Cloud ERP Wars: Is Infor Adoption Reaching the Tipping Point? | Blog

As enterprises turn to industry-specific ERP solutions, Infor’s growing presence in the Cloud ERP market is becoming more prominent. This blog explores Infor’s strengths and challenges as it aims to compete with traditional ERPs. Reach out to us to discuss further.

In recent interactions with enterprises regarding their ERP investments, it has become evident that there is a growing preference for industry-specific ERP that can bridge the gap between traditional ERP and core business systems. While traditional ERPs such as SAP, Oracle, and Dynamics cater to broader enterprise objectives, industry-specific ERPs are tailored for specific industries, offering specialized functionality, seamless integration, and industry-focused approaches that shape their offerings.

Industry-specific ERPs offer several advantages over traditional counterparts, including industry-specific features, cost efficiency, smooth integration, rapid implementation, enhanced user experience, comprehensive data insights, and adaptability to dynamic market conditions.

One prominent player in this landscape is Infor, a platform we have closely observed. In a previous blog from February 2020 titled “Koch Industries’ Takeover of Infor Signals Key Bet on Cloud ERP Market | Blog,” we delved into the reasons behind Infor’s acquisition and its implications for the Cloud ERP sector.

Infor’s financial performance is notable, boasting approximately US$3.5 billion in total revenue and around US$1.2 billion in SaaS revenue. The platform has achieved remarkable growth of around 20% over the past few years.

There are several key factors contributing to Infor’s success:

  • Deep industry-specificity: Infor’s primary strength lies in its strong focus on industry-tailored offerings, especially for manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and the public sector. Infor’s commitment to industry-specificity is evident from its investment in restructuring its internal organization around focus industries
  • Increasing global presence and partnerships: With operations spanning over 45 countries and a workforce of over 19,000, Infor’s global presence is substantial. Its extensive partnership network encompasses resellers, alliance partners, product partners, service partners, and support partners, featuring prominent names such as Accenture, HCLTech, Deloitte, Wipro, and TCS, as well as specialized partners such as Grant Thornton and Advoco
  • Cloud adaptability: While initially an on-premises ERP, Infor has effectively evolved its cloud capabilities over time. Its leadership in cloud adoption within the industry-specific ERP segment has been recognized, attributed in part to strategic collaborations with AWS for accelerated cloud deployment and innovation. Additionally, Infor’s unique approach to building three separate public cloud solutions, each designed to support a limited number of industries, helps it keep its solution compact, agile, and relevant.

While all the above key factors are driving Infor’s growth, there are some areas that enterprises need to be aware of while assessing Infor as their ERP of choice –

  • AI and gen AI capabilities: Technology is constantly evolving, and expectations for all platform functionality to have AI and gen AI embedded are also picking up. While Infor offers some capabilities, competitors such as Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP are making significant investments in this area. Enterprises may need to evaluate AI and related technologies closely relevant to their needs
  • Enterprise feedback: Some enterprises have raised concerns about Infor’s reporting tools, customer support, and the complexity of integrating with other systems. Enterprises must be aware of such concerns before starting their ERP implementation journey
  • Heavy customization needs: Infor’s strength lies in its industry-specific solutions, but this focus might not be ideal for companies that require extensive customization of their ERP system

The implications for both enterprises and service providers are noteworthy. While Infor’s platform primarily catered to SMBs, there is an observable shift towards larger deals and expanded market share, especially in comparison to traditional ERPs. Enterprises are becoming discerning in their ERP choices, exploring alternatives beyond conventional options to maximize value from their investments. Moreover, Infor is gaining traction even among larger corporations, as exemplified by companies such as Pfizer, Electrolux, Lenovo, GAP, and Jaguar. Instances have emerged where Infor’s solutions have been adopted to replace or supplement traditional ERPs. Recent examples include Riedel, SEG Automotive, Delta Plus, and Saudi Lime.

The adoption of cloud in manufacturing and related industries has hit the tipping point where we see accelerated adoption of cloud, whether this enables Infor to hit its tipping point is a story that is yet to unfold. As Infor scales up to become relevant for large and very large enterprise segments, it needs to address challenges around integration and business value realization from the ERP investments. At the same time, they would also need to get the mindshare of a partner network for them to scale up the talent needed for Infor implementation. Few providers have already started scaling their Infor practice; however, that may not be sufficient.

Watch this space for additional blogs on how the key niche ERP players are evolving with time, key considerations for enterprises and service providers, and what this means for traditional ERPs.

What has been your experience with Infor? Please feel free to write to us at [email protected] and [email protected].

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