By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Software companies Oracle and NetSuite announced an alliance to deliver cloud-based services to mid-size business customers, the third tie-up unveiled this week by Oracle as it pushes further into services delivered over the Internet.
The agreement will focus on integrating Oracle's software for human resources with NetSuite's services for enterprise resource planning and will be aimed at mid-size companies, Oracle and NetSuite said.
"You shouldn't think of this as a date. You should think of this as us continuing to integrate our products closer and closer together," Oracle President Mark Hurd told analysts and reporters on a conference call. "Think of this almost as rolling thunder as opposed to an event."
NetSuite, in which Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison is a major shareholder, makes web-based software for small and mid-size companies to manage their businesses and customers. Connecting their products gives the two technology companies new sales opportunities.
The partnership with NetSuite follows Oracle agreements announced earlier this week with cloud-computing leader Salesforce.com and top software maker Microsoft.
Oracle wants to speed up its move into cloud computing, a fast-growing area of technology where the No. 3 software maker has fallen behind smaller rivals selling all-in-one solutions that are less expensive than Oracle's offerings.
Shares of NetSuite have more than tripled over the past five years, while Oracle's have gained about 40 percent.
Microsoft will support Oracle's software on its cloud-based platforms, which have also struggled to catch up with Amazon.com's cloud offering, called Amazon Web Services, which blazed the trail in elastic online computing services.
Ellison and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on Thursday are due to hold a conference call to outline the details of their new nine-year partnership.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Bernard Orr)