NetSuite Buys OpenAir For $26 million

TechCrunch just reported that NetSuite Buys OpenAir For $26 million

This is interesting from a few angles. I’ve used both and I continue to use OpenAir for my timesheets having started almost (jeez!) 8 years ago. They have always struck me as a great company. They have a very straight forward policy: new upgrades every month.

They might be small, they might be large (they just announced Crystal Report integration this past month) – but they always deliver a set of updates every month.

And the price point is right – while I don’t know what their current offering goes for, they have been able to keep my company on the same month to month cost for the entire time, less than $300 a year.

I’ve always wondered how they were doing as an overall business since they didn’t really fall into the whole Web 2.0 stream but still had a huge number of industry relationships.

NetSuite, on the other hand, I really can’t say. For an expensive solution (close to 30K for a small company implementation), the UI looked great but the end-run implementation was terrible. That could have just been our implementation experience but it left a bad taste in my mouth. One of those “so much possibility, so little delivery”.

Everything I’ve seen about NetSuite however, does show that it is a real good force to compete with SalesForce and other tools – but they do approach the business somewhat differently than OpenAir.

When a client of mine was evaluating sales automation tools, in fact, we looked at Open Air as a possibility. While it didn’t look as “sexy” as the others, it did offer really valuable features. I for one, love the online invoicing – I’ve been paperless on invoices since 2001.

I hope OpenAir stays the same great company I’ve always found but if this is what they wanted, good for them!