NetLedger teams with HP to run apps

NetLedger and Hewlett-Packard are joining forces to offer enterprise applications to small and midsize businesses, the companies said Thursday at the CeBIT conference.

Under terms of the deal, HP will offer NetLedger's NetSuite to its customers, NetSuite will run on HP's notebooks and Tablet PCs, and the companies will both service the applications.

"We're big believers in wireless, big believers in the mobile office," said Zach Nelson, CEO of San Mateo, Calif.-based NetLedger.

The NetSuite provides, via an ASP model, CRM and ERP applications, such as accounting, payroll, sales and customer support, order processing and inventory management, and Web site creation and hosting.

"We're buying the HP hardware for you. We're buying the Oracle database for you, and spreading the cost across thousands of users," Nelson said.

HP, for its part, pitches in on the services side, according to Robyn West, vice president of SMB at HP, based in Palo Alto, Calif.

"Our solution does require expertise to install," Nelson said. "The big thing is helping customers to understand their business processes … helping customers understand how they want to model their business," Nelson said.

As part of the agreement, NetLedger is standardizing on HP hardware running Linux in its datacenter. Previously, NetLedger used hardware from a conglomeration of vendors, including Sun servers and Network Appliance NAS boxes.

Foreshadowing future tents of the agreement, Jodi Maxson, NetLedger's vice president of sales and business development, said that the ASP is looking to put customers onto HP ProLiant servers.

"The next step is putting (servers at customers') own sites and letting us manage them remotely," Maxson said. Maxson did not offer a timeline for when NetLedger will offer the remote hosting.

Nelson, in an interview with InfoWorld prior to the event, said that as NetLedger moves away from a multi-tenant server approach to hosting, it will enable customers to better mine the data in NetLedger's applications.

"You could start running data mining applications. You can't do that with a multi-tenant server because it creates a performance hit for other users," Nelson said. Customers could, for instance, run SQL or business intelligence queries against the database, he said.

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