetSuite is having a little fun with the popular SaaS acronym and rearranging its meaning. The company is referring to an initiative around its new SuiteBundler tool for building vertical business applications as a Service-as-a-Software strategy.

SuiteBundler will allow value-added resellers to customize NetSuite's on-demand ERP , CRM and e-commerce software into a ready-to-install bundle for specific industries. The company announced the initiative at its partner conference, NetSuite Revolution 2007.

"It's a fabulous enabling technology for the channel and reseller community in that it allows them to take their best practices for specific industries and create bundles that are their own on-demand apps for that market," Craig Sullivan, vice president of product management for NetSuite told InternetNews.com.

This will let resellers avoid having to replicate work, since many tend to work within a specific set of industries. That simply can't be done with competitive products, Sullivan said. "The traditional software model requires an implementation to be done from scratch every time it has to be deployed," he said.

Because of the inherent nature of ERP and CRM apps, each installation must be a custom job from scratch, so there is no reusing of configurations at multiple companies in the same industry. With NetSuite SuiteBundler, a reseller could have a company up and running in 90 days on average. With a typical SAP or PeopleSoft installation, 90 days would be defined as the first step.

"We sell to SMBs ," said Sullivan. "They don't have the time and the budget and the luxury to spend months and months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on an IT purchase. They need a return on investment quickly."

SuiteBundler comes with four major components: Bundle Builder, a three-step wizard that selects and creates the bundle; Bundle Distribution, for partners creating a bundle to distribute it to customers who choose to run it as is or make their own customizations; SuiteSource Bundle Repository, which allows partners creating SuiteBundles to save the customer-installation-ready version of their SuiteBundle; and Bundle Installation does what its name implies: it installs the custom bundle.

NetSuite and its partners also have created a number of vertical solutions for various industries, including software, media and publishing, IT resellers, agriculture equipment dealerships, seaport marina management, retail point of sale, franchises for packaging and shipping materials and electronics wholesale distribution.