Today Box.net is at the NetSuite SuiteCloud conference (see disclosure re my attendance at SuiteCloud here) opening the box (bad pun intended) on their integration with NetSuite. It’s an integration that Box have built using NetSuite’s SuiteCloud development platform, and it allows NetSuite customers to access, manage, share, and collaborate on all their content online, within the NetSuite applications.

Recently Brian Sommer posted a really interesting discussion on who will win the SaaS wars – Best of Breeds or Integrated Suite. He took the perspective that the Suites will win due to their inherent ability to work together out of the box. It’s a similar discussion to that which I’ve talked about previously regarding The Small Business Web versus the approach taken by Intuit’s partner Platform (but see disclosure) – basically the thinking goes that integrations are hard, no matter how well they’re facilitated – out of the box apps that work together and feel like a seamless suite are the route best taken. It’s a perspective I agree with – while it’s easy to have a purist’s discussion about potential with well APId applications, I always look at the reality on the ground for businesses – and suite are incredibly attractive at that end of the technical spectrum.

Anyway, in terms of this particular integration, NetSuite customer using Box can:

  • Make relevant content – such as sales collateral, demo videos, invoices, contracts, and purchase orders – visible and accessible when viewing a customer record
  • Keep employees across departments in sync with what files have been shared with which customers by assigning Box folders to specific customer records. Users can also upload files directly into Box when viewing a customer record in NetSuite
  • Incorporate collaboration and workflow into NetSuite with the ability to create shared folders outside of a customer record and invite colleagues, partners, and contractors to review, update, and add their own files
  • Leverage Box’s integrated third-party services within NetSuite, including the ability to email or fax files, e-sign contracts, and edit documents online

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Box.net for NetSuite will be available on www.suiteapp.com before the end of the month as part of the Box Enterprise edition. Yet another value proposition that sees the suite providers justify their somewhat myopic perspective….

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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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