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Netsuite Slams Rival SAP in Newspaper Ad

The cloud software company pokes a rival in an old-school way.

© 2009 Eric Millette, All Rights Reserved

If there’s one thing that Zach Nelson, the CEO of the cloud business software firm NetSuite, likes to do, it’s make fun of SAP.

Borrowing a page from the book of Larry Ellison, the Oracle CEO who backed the company’s founding and remains its largest shareholder, Nelson’s disparaging of the German software giant is a recurring feature of NetSuite earnings conference calls.

Today NetSuite kicked it up a notch in an eye-catching way, using a tried-and-true old-school tactic: It took out a full-page ad in today’s Wall Street Journal, the main part of which you can see below. (Click to make it bigger.)

NetSuite’s primary product is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning system, ERP software that helps companies keep track of the on-the-ground, day-to-day details associated with running a business: What products are in inventory? What supplies must be ordered? Who needs to be paid? More recently it has been expanding into offering businesses payments and commerce services in the cloud, a product it calls SuiteCommerce.

SAP is a big rival (Oracle is too, technically speaking), though the much-smaller NetSuite has tended to play in the mid-market, going after smaller companies than SAP does. But NetSuite has used a not-so-secret tactic in recent years to attack SAP at some of the world’s largest companies: It wins business at their smaller international subsidiaries. Chipmaker Qualcomm was an important win a few years back. NetSuite beat out SAP in large part because it required less time to get up and running. NetSuite is re-emphasizing that point today.

SAP didn’t have an immediate comment.

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