NetSuite has made its on-demand business management software available on Blackberry, Microsoft Windows Mobile and Palm platform devices.

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) e-commerce software provider is working with third party application developers to expose the customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) application functionality of its core suite using its SuiteFlex integration platform.

Jeff Kaplan, managing director of SaaS analyst ThinkStrategies said in the short term, mobility will be a differentiator for vendors like NetSuite. Long term, he added: “It will be a requirement for doing business.

“The growing mobility of today’s workers makes extending the reach of business applications to mobile devices essential,” said Kaplan. “Therefore, many of NetSuite’s current and prospective customers will be pleased it is extending its functionality to mobile devices.”

The vendor said companies would be able to perform key business activities like accounts receivable, quote, order and customer management to closing sales wirelessly with extensions from Antenna Software, Explore Mobile and iEnterprises. The collaboration is designed to offer users access to data online, in real time to deliver office levels of productivity on the move without having to access web browser or the internet.

SuiteTalk, a component of the SuiteFlex platform, enables the partners to extend core data and processes for the creation of third party vertical applications within NetSuite and customised processes for a particular user segment or company using web services.

Craig Sullivan, NetSuite vice president of international products said: “We can offer all the data for the equivalent mobile form factor, as if it were being entered at the desktop. Some of our partners have gone for the vertical approach to building optimised mobile applications with SuiteFlex in the back end, like Explore Mobile’s Explore Order Entry [which allows salespeople to access and update orders]. In some cases, they have gone for extending NetSuite CRM and ERP with native mobile application development that’s configurable and customisable to user needs, like Antenna’s AMPower for NetSuite.”

He said partnerships and customer implementations would fill out SuiteFlex’s promise of introducing more specialised vertical versions of its product suite, including wholesale, distributed and salesforce management. This would pave the way for more opportunities to grow the NetSuite developer community so customers can take advantage of standardisation and customisation by building on the NetSuite SaaS application platform.

“With our approach, IT directors can build it out of our box,” added Sullivan. “That way, they get the best of both worlds.”

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