Normally I’m not overly interested in the press releases that come from vendors regularly boasting about a customer they’ve stolen from their competitors, however one I received today is kind of interesting.

I’ve written before about both NetSuite and FinancialForce in the past. Briefly NetSuite is the big-boy in mid market cloud ERP that has, of late, gotten very aggressive in its comments around SAP generally and SAP’s ByDesign product in particular. They market themselves very much a providing an end-to-end cloud suite and fulfilling all the requirements of their customers. FinancialForce on the other hand grew out of a European ERP solution, Coda2Go and is now part owned by salesforce.com (and built upon sfdc’s force.com platform)

Anyway, it’s always been interesting watching the two companies. NetSuite has been steadily building a very compelling offering, while FinancialForce, despite the credibility that the salesforce moniker brings, hasn’t had much impact in the marketplace. In my discussions with other cloud ERP vendors, they’re always commenting that they face NetSuite when pitching customers but rarely see FinancialForce in prospective customers shortlists.

Anyway, a NetSuite customer, myGearStore has recently chosen to replace NetSuite with FinancialForce Accounting. myGearStore is a supplier of Apple-related, tech accessories with up to 7,000 sales per day during peak season. This is actually pretty interesting as NetSuite prides itself on being (as the name implies) a cloud suite, fulfilling all business needs.

BenVanderBeek, Executive Director of IT, myGearStore stated that:

We were previously using NetSuite but found that we struggled to reliably maintain all our integrations to marketplace.

Having spent time looking at NetSuite’s offering, my impression is that their integrations with different marketplace offerings are varied and rich, anyway, VanderBeek went on to say that:

Our knowledge of Force.com means we can easily customize our applications as required.

This is the real crux of the matter. As I posted over on GigaOm recently, platforms are the secret sauce that can really provide the business value that makes cloud the technology of choice. While NetSuite has their own platform, it’s fair to say that force.com is a more mature offering and FinancialForce’s achievement looks to be fuelled largely by the fact that they’re themselves built on force.com.

 

 

 
Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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