NetSuite, Lawson hook into Amazon's cloud

Both firms now integrated with Amazon's Simple Storage Service

NetSuite has integrated its on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) software with Amazon Web Services' Simple Storage Service (S3).

The SuiteStorage connector is meant to give customers a lower-cost option for storing files that don't necessarily need to reside within NetSuite itself, says CEO Zach Nelson. The move follows the Lawson Software partnership in March that will make its ERP and other applications available on Amazon's cloud-computing infrastructure service.

Starting in May, Lawson's S3 Enterprise Management System, M3 Enterprise Management System, and Talent Management application will be available on Amazon's cloud. Netsuite's SuiteStorage allows customers to interact with data stored on Amazon directly from within NetSuite. It was developed by NetSuite partner and reseller Celigo with NetSuite's SuiteCloud development framework. "When we store data in NetSuite, it's in an Oracle database. That's very expensive storage," Nelson claims. "We're saying, if you don't need this stuff online, go store it in Amazon."

The company says Iron Solutions, which provides software and services for farm equipment manufacturers, dealers and buyers, has used NetSuite and its tools to build a customised application.

Overall, the announcements are supposed to underscore two points: that SaaS (software as a service) is extensible and customisable, and that new selling models are emerging for applications like NetSuite.

"To all those naysayers that say SaaS isn't customisable ... this shows it," Nelson believes. "They built a micro-vertical edition right on this platform."

The Iron Solutions move follows its pact with Australian vendor JCurve Solutions, which sells a rebranded, simplified version of NetSuite to companies with five to 20 employees. That deal means NetSuite gets to keep a toe in the low-end of the SMB pool, even as it courts larger companies with moves like the Amazon integration.

Lawson, meanwhile, is launching a "test drive" service that will enable customers to try out its software on Amazon for up to two weeks, using "their own business processes and data". Lawson's Smart Office and enterprise search applications are the first available under the test drive offering.

With the Amazon deployment option, customers will be able to quickly set up new application instances or add system capacity during times of high demand, says Jeff Comport, senior vice president of product management. Customers may also wish to set up temporary instances for testing and prototyping.

Lawson is offering a subscription pricing model for Amazon-based applications. In terms of cost, Lawson will strive to stay on par with on-premise licensing, Comport says. The company does not "intend to use pricing on the cloud as a loss leader or to buy market share."

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