Mid-Market Suites Tune In to iPhone, PDAs

With the help of three new partners, NetSuite now provides extensions to its hosted mid-market applications suite so it will run on mobile devices. NetSuite’s eponymous integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS) online suite includes ERP, CRM and e-commerce functionality.

The partners—Antenna Software, Explore Mobile (a wholly owned subsidiary of Explore Consulting) and iEnterprises—have used NetSuite’s SuiteFlex application development and integration software to build extensions to the NetSuite apps so they can be accessed wirelessly by BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Palm Treo users. Pricing is up to the partners; NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson expects each extension to typically cost $25 per user per month.

NetSuite users can also now access the suite via their iPhones, as the much-hyped Apple device inches into enterprises. NetSuite 2007.0, the latest version of the SaaS suite, includes native support for the most recent release of Apple’s Safari Web browser, functionality that NetSuite has dubbed SuitePhone. The iPhone uses Safari as its Web browser. Unveiled in June, NetSuite 2007.0 is being rolled out to the vendor’s existing customer base and will be available this summer.

In April 2006, NetSuite’s prime competitor in the hosted CRM space, Salesforce.com, made its first ever purchase, acquiring one of its partners, wireless technology developer Sendia. The vendor also launched AppExchange Mobile, technology based on Sendia’s software, allowing customers to access on-demand applications from Salesforce.com and its partners from handheld computers and smart phones.

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