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NetSuite Unveils ERP Suite for iPhone

NetSuite on Thursday announced that iPhone fanatics can now download a mobile enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite to access sales dashboards, order records and a handy click-to-call feature.

NetSuite (NYSE: N), which has already delivered its SuitePhone business management applications for iPhone users, also provides a variety of business apps for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices.

By launching the ERP and CRM suite for the iPhone, NetSuite has ratcheted up the competition for this rapidly expanding cloud-computing market for mobile devices.

Earlier this year, SAP announced a partnership with Sybase to develop its SAP Business Software suite for the iPhone, Windows Mobile devices and BlackBerry. At the time, SAP (NYSE: SAP) officials the applications would be based on its flagship NetWeaver application platform and use Sybase's M-Business Anywhere mobile content and application platform.

Last year, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) rolled out its own set of business applications, Oracle Business Indicators, which provide many of the same business intelligence and customer relationship management functions.

ABI Research, a market analysis firm based in New York City, predicts more than 1 billion subscribers will be using mobile cloud-computing apps by 2014, up from just 42.8 million subscribers in 2008.

"Mobile cloud computing will become the leading mobile application development and deployment strategy, displacing today's native and downloadable mobile applications," ABI analyst Mark Beccue said in a statement.

Beccue said that through 2009, the majority of mobile cloud-computing applications will be location-based services such as navigation and map applications but will soon expand to include a mix of applications for document sharing, scheduling and sales force management.

NetSuite's latest offering includes dashboards featuring key performance indicators, report snapshots, trend graphs, scorecards, reminders and recent records. It also has a calendar feature and an application that tracks leads, prospects and existing customer data.

Sales staff and executives can also use the cloud-based service to click to call or e-mail any contact in the system with a single keystroke.

NetSuite officials said it has served up more than 1,000 downloads of its application suite for the Apple App Store in its first two weeks of availability.