Infor on Wednesday outlined plans to build its CloudSuite on Amazon Web Services in a move that gives the SAP and Oracle rival some cloud heft.
Enterprise buyers will still buy CloudSuite as a service through Infor, but the company plans to be able to roll out more industry specific services faster via AWS.
Infor was a key customer win for AWS at its summit in San Francisco. The game for Infor is relatively simple: Convince its massive installed base of 70,000 customers to upgrade from on-premises deployments to the cloud. Infor has revamped its user experience, added analytics and social capabilities to better compete against the much larger Oracle and SAP.
Brian Rose, senior vice president of Infor Labs, said that about 2,000 customers are on CloudSuite, which has 12 million users. "We have credibility in the cloud today, but the vast majority of our customers are on premises," said Rose. "Over the next five years customers will be moving to the cloud fast."
Last year, Infor rolled out an "UpgradeX" program that prods customers to upgrade on-premises applications to CloudSuite. Infor also overhauled its user interface. Infor's CloudSuite includes analytics, middle ware, social collaboration tools, enterprise management, and extension apps.
For Infor, AWS will allow it to scale faster and launch in Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Infor previously had co-located data centers to deliver CloudSuite. "We don't have to set up global locations. The cap-ex vs. op-ex benefits are significant," said Rose.
One intangible benefit for Infor may be cloud credibility. By building on AWS, the company negates potential concerns about reliability and scale. Meanwhile, Infor could be seen by IT buyers as more independent given that Oracle is likely to want customers on one stack whether its applications, hardware, or cloud.
For AWS, Infor provides a series of industry specific applications on its infrastructure. Infor said it plans to roll out its industry suites on AWS throughout 2014. In the Spring, Infor CloudSuite Automotive, Aerospace and Defense and Hospitality will be the first industry applications to move to AWS. In the summer, Infor said its CloudSuite Corporate, which includes financials and human capital management will move to AWS.