Infor – The biggest software company you might not have heard of….
Very few people seem to know much about Infor and even those in the software industry seem to know little about what happened to the portfolio of products it acquired. Infor appears to be one of the industry’s best-kept secrets and yet it’s a sizeable business with over 17,000 employees, 68,000 customers spanning 170 countries.
The company was established in 2002 and under Charles Phillips’ guidance (yes, the same Charles Phillips who co-helmed Oracle under Larry Ellison and oversaw the acquisition of Peoplesoft and Siebel) Infor grew via acquisition by buying the likes of Baan LN and Intentia’s M3 (Movex) solutions owned at the time by SSA and Lawson respectively. Yet, they would be instrumental in the company’s growth strategy and expansion into the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) market.
If you’ve been in the industry for a while you may recall the strength of Baan in discrete manufacturing, and I have to confess I was unaware of this acquisition until I joined the company. Baan being owned by SSA before the acquisition by Infor in 2003.
Baan was a Dutch ERP software company with a strong presence in Discrete Manufacturing, Automotive and Aerospace & Defense and competed successfully against SAP in these sectors in the 90’s.
Baan LN was completely re-architected for the Cloud, and now LN forms the ERP engine driving Infor’s CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise applications for Industrial Manufacturing, Automotive for OEM’s and their suppliers, and A&D. It has a significant fan base and customers read like the who’s who of the Automotive world. The product is scalable and capable of being deployed in many start-up organisations providing a platform for future growth. Its rapid speed of deployment means it’s favored by private equity for their portfolio companies and is generally considered a credible alternative to SAP.
The same applied to Intentia’s M3/Movex product acquired as part of the acquisition of Lawson. M3 was also re-architected for the Cloud and the M3 ERP engine drives Infor’s CloudSuite solutions for Food & Beverage, Distribution, Plant & Equipment Rental, and Fashion, delivering rich industry-specific solution capabilities applicable to the industries it serves.
These new multi-tenant CloudSuites hosted on AWS’ infrastructure were released in 2014 before Oracle launched Fusion and SAP released SAP 4/HANA.
Infor doesn’t proclaim to be all things to all people and focuses on the industries it serves and is currently recognised by Gartner as a leader in industry-specific cloud solutions for the mid-market.
So why should you consider Infor when selecting a new ERP?
1. Industry-Specific Solutions: Infor focuses on offering industry-specific solutions designed to meet the unique needs and challenges of businesses in specific industries. By choosing an industry-specific solution, businesses benefit from pre-configured processes and workflows tailored to their specific industry, leading to faster implementation and better results.
2. User-Friendly Interface: This past week Infor announced its new user-friendly interface, making it easier for users to navigate and use the system. This leads to faster adoption by users and reduces the need for extensive training, saving time and money for businesses.
3. Flexibility and Scalability: Infor’s ERP solutions are flexible and scalable, meaning that they can easily be adapted to meet changing business needs and requirements. This can help businesses quickly respond to new challenges and opportunities as they arise without having to go through a costly overhaul. This is particularly relevant for companies wishing to scale or for private equity portfolio companies.
4. Cloud-based solutions offer the added benefit of lower upfront costs and easier scalability, improved security to mitigate threats, agility to respond to changing customer needs, and the ability to quickly adopt new innovations to stay ahead of competitors
5. Industry-Leading Innovation: Infor is known for its industry-leading innovation, investing in research and development to stay ahead of the curve in areas such as AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, and robotic process automation (RPA). This can help businesses to stay competitive by leveraging cutting-edge technologies and tools to improve their operations and stay ahead of industry trends.
6. Edge Solutions: Infor augments its ERP capability with best-of-breed solutions covering Warehouse Management, Supply Chain Planning, Human Capital Management, Product Lifecycle Management, Manufacturing Execution, Global Logistics, and Analytics. These solutions can co-exist with Infor’s ERP Suites or be deployed alongside other ERP solutions such as SAP.
Overall, Infor offers a compelling combination of industry-specific solutions, a new user-friendly interface, flexible and scalable, and delivered in the cloud reducing overall costs and making it a strong contender for businesses looking to implement a new ERP system.