Dell and NetSuite are broadening their relationship, with Dell becoming a global reseller and IT systems integrator for NetSuite's cloud ERP (enterprise resource planning) software.
NetSuite and Dell had already partnered around Dell's Boomi cloud integration technology, and signed off on the expanded agreement a couple of weeks ago, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson said in an interview prior to Tuesday's announcement.
The deal has benefits for both companies. NetSuite will gain from Dell's vast global sales and service organizations, as well as the latter's specialization in industries such as health care and financial services.
In turn, NetSuite will give Dell an increasingly popular cloud ERP system to sell as it looks to put more enterprise software in its mix of offerings after going private.
While software reseller deals are commonplace in the industry, the arrangement between NetSuite and Dell will operate much like Microsoft's strategy for its Dynamics ERP product lines.
Like Dynamics partners, Dell will serve as the primary contact for the customer, not NetSuite, even handling billing. Customers will still have access to NetSuite's support portal and materials, but their general interactions will be with Dell, Nelson said. "At the end of the day, Dell will own those relationships."
Dell may even end up "front-ending" requests from its larger customers with respect to influencing NetSuite's product direction, Nelson said.
Dell will not, however, be hosting any NetSuite instances on its own cloud infrastructure, he added.
While Dell is known for its strength in the midmarket, the NetSuite deal should also help the latter penetrate more large enterprise accounts, albeit most likely with a "two-tier" ERP scenario.
NetSuite and other cloud ERP vendors have touted this approach for years, wherein the cloud-based system is rolled out in a large company's new subsidiary or office and its data then is rolled back into the global on-premises ERP.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com