NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson opened the company’s 2015 SuiteWorld user conference with an announcement requiring the introduction of rival CEO Satya Nadella, who informed the keynote crowd via video of a new cloud alliance between NetSuite and Microsoft Office 365, Windows and Azure.
This alliance, forged to create new solutions connecting NetSuite’s cloud ERP to Office 365, Windows and Azure, marks a strategic shift of the two companies from competitors to partners.
The collaboration, available immediately as an integration between NetSuite and Azure Active Directory that enables single sign-on and centralized administrative control, is about “opening the doors of the front and back office,” Nadella explained via video, “bringing together ERP and productivity to transform how people work.”
The announcement followed Nelson’s pronouncement on the current technology climate. “The cloud has won. If you’re a software company and don’t believe that, you’re going to be out of business soon.”
In the coming months, NetSuite will begin cloud-to-cloud integration with Office 365 to provide access to both technologies from within a single interface. The integration will connect NetSuite data to Excel and Power BI for Office 365, providing data visualization and insights. NetSuite will also migrate its entire employee base to Office 365.
"[Microsoft] sees the cloud as strategic and we’re a strategic player in that space," Nelson explained in a press briefing.
NetSuite’s other large-scale migration will be from AWS and on-premise deployments to Azure by the end of 2015. NetSuite will leverage that cloud infrastructure platform for testing and for its developers, independent software vendors and customers to build new software applications and integrations.
"We don’t have a general-purpose platform, so the Azure relationship is really important for us," Nelson shared, explaining that the insights gained through Azure will help both customers externally and NetSuite internally, while "the long-term benefits are going to be farther out than that."
"I'm excited about NetSuite's support for Azure Active Directory for single sign-on, cloud-to-cloud integration and increasing our collaboration across mobile and cloud solutions," said Steve Guggenheimer, corporate vice president of developer platform and evangelism and chief evangelist for Microsoft, in a statement. "Our joint vision is all about giving people the freedom to get more done through the broadening set of devices they interact with that in turn helps businesses innovate and grow."
NetSuite’s current customer base numbers 24,000 companies and subsidiaries using its cloud ERP and financial suites.
"The relationship we have with Microsoft will yield benefits that perhaps can't be quantified today," Nelson added.