NetSuite looks to create integrated ERP/HR platform, poach SAP clients

Ahead of tomorrow's Q3 report, NetSuite (N) has struck a deal to acquire TribeHR, a developer of cloud HR apps aimed at SMBs. NetSuite plans to fuse the startup's offerings with its SMB-focused cloud ERP apps.

"Really there has been no HR offering in the mid-market," states NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson (a little hyperbolically). He sees an intergrated ERP/HR solution allowing SMBs to do away with manual HR processes, and also talks up the value of TribeHR's social/collaboration tools.

The purchase means NetSuite will compete more with Workday (WDAY), which leads the cloud HR market and also offers cloud ERP software. But Workday has a stronger focus on large enterprises. Ultimate Software (ULTI), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), and Paylocity (reportedly eying an IPO) also compete in cloud HR.

Separately, NetSuite and others see an opportunity for the company to poach clients from SAP's SMB-focused Business ByDesign cloud apps, which the German software giant has decided to pare its investments in. NetSuite has launched a Business ByDesign migration program.

SAP has reportedly invested €3B in Business ByDesign development over 7 years, but the platform has never generated more than €23M/year in sales in 3 years of availability. Business ByDesign resources will be shifted towards SAP's Hana Cloud, which runs cloud apps on top of the popular Hana in-memory database.

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