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Oracle partners with NetSuite for people management

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Oracle and NetSuite have forged a strategic alliance that will see the companies ensure data portability between their various "human capital management" systems.

The partnership was first hinted at by Oracle chief Larry Ellison on a conference call last week, and the announcement follows on from significant partnerships with both Microsoft and Salesforce.

It means Oracle and NetSuite will work together to create a product that melds Oracle's human cattle capital management cloud with NetSuite's enterprise resource planning software to link up HR and finance systems within midsize companies. Oracle didn't put forward a name for the unified software suite, so we've dubbed it OraSuite-NetAcle.

"We've also built a go-to market plan to ensure more customers have access to our integrated solution," Oracle co-president Mark Hurd said. "We're going to continue integrating our products tighter and tighter together. There's a fundamental transformation going on in HR."

For a company that has spent much of its history gobbling up companies and suing rivals, this rash of cooperation that has broken out at Oracle is as surprising as it is unexpected.

Given Oracle's lax performance in recent quarters with the company having trouble bringing in new subscribers, and finding it even more difficult to slow the bleeding in its hardware division, these partnerships give Oracle the combined might of other sales organizations, as well as its own.

Oracle chief Larry Ellison helped found NetSuite in 1998, and NetSuite chief Nelson is a former Oracle exec. In the past few years the companies have started to go after relatively similar customers, with NetSuite straying out of its traditional small and midsize area, and Oracle seeking to bring in smaller accounts to increase new signups.

Perhaps the companies figured they might as well make their collaboration official, and in doing so help avoid qualms from customers about choosing one solution over another (and also nullify the chance of a margin-punishing price war).

The valuable partnerships also give Oracle another lever to put pressure on during negotiations about software licenses for Oracle software and hardware, we imagine. After all, the presence of a built-in sales channel for company products could make companies like Salesforce or NetSuite think twice about re-negotiating prices on Oracle kit they've purchased, when they're being given access to Oracle's massive customer base.

"While NetSuite created many of these pieces from scratch we also knew where to partner and trust others," NetSuite chief Zach Nelson said. "I think we'll see a good deal of demand in our existing base."

Oracle and NetSuite have also teamed up with Deloitte to help global consultancy firm develop a team of "practitioners" to help companies get on use the software. ®

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