I recently attended an Infor briefing webinar and came away with a great impression of the company and Infor’s ERP solution SyteLine, targeted to discrete manufacturers
To set the stage, we heard about Infor’s overall market activity. Infor finished 2012 with over $2.8 Billion in revenues & $840 Million in profit.
Infor currently has 70,000 customers world-wide. Infor is now the third largest ERP player behind SAP (25.5% market share) and Oracle (12.7%) with a 6.3% market share. Note that Sage (5.9%) and Microsoft (4.6%) rank at 4 and 5, respectively.
It’s clear Infor has experienced significant growth and investment in their products over the past year. Their partner network has also expanded. Infor teams with 1,500 partners world-wide. Decision Resources, Inc., one of the largest and oldest partners, participated in the webinar.
Infor SyteLine is targeted to discrete manufacturers including metal fabrication, industrial equipment and machinery, and high-tech/electronics. The system offers tight integration for managing production, CRM, supply chain, inventory, service management, quality and more.
Market adoption has been solid. The webinar shared that 8 out of 10 aerospace companies have implemented SyteLine. Other sectors are well-represented as well. According to the webinar, users of SyteLine include 80 out of 100 automotive companies; 9 of 10 pharmaceutical companies; and 9 of 10 high tech companies.
SyteLine is available as an on-premise solution, Software as a Service (SaaS) or as a hosted system.
One of the key messages we heard is that Infor’s solutions relieve manufacturers of the hassles of system customization. Instead, users “personalize” the software using the Mongoose development platform. Mongoose is based on the Microsoft technology stack, which Infor has embraced as part of a strategic partnership.
The ERP vendor webinar also offered a preview of Infor’s latest release 10x. The “industry suites” are essentially software features designed to serve the specific requirements of a range of industries.
Infor has made an effort to offer “beauty as a competence” with a clean and user-friendly interface. Embedded in the solution is a strong social networking component allowing for improved communications/sharing of information within the company. This level of collaboration will be a game-changer. Screens offer a Google/Yahoo-like feel with the ability to customize the interface to the user’s specific needs.
According to the presentation, Infor’s next major release will continue development of industry-specific enhancements for automotive, medical devices, high tech, and aerospace and defense as well as introduce localization for Germany.
Future enhancements also include adding search capability across the entire application, enhanced pick/pack/ship functionality with integration to UPS and FedX systems; and expanded localization functionality for Brazil, Japan, China, and Italy.
Additional innovations are on the horizon. Infor will soon roll out a new and improved version of the Mongoose development platform. In the upcoming months we should also be hearing more about Infor’s social collaboration tool called Mingle. An enhanced version of the social networking backbone will soon be integrated into Infor systems. (Read more about Mingle here.)
Finally, we can expect to hear about enhancements to Infor’s Motion mobile application solution.
All in all, the briefing served as an effective showcase of Infor’s innovations and market activity – all good information for companies undergoing ERP selection. We’ll be watching as these developments unfold.