NetSuite announced that it will integrate its back end financials with Salesforce.com’s CRM product this week. That sounds like a good idea to me. NetSuite has a lot of customers and some of them are using Salesforce already so the integration will only benefit NetSuite. On the flip side, Salesforce now has another back-end accounting and ERP system that its customers can access to complete a front to back office portfolio.
Some people might wonder what this means for NetSuite’s CRM product and that’s a tough call. For the time being I expect no change and I think it would be smart of NetSuite to maintain a credible CRM offering for several reasons. Keeping a viable CRM offering helps NetSuite maintain a certain amount of independence and it does not preclude the company from making similar arrangements with other vendors. It also helps the company keep a larger percentage of any deal.
This is not the only such integration I have seen. RightNow, for example, has SFA but usually does not lead with it. The integration company Cast Iron Systems does good business offering integration appliances to companies that want RightNow’s call center and Salesforce’s SFA, for example.
This all looks like what it should look like—cloud companies are continuing to support multiple platform integration in an effort to ensure that the paradigm succeeds. I can’t think of a better way to ensure that success than for everyone to play nice.