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Leading ERP firm Infor has pioneered the development of vertical-specific cloud-based ERP solutions and continues to address information management challenges of the modern enterprise with innovation in the micro-vertical cloud segment.

 

Originally founded under the name Agilisys in 2002 and redubbed as Infor following the acquisition of a German ERP vendor in 2004, the company has pioneered innovation in the micro-vertical ERP solution segment. The decade of rebranding and leadership changes prompted a wave of spending on developing industry-focused products that do not require significant customization to meet specific customer requirements. The ability to deliver near off-the-shelf ERP solutions has led to invaluable competitive differentiation for Infor and a signal for enterprise software companies to focus next-generation products on meeting vertical-specific challenges and standards.

Winning the Cloud Battle

Infor has been in the cloud business for a long time and has worked its way to bring enterprise customers onboard the cloud movement. Delivering mission-critical Infor ERP applications via cloud networks has helped SMB firms to unlock their business potential, a trend that has gained steam in recent years.

Strong leadership including Charles Phillips moving from the presidency at Oracle, along with Duncan Angove and Stephan Scholl joining as co-presidents instigated a wave of investments in vendor-specific software products. While competitors were busy maximizing revenue with one-size-fits-all ERP solutions that prompt additional investments and IT expertise from customers to meet specific business and functionality requirements, Infor pioneered the era of customer-specific offerings delivered as good as off-the-shelf.

The rise of Infor comes down to the idea that every company is a software company, bridging the gap between IT and the rest of the business by empowering end-users with the specific information and software tools to manage business operations. This refreshing approach allowed Infor to work with its customers in understanding business and IT requirements specific to each vertical so that customers don’t end up with generic products with little functionality in yielding desired results.

Defeating the Super-User

Infor’s approach of creating vertical-specific ERP solutions inherently addressed the pressing issue of super-user accounts authorized to perform system-wide changes. The domination of super-user accounts in cloud computing solutions meant limited functionality for rest of the staff. Infor dealt with what Frans Beerkens, Director of home decoration retailer Fetim Group referred to as “tyranny of the superuser” to ensure end-users get the promised functionality from a single cloud-based ERP application.

In practice, these super-users have been in charge to fix software issues so the solution works as it is supposed to. The idea of getting rid of the superuser culture meant Infor needed to deliver working solutions at the fingertips of end-users accessing the service with minimal distraction. The ability to eliminate bloat and presenting cloud-based ERP solutions as simple and easy-to-use software tools to work productively and effectively has been the key to Infor’s success. The rest of the field is capturing the opportunity that cloud-ready ERP technologies should have delivered long ago. The company is dedicated to developing ERP solutions that are consistently functional for all users, across all industry verticals with the accuracy, speed and agility required to meet information management challenges of the modern enterprise. And this has been the crucial competitive differentiator for Infor over the last decade.

 

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