SAN FRANCISCO: NetSuite chief executive Zach Nelson taunted key rival SAP during his opening presentation at the firm's annual SuiteWorld event, claiming the firm was now a new customer of NetSuite.
Nelson explained that SuccessFactors, a firm acquired by SAP for $3.4bn last December, had renewed its licence with NetSuite to continue using its systems, claiming this meant the firm could now count SAP as a customer.
"It was a $1m deal, signed last quarter," he said. "We're a public company so I could not say we signed a million dollar deal [if we hadn't]".
The deal is most likely one SuccessFactors had to make as it works to transition to SAP's platforms, as it would have been hard for the firm to complete a move in the six months since the deal was announced.
Nevertheless, the deal is good publicity for NetSuite, and comes in the same week in which SAP hosts its Sapphire conference in Orlando.
At that event, SAP said it would break up its Business ByDesign portfolio into five separate categories, admitting that putting on-premise applications in the cloud was not proving a successful strategy.
Instead, it said would be using the technology from SuccessFactors as the basis for its future cloud strategy, a change in direction that Nelson used to make another dig at SAP.
"What took them so long to kill it?" he joked. "It's amazing how much they've struggled with that, and it shows how hard it is to build what we've built."
Forrester principal analyst Holger Kisker told V3 that Nelson's comments were fair given how long it had taken SAP to bring its cloud offerings to market, and the difficulties it had encountered.
"SAP are years behind in the market and their offerings are not comparable with Netsuite. They underestimated several aspects of providing cloud services which they are now addressing," he said.
Nelson was also bullish on the firm's financial success, saying Netsuites made $69.3m in revenue in the first quarter of 2012, representing a free cash flow of some $10m, and was on course for revenues of around $300m for the year.
He also cited research by Gartner released in 2011, that placed NetSuite on a 84 per cent growth rate over the last three years for its financial management systems, far ahead of rivals such as Oracle, Microsoft and Sage.
NetSuite used its SuiteWorld event to unveil its new SuiteCommerce platform designed to offer firms a commerce-as-a-service system to link front-end and back-end information to improve customer interaction.
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