[IMGCAP(1)]Lots more partnering to discuss this week as well as my take on a certain cloud ERP vendor's impending annual meeting of customers and resellers.

What I am of course referring to is the nearly week-long NetSuite user and partner confab known as SuiteWorld, which occurs this week in San Jose -- right in Intacct's back yard, in fact. But let me get to that after the more newsworthy happenings of the past week, which was as follows(and of course, my take on it all):

News: PwC and Microsoft have inked a consulting and implementation deal whereby PwC consultants will provide advice and implementation assistance to clients who select Microsoft Dynamics together with other Microsoft technologies. This agreement allows PwC allows it to build business transformation on Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP and Dynamics CRM as well as Microsoft BI products. 

My Take: Well, bully for Dynamics AX and CRM. Look, not for nothing but they have been getting quite a push from Microsoft lately and I suppose for good reason. Now while PwC is apparently the first mega CPA/consulting firm to sign such a deal with the Dynamics (or Business Solutions) team, I can see more of these types of either Big 4 or large CPA/consulting firm deals to help further drive these respective products into the mid-larger enterprise market. Meanwhile on the GP and NAV side of things, at least for their "cloud" products, you have the potential for CPA firms to use them to conduct outsourced CFO/backoffice work -- that is if they ever formall establish a BPO program as they mentioned last week. All in all, seems Microsoft is paying more attention to accounting firms these days, though they would claim they never stopped, I think they may finally have some focus.

News: CompuPay Inc., a BenefitMall Company, has formed a channel partnership with open source ERP product maker Open Systems, which will provide its resellers and end users access to CompuPay’s PayrollOnline service.

My Take: Hey if you can't, or aren't building it, partner. And for an accounting/ERP player like Open Systems, why not go with one of the biggest in the game. And for CompuPay I don't see why they wouldn't keep knocking on the doors of other accounting/ERP players out there if they want to push their online payroll service. No disrespect to Open Systems, far from it -- and by they way, it's good to see them in the news at all. These guys have been around since the 70s and not interested in getting too big or having the most channel partners or the most popular product or the most cloud friendly --  just pushishing forward with their open platform system that year after year their customers stay with. At any rate, good for both of them but I'd keep an eye out for more (I know, I say that a lot but I just can't see this as a one off or, at the very least, look for a similar payroll/ERP vendor channel deal).

News: One of NetSuite's top partners ERP Guru, has purchased the NetSuite practice of Toronto-based reseller and consultant NetStra Inc., allowing it to gain more customers and a presence in Toronto.

My Take: Pretty cut and dry here, you have NetSuite's 2012 Worldwide Partner Award winner picking up a relatively small player, which allows it into a new market. ERP Guru is now in 6 cities; two in Canada, four in the U.S. Buy and build, a great way to grow and with their lazer focus on NetSuite and the fact that the cloud ERP player's top VAR Forward Hindsight is now in McGladrey's hands they will certainly move up in the ranks. Maybe they'll even make the VAR 100 soon.

So, good transition, on to NetSuite and next week's SuiteWorld event. For me, I remember their first partner event when they were NetLedger or had just changed over to NetSuite. At any rate, it was about 75 people in an auditorium within the Oracle campus. NetSuite over the years was actively attending other ERP vendor conferences in stealth(or not so stealth) to recruit new partners and is now expecting nearly 2,000 at its own event, which had to expand to a larger hotel and convention center outside of its own city. Interestingly enough the event will be in San Jose, just down the street from Intacct headquarters, mostly because the venue is still in NetSuite's general home turf and while big enough to fit into the Moscone Center(in downtown San Francisico), they may have to be on a wait list for a few years to get in. Regardless, it's good to see them evolve and get into discussions of who they are competing against (SAP and Microsoft vs Intuit and Sage).  So what I'm looking for is the type of partners they now have, how they see the future, and if they may do any acquiring of their own. Some say they it's just a matter of time before Oracle makes a play for them, meanwhile they'll continue to add partners from SAP, Microsoft and Sage channels -- as they already have, and yes, I expect those names to get even bigger. The biggest this year so far was BAASS Business Solutions, a large Sage VAR who entered the NetSuite channel by buying another Sage VAR who joined the NetSuite channel, that being Axis Global Partners. So, stay tuned. I will be reporting from SuiteWorld and plan to have a full wrapup on it in the next Tech Take.



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