A few weeks ago in this space, I wrote about the Cash forClunkers Program, which depending on whom you believe, is either a ragingsuccess in moving lot inventories, or a bureaucratic nightmare for auto dealerstrying to get their promised reimbursements from the government.

I suspect it's probably a combination of both. But that'scertainly fodder for a future column.

Last week, online solutions provider NetSuite debuted itsown version of cash for clunkers, a program designed to instill incentives forbusinesses to scrap their on-premises software in favor of NetSuite's cloudcomputing model.

Under Netsuite's program, new users that toss theiron-premise servers in the circular file or trade in their legacy softwarereceive $500 off every $5,000 they invest in NetSuite. NetSuite claims thatit's the first "cloud" provider of CRM applications to launch aprogram such as this.

Currently the program is running in the U.S., Canada,Australia and the U.K.

According to the San Mateo-based company, the eventualgoal of the program modeled after Cash for Clunkers is to help customers"with aging and inefficient enterprise solutions platforms make aninformed and responsible switch to a newer, more powerful, and moreenergy-efficient solution."

That's marketing speak for "if you switch to ourproduct, you'll save money on fixed overhead expenses like energy costs" -a not-so-veiled shot across the bow at larger and not coincidentally,higher-priced competitors such as SAP, Microsoft and Sage.

Cash for Clunkers is in fact, simply the latest push byNetSuite to lure customers from entities such as Sage, evidenced by a recentprogram offering Sage partners an opportunityto resell NetSuite's Web-based accounting software with a 50percent revenue share split for the first 12 months.

Under the NetSuite deal, Sage channel partners willreceive training customized for Sage implementation experts to familiarize themwith NetSuite's accounting, enterprise resource planning, customer relationshipmanagement and e-commerce software.

That deal come on the heels of the closure ofDallas-based MIS Group, one of Sage's largest resellers, which shut down inJuly, and several months earlier, across-the board job cuts of some 500employees by Sage North America.

Time will gauge the effectiveness of NetSuite'sinnovative campaign, but if it's a success, perhaps they'll have some ideas onObamaCare.

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