SAP and Oracle are the two big companies that are dominating the ERP landscape in the world. There are many other players in the market, but none have matched up to the level of innovation and quality offered by SAP and Oracle, until now. Headquartered in New York, Infor is fast becoming the next big Enterprise Resource Planning application company in the planet.
Despite trailing SAP and Oracle in business software revenue by a wide margin, Infor is growing faster, its products are better and its customers are more satisfied. In 2012, it developed 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 recently held 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. 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 acquired a few ERP software firms such as the ERP consulting firm Merit and retail demand forecasting software maker Predictix. Its newest purchase is Starmount, which delivers software and services for retailers to engage with customers.