New CEO Leads Revival at Infor

Infor was once the company where old enterprise application software went to eke out its last few years of viability. Since Charles Phillips, CEO at Infor came on board in December of 2010, the company seems to be moving at light speed. Acquisitions follow one another in a steady stream just as they did during Phillips’ tenure at Oracle. Marketing is crisper; strategy is clearer.Infor has finally seemed to find its focus.

Rather than squander resources on a myriad of disjointed products, since Phillips’ arrival, Infor has renewed focus on its two flagship products, Infor10 ERP Enterprise (formerly LN) and Infor10 ERP Business (formerly SyteLine). Both products were recently renamed during a corporate rebranding that has finally given Infor a market identity to call its own.

As CEO at Infor, Phillips has made acquisitions that appear reasoned and well thought out to enhance the company’s overall strategy, rather than a grab for installed base as in previous regimes. Phillips has also reached out to strengthen relationships with global consulting firms and other partners. He is developing a strong and healthy ecosystem around Infor products, just as he did at Oracle.

Infor has strategic partners that provide services on a global basis, and partners with Microsoft, IBM, and Progress for technology. Complementary product partnerships, such as the recently announced relationship with ClickSoftware, help Infor round out any remaining gaps in its products.

Phillips has also taken steps to beef up Infor’s channel and it shows in the constant stream of new customer announcements. With over 70,000 customers worldwide, Infor is easily on a par with ERP titans SAP and Oracle.

Infor10 ERP Enterprise and Infor10 ERP Business were both recently certified by BDO as compliant with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Companies with global operations need to adhere to regulations and reporting rules for each country where they have facilities. Multi-GAAP applications have been rare for ERP applications, and Infor now has two certified by BDO. Given Charles Phillips background in the financial world, one would expect that this key business requirement would not go unaddressed for long.

Phillips has pushed Infor out of its rut and announced strategies for addressing the three hottest trends in IT: Cloud Computing, Mobile Applications, and Social Interactions. The recently announced Infor10 HMS Hospitality Check-in application allows hotel guests to check in by interacting with roving hotel clerks equipped with iPads rather than wait in line. Infor10 ION fills in the social networking space with collaboration and communication tools. Infor leads its main rivals when it comes to its Cloud offerings, both in terms of user counts and flexibility. Infor’s Cloud offering and messaging appeals to customers looking for flexible deployment options, predictable costs, global accessibility and a simplified IT experience.

Selecting an ERP system is an important strategic decision for a business and generally becomes a long-term relationship with the selected vendor. With Phillips at Infor’s helm, customers are comfortable signing on and betting the future of their business on the decision.