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Bob Scott reporting in his weekly Insights column.

The debate over who has the closest connection to Microsoft isn’t new. In this round, is NetSuite’s endorsement of Microsoft’s Azure’s versus Acumatica‘s support of the OData standard in order to support Power BI. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson was invited to meet with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Acumatica was invited to present a content package for Power BI at the Microsoft Build conference on April 30. When NetSuite announced its cloud alliance with Microsoft on May 5 at its SuiteWorld conference, I avoided writing about it until there was a chance of understanding any immediate impact on the channel. It was obviously important; but seemed more long-term. The key element was the development of the ability to connect NetSuite’s cloud ERP to Microsoft Office 365, Windows and Microsoft Azure. Last week, Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill, who had all month to digest NetSuite’s comments, said, “NetSuite is written on the archaic Oracle Infrastructure. It would be difficult to move to Azure.” Acumatica believes it is more important to be standards based and noted that Microsoft’s Dynamics lines does not support OData. More important than supporting Azure, Roskill said, is the openness being promoted under Nadella and as far as the Azure support “We’re shipping that in our 5.1 release.” Roskill rapped NetSuite for a closed data model, which he described as the “NetSuite roach motel where data checks in and never checks out. When is NetSuite going to open up their data standards?” Roskill said Acumatica supports customers doing snap shots of data and enabling them to build a sandboxed version as a test be. “Again, that’s a very difficult thing to do in NetSuite, NetSuite charges you for that. We don’t.”