How do you choose the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendor? Let us count the ways.
According to the white paper “The 5 Point Plan to ERP Selection Success”, your ERP system should be able to meet your basic needs and provide the bulk of the functionality you are after. Since an ERP system is a pricey piece of software that will be used for a long time, make sure the firm you choose will be around to support it.
Here, look for financial soundness, organizational stability, and a track record of exceptional customer service.
Beyond those somewhat obvious characteristics, consider: (i) vertical expertise, (ii) global and local presence, (iii) vendor’s technology vision, (iv) R&D capabilities, (v) customer service, (vi) credibility, and (vii) ability to implement.
Two giants dominate the world of ERP – typically referred to as the “Oracle/SAP duopoly”. Yet a recent industry outlook research note by Cowen and Company tagged another industry titan, Infor, as a “compelling alternative to Oracle/SAP Duopoly”.
According to the report, the roughly $3B ERP company is poised to reemerge as a legitimate third option to the duopoly; undergoing “radical changes that help Infor improve maintenance renewal rates and win net new customers.”
It said Infor is going to market focusing on companies in the $100M to $5B range with three competitive advantages: (i) lower cost horizontal functionality, (ii) unique micro-vertical functionality to establish a beachhead in under-served sectors, and (iii) a quantum leap in usability changes that offer enterprise functionality with a consumer UI.
Quizzed as to how Infor position itself opposite Oracle and SAP, Infor Regional Director, ASEAN, Brandon Blau highlighted Infor’s key differentiators.
“Infor’s focus is on business applications. Our competitors have lost focus on it and are pushing into hardware and in-memory databases. Our engineers, including about 1,000 new hires, are building vertical functionality. We continually improve on our business application since the application layer is where companies achieve business process improvement,” Blau told Manila Standard.
Blau said his firm delivers true, complete vertical suites; while its competitors have a horizontal push where functionality must be added by customization. He said Infor has suites designed not only for verticals (e.g. food and beverage), but for micro-verticals (eg. bakers and butchers).
Another key advantage, according to Blau, is that Infor embraces partnerships and is not afraid to partner with other leading companies where it benefits customers.
“Infor’s appetite for acquisition continues to grow, but only through sound decision-making. We execute acquisitions when they enable us to offer a more complete application to customers. For example, Orbis for Marketing Resource Management and Certpoint for Learning,” says Blau.
Infor in the Philippines
Infor was established in the Philippines in December 2005, focusing on software development and customer services. Its has steadily built up its research and development facilities in Manila to become one of Infor’s largest R&D centers in Asia. With 850 current staff members in the Philippines, Blau said the country plays an instrumental role in the development of Infor products and solutions both regionally and globally, as it provide enterprise applications and services to around 70,000 customers in 194 countries.
“The Philippines is an important market for Infor. It is the heart of our R&D research and customer support, and we are strong in our consulting services. We see a long-term commitment in the Philippines and expect growth in areas such as the tourism and the hospitality industries,” said Blau. “Infor is looking to push double-digit growth in the Philippines, and will continue to work on our products to ensure that we constantly differentiate ourselves from our competitors and enter into strong sectors of growth.”
Infor is the world’s third-largest supplier of enterprise applications and services, helping more than 70,000 large and mid-size companies improve operations and drive growth across numerous industry sectors.
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