The advent of cloud computing and renting of applications has provided another realm of opportunity for applications software vendors. Infor, which already is the third-largest in the world, is taking advantage of it. Infor announced Infor24, an initiative to bring its role-based applications into the cloud. It will use the Infor ION platform that supports other new Infor applications, including one for hospitality that my colleague recently discussed (See: “Infor Simplifies Hospitality Management Software“). Infor24 is built on the Microsoft Azure platform, which will help Infor support interoperability through standard interfaces such as SOAP, REST and XML utilizing Microsoft SQL Azure. Additionally Infor provides tight security on Infor24 and integration across processes to facilitate alerting, monitoring and reporting. This is an important step for customers as well as the company in balancing support for different ways to acquire software.
Infor has worked on ensuring that its applications on-premises interoperate efficiently with those in the cloud. The ability to utilize data in applications in both environments serves the need to get data in the hands of analysts who apply analytics for a range of business needs, no matter how they need to access it. This is imperative for organizations to get full value from their data warehouses and business intelligence systems. Infor24 is available today with an initial set of applications for asset management, expense management and ERP; other modules will be coming in the rest of this year and next.
Microsoft should be thankful that Infor has chosen to build Infor24 on the Azure platform, which has not previously established a solid position in cloud computing. For Infor the move to embrace cloud computing is critical, as the bulk of its customers are in the midsize market of companies that have 1,000 to 10,000 employees; these organizations have fewer IT resources than larger ones to support new applications installed on-premises. These new channels enable Infor to help its customers complement or replace existing investments with Infor24 in the cloud.
Mark Smith – CEO & EVP Research