The chief executive of software as a service (SaaS) vendor, Netsuite last night confirmed at the launch of his company’s latest functional release that the company was looking towards an initial public offering (IPO) in the New Year.

He confirmed the rumour when announcing Netsuite’s SuiteFlex and SuiteBuilder launches for independent software vendors (ISVs) and customers to customise business processes according to standardised, exposed ‘Suitelets’ or user-interface based objects like forms, tabs and menu options.

Zach Nelson, Netsuite chief executive told CIO: “We will be talking to banks [about an IPO] towards the end of this year. The only question is when we’re going to go public, because the later we leave it the more likely we are to be valued on 2008 figures versus 2007 ones.

“We actually had a lot of bankers here at the launch who wanted to come because of that reason.”

When questioned about the potential power Oracle chief executive, Larry Ellison had over the fortunes of the company in his position as the majority shareholder, Nelson said: “I think the market will see his involvement as totally positive. It’s a great thing to have him as a majority shareholder.”

Nelson himself, like the chief executive of SaaS main competitor, Salesforce.com Marc Benioff, both started out working under Ellison at Oracle. And some in the industry say it is not surprising the database giant’s chief has a stake in both companies.

But the news of Netsuite’s pending IPO will calm rumours that the company was struggling in comparison to Salesforce.com, as well as going some way to quashing the idea that main sponsor, Ellison, had his eye on Netsuite as another acquisition to add to Oracle's own e-Business suite on-demand offering.

The market will be watching closely to see Netsuite’s next move, delegates at the announcement told CIO.