NetSuite acquires Retail Anywhere for mobile point-of-sale applications

The deal builds out NetSuite's SuiteCommerce offerings

NetSuite has acquired POS (point of sale) software vendor Retail Anywhere in a bid to flesh out its family of SuiteCommerce applications.

NetSuite made the announcement Thursday. Terms were not disclosed.

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Retail Anywhere had already been a close partner with NetSuite and in recent years had even begun building its software with NetSuite's own PaaS (platform as a service), said NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson.

Its software runs on standard POS hardware as well as iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, albeit in a browser client. Native mobile applications are on tap, with iOS likely the first target, Nelson said.

NetSuite launched SuiteCommerce last year, but that focused on e-commerce. Now Retail Anywhere's software gives NetSuite a stronger hand inbrick-and-mortar stores, according to Nelson.

"It turns out this channel called retail is still pretty important," he said. "What we're doing is enabling every company to deliver that Apple-like experience, regardless of touch point."

The move to acquire Retail Anywhere helps NetSuite keep parity with Microsoft, Oracle, Epicor and other ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendors, which already had POS offerings. Those companies' retail suites aren't as well-integrated as NetSuite's will be, which gives NetSuite a big advantage, Nelson claimed. "We're going to crush guys like Epicor."

It also gives NetSuite deep experience in retail, given Retail Anywhere's multi-decade history that spans back to much older POS systems. The company also has 6,000 customers, which NetSuite is clearly hoping will migrate to Retail Anywhere's more modern product.

Retail Anywhere's legacy software was sold via traditional licenses and is essentially in maintenance mode, Nelson said.

NetSuite's efforts to pull together a broad-based retail suite ties into a trend called matrix commerce, which is described in a new report from Constellation Research.

"Commerce silos exist everywhere from the last disruption -- ecommerce," wrote Constellation CEO Ray Wang. "In the rush to build internet presence, brick and mortar, call center, and even catalog operations were isolated from their web brethren. The result -- customers failed to achieve a seamless experience across the channels that mattered and revered brands were pummeled into oblivion as the web cannibalized legacy channels."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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