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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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