There were once three big vendors in the world of ERP, being SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. However, the world has changed and there is now a fourth contender, Infor. In fact, Infor has taken over Microsoft already and is making headways towards taking over Oracle as well. This in interesting because Charles Phillips Infor CEO is ex Oracle President. Infor is leading the way, going from a hidden company in Georgia to one of the world’s biggest players with headquarters in New York City. It seems that, under Charles Phillips’ leadership, the company is truly changing the world.

Charles Phillips

The Difference Between the Companies

In a recent report, it was seen that SAP is the leader in ERP vendors. In fact, they own 23% of the market share. Oracle and Infor, however, are now in joined second place with 16% of the market share. Microsoft is lagging behind with just 9% of the share.

Infor, therefore, has become a true top tier vendor, one of the big four. And since most people only consider the top three when it comes to lists, it seems Microsoft has lost out. And considering Infor wasn’t even on the list last year, Oracle seems to be quivering, since they are already having to share second place. An added worry for them is that Phillips was their previous President, and that many of the members from his management team come from Oracle, quickly jumping ship when the opportunity was presented to them.

In order to be included as a top tier company, a business must have a significant market share, which Infor has achieved. Furthermore, they have to have larger implementations in larger enterprises (Infor has bagged Ferrari and Heineken), and the nature of their installed base must be improved, again something they have done. Infor has taken some of the clientele of both SAP and Oracle, but most of it came directly from Microsoft. Their Dynamics package simply doesn’t seem to be fit for purpose anymore. But Infor isn’t standing still, making large scale acquisitions so they can earn an even bigger market share.

Infor is trying its very best to move to the top, and they are achieving this. Over the past few years, the company’s growth has been incredibly quickly. This is due, partially, because of their many acquisitions. At the same time, however, they have invested very heavily in the development of their new user interface, and they believe in architecture that focuses on open standards. As such, Infor sets itself apart because they have used functionality that is industry specific, but have applied it vertically. This means that businesses no longer have to request customizations, which are often very costly. Furthermore, Infor sets itself apart by creating Hook & Loop, their in house development team. This team is responsible for the creation of user interfaces that are centric to user experience, touch based, and intuitive.

What the future will hold for Infor is unclear, but that Oracle and SAP are watching this space is very clear.