Microsoft Edges Out AWS in NetSuite Cloud Partnership

NetSuite Inc. this week announced it plan to move its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to Microsoft Azure from Amazon Web Service (AWS) by year's end.

NetSuite, a provider of ERP, CRM and e-commerce software with more than 24,000 company and subsidiary customers, had been working with AWS for more than five years. While AWS is considered the overwhelming leader in the cloud computing market, making a strong financial showing in's recent first-quarter earnings report, Azure is often identified as its No. 1 competitor in the public cloud space.

The NetSuite deal is a big customer win for Microsoft, as evidenced by the personal involvement of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the deal. According to various reports, Nadella opened doors to facilitate the agreement. He also appeared via video feed during NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson's announcement of the switch to Azure during a NetSuite conference on Tuesday. And that's despite Nadella being busy jetting across the country to attend Microsoft conferences in San Francisco and Chicago.

"We're at the 'end of the beginning' of the cloud, in that the cloud business model that NetSuite pioneered in 1998 is becoming the de facto standard for how fast-growth businesses are run," Nelson said in a statement Tuesday. "We're thrilled to work with Microsoft to deliver a fluid cloud environment across the key NetSuite and Microsoft applications that companies and their employees rely on to continually improve their day-to-day operations and run their business better and more efficiently."

Specifically, the partnership will connect NetSuite's cloud ERP offering to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure. That will entail integration between NetSuite and Azure Active Directory that simplifies sign-on.

NetSuite will also be integrated with other Microsoft technologies, such Excel, Power BI and other Office 365 products.

The companies will work to develop a single interface with which users can access both technologies.

"By the end of 2015, NetSuite will migrate from AWS and on-premise deployments to leverage Azure as its preferred cloud infrastructure platform and take full advantage of the capabilities of Azure for testing and for developers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and customers," the company said in a statement.

Furthermore, NetSuite said the move will help "to build new software applications and integrations that leverage NetSuite's cloud business management suite and the powerful storage and compute capabilities of Azure offering businesses the significant advantages that are becoming synonymous with world-class cloud computing -- efficiency and flexibility, large productivity gains and dramatic IT cost reduction."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.