Since Charles Phillips arrived at Infor several years ago, it would be fair to say that the technology giant has taken some giant leaps forward. Now classed as the third largest enterprise software company in the world, Infor is attempting to up the ante and start to take even more of a market share by relying even more heavily on the cloud.
As we all know, Infor has taken a somewhat different path when compared to rivals such as Oracle and SAP over the last three years. They have opted to target niche industries and develop platforms that are appropriate. They build per industry, ranging from aerospace to defense – their products are specialist and this approach has worked like a charm.
Now, things are changing a little. Instead of selling product-by-product, the company are looking to migrate customers to a whole suite of applications. Each application has the same user interface, focusses around the famous Ion middleware developed by the company and as you may have guessed – the suites are hosted in the cloud.
It means that Infor have no intention of building generic platforms like their competitors.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean to say that Infor is planning to go solo forever. The company have stated that discussions have taken place with SAP, in a bid to potentially host their Hana platform in the cloud and run Infor applications at the same time. Such an approach would certainly raise eyebrows, when one considers that Infor are one of the first major companies of its kind to rely on Amazon – and not a bespoke platform.
Infor’s Charles Phillips had this to say regarding the potential partnership with SAP:
“We are working on a number of initiatives around big data, some of it in-memory. We may partner with SAP, we have been in discussions with them about Hana and to put Hana on Amazon. There’s no reason we couldn’t do it.”
Bearing this in mind, there have been obvious suggestions that SAP could run away with the market considering they would be allowing such a large rival to use its database.
However, this was something which was quickly knocked back by Phillips, who stated that there are several ways in which Infor can overtake SAP, and Oracle, in the future. He made the point that the days of regularly paying maintenance and upgrade fees are coming to an end – customers aren’t prepared to regularly update and pay for software when it’s cheaper to build a new system and host it in the cloud.
Phillips also made the point that at the moment there are a lot of software companies making healthy margins due to the large maintenance and upgrade fees. He went on to say that there are always new companies who are looking to capitalize, potentially make half the income, but overtake the market. This, it appears, is what Infor are attempting to take advantage of over the next few years.