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NetSuite and Microsoft Team Up in the Cloud

Close ties with Office 365 and Azure.

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NetSuite, the cloud business software company, announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft that will tie its products closely to both Office 365 and the Azure cloud computing service.

The plan calls for Microsoft to integrate NetSuite’s cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning software that companies use to track their financial, supply chain and other operational data, to Office 365, the cloud-based office suite. Additionally, Azure will become NetSuite’s preferred cloud platform for building custom software enhancements to NetSuite. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson announced the tie-up in a speech in San Jose, Calif., at the company’s SuiteWorld conference.

Nelson said the partnership was the result of a series of meetings with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Historically, we haven’t had much of a relationship with Microsoft, in fact they’re kind of a competitor,” Nelson said in an interview Monday. “But Satya is really interested in partnerships for Office 365. … I dropped him an email a few months ago and we found a few places we could work together.”

Practically all NetSuite customers use Microsoft Office, Nelson said. The plan calls for the two companies to integrate the products; users will have access to both from within a single interface. Work done in NetSuite generates a lot of email and numerous appointments on the calendar system. Business data will be easily poured into Excel spreadsheets. NetSuite will also connect to Microsoft’s business intelligence tools.

Over the longer term, when NetSuite customers want to build their own custom enhancements to NetSuite, Azure will be the platform they’ll be pushed to for the development and test work. Nelson said it won’t be an exclusive arrangement. NetSuite customers will still be able to use other cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services. “There will be some benefits to using Azure that will make it an easy choice,” Nelson said.

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