Operating under a ‘cloud’ is by no means a new phenomenon – one just has to tap into the vast majority of the big players in pretty much every industry to realize that it’s happening. However, something that has been slow to come to fruition is a cloud system which links multiple companies together. This is where Infor have entered the equation.
Taking advantage of a system named multi-enterprise ERP, Infor are aiming to build a service which houses all of a company’s procedures under one system.
The days of a company manufacturing, shipping and selling a product are more or less gone. Now, each stage is outsourced to a specialist business – there are manufacturing contractors, shipping companies and of course the companies that sell the product. It means that while things have suddenly become incredibly specialized, they have also become much more complicated.
The problem in which businesses are facing is that while they are blessed by a much more specialized process, they don’t necessarily have the insight into what is happening at each stage of the cycle.
Infor are aiming to eradicate this concern. Their solution is to place everything in a cloud environment, allowing each and every stakeholder to have visibility on each stage of the cycle.
The fact that Infor are making such strides should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the company. Their CEO, Charles Phillips, actually wrote a book about multi-enterprise ERP 16 years ago – he has been something of a pioneer.
Something which might surprise outsiders is the amount of money Infor are investing. They have recently acquired GT Nexus in a $675m deal, in a bid to accelerate the process and bring Phillips’ solution to market much more quickly.
Considering the large investment in GT Nexus, there were also several raised eyebrows when Infor made announcements regarding their physical infrastructure for the cloud. While competitors such as Oracle spent years building custom platforms, Infor have opted to run everything on AWS. According to Phillips, this was a simple decision – Amazon are the best at what they do when it comes to data centers.
Phillips said, “Nobody has better data centers than Amazon. Rather than attempting to copy them, we are again following the path of specialization. We know what we are good at, and we let Amazon deal with what they are renowned for.”
Something which has been developed internally is Infor Xi. In short, this is tasked with machine learning and predictive analysis. The idea is simple; analyze all of the data set up in the cloud and return optimization techniques, whether this is related to customer segmentation, pricing or inventory optimization. This has been developed with 16 PHDs working on-site.
It means that Infor are most definitely taking their new solution seriously. From hundreds of dollars of investments, to internally developed teams formed of PHDs, once again Charles Phillips is aiming to shake up the technology world and bring in an industry-changing product.