Infor Trying Hard to Overtake Oracle, SAP in Cloud ERP
Infor developed in 2012 its own "design think tank" inside the company, dubbed Hook & Loop. It started as a creative agency and then evolved into being part of the software development process. At the Inforum conference, Infor officials discussed how in the course of one project Hook & Loop helped update CloudSuite by reducing the number of forms by about 75 percent and increased user productivity with a particular app by 50 percent. Until now Hook & Loop had been an internal resource, but at the conference Infor announced it is building a new customer-facing service around it called H&L Digital. The service will create a way to link all of Infor's core competencies around a "focus on the customer" approach, by combining "cloud-based industry applications, dynamic data-driven insights, cutting-edge user experience design and a connected supply chain network," Phillips said. The company that describes itself as "a leading provider of beautiful business applications" in its press releases may be onto something here. Because it serves so many industries with specific versions of its ERP products, it may be easier to focus on the needs of smaller sets of customers with similar business problems and tailor the software to them.Infor has a long way to catch up to them and also has its hands full with Microsoft, Workday, Sage and NetSuite. Nevertheless, it’s pushing forward into new markets as well. Infor announced a version of CloudSuite for use in the federal government and a new IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa) business unit. President Duncan Angove said at the conference that the company is moving aggressively in China as well. All this adds up to a company that does try harder. It's up to the customers to determine if they deserve to be number one. Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.
Oracle and SAP also are seeing success in terms of revenue in shifting business to the cloud. However, these competitors, particularly SAP, are still plagued by high levels of customer dissatisfaction and cynicism, if we are to believe a recent report by Nucleus Research.