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NetSuite has updated its Suite Bundler tool to make the creation and distribution of vertical applications easier. And the company trotted out seven solutions newly available from the hosted NetSuite environment.

The idea is to help partners parlay their domain expertise to new customers via NetSuite’s hosted environment.

At its fourth annual partner conference in San Francisco, the company hopes to show that its self-hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) and e-commerce environment can be a platform for third-party developers. NetSuite is also working on a closely-watched IPO that many see as a bellwether for the current high-tech environment.

As for the new solutions, five were developed by partners and two—for media-and-publishing and the IT reseller solution—were written by the company itself.

Daniel Edwards, partner with NCompass Business Solutions, an Atlanta-based NetSuite partner, likes Suite Bundler, which lets partners create and reuse dashboards and other user interface components for their applications.

“We need the ability to take that technology and wrap our stuff into it. The advantage to the customer is they should get lower price because of these predeveloped applications. It’s easier for us because it reduces staff time spent on verticalizations,” he said.

As for the partner solutions, Tampa, Fla.-based EBS-RAD LLC, took its “i-Seaports” management solution developed for Harbour Mastery and used Suite Bundler to make it available to other seaports and marinas. Eco Box put its shipping materials franchise solution into the NetSuite pool. Into Technology International,, in the UK, built an electronics wholesale application. Avalarawrote a tax compliance automation system.

To build viable third-party ecosystems, NetSuite similar to, has to show that partners can generate profits by putting their wares on someone else’s infrastructure rather than hosting it themselves or selling on-premises versions.

Toward that end these SAAS (software-as-a-service) pioneers are trying to move away from the reseller mode where partners get commission on the sale of software licenses. Instead these vendors are fighting for ISV and domain-expert VAR partners and integrators that can tie the SAAS offerings into existing inside-the-firewall systems and data.

NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson has said that NetSuite’s infrastructure, which allows web-access to ERP data and applications, can help these value-added partners expand their markets to new geographies and customers.

Barbara Darrow, a Boston-area freelancer, can be reached at