With A New Cloud Partnership, Oracle And NetSuite Are Officially Going Steady, Says Hurd

Mark Hurd OracleOracleOracle co-President Mark Hurd

NetSuite and Oracle are teaming up to sell cloud-based services to midsize companies, and it sounds like they're taking their longtime friendship to the next level.

Under the partnership, announced Wednesday, NetSuite will integrate its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which companies uses to manage various parts of their day-to-day business, with Oracle's human resources apps, which it calls "human capital management," or HCM.

The apps will be available by the end of the year, the companies said.

NetSuite and Oracle already have close ties: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was NetSuite's first backer and owns a large chunk of the company. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson used to be Oracle's VP of marketing in the 1990s.

Now it sounds like those ties are going to get a lot deeper.

"Don't think of this as a date," Oracle co-President Mark Hurd said in a conference call held to discuss the partnership. "Think of this as a continuing integration of our products closer and closer together. Every quarter, you will see us do more work together."

Human resources hasn't been a big area of spending for midsize companies, but tying these systems together with ERP can help them get a better view of their business operations, Hurd said.

Hurd didn't offer a specific figure, but with tens of thousands of users in some firms, it could become a big business, he said.

"This opportunity is material if executed properly," Hurd said on the call.

NetSuite salespeople will look for customers that might need HCM apps, and they'll refer them to Oracle's sales team when they find them, Nelson said on the call.

NetSuite's sales reps will get a fee when they refer customers to Oracle, Nelson said.

Oracle has set up a dedicated sales team to handle the potential HCM customers that NetSuite sends its way, Hurd said on the call.

Deloitte is also part of the partnership- it'll be responsible for getting the integrated ERP and HCM apps up and running for customers.

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