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Industry-specific cloud ERP: Infor CloudSuite
Infor hasn't had a high profile in the industry but has steadily been winning clients and now has 70,000 customers for its various ERP, HCM, PLM, and other top-line enterprise applications. Now it is delivering these not only in the cloud, but has announced industry-specific applications for a wide-range of industries. Customizing enterprise applications to meet industry-specific needs has always driven the cost of IT up, but often locked companies into old versions of software, as they were unwilling to pay for extensive customization every time major changes were made to products. Infor's approach won't solve all upgrade customization issues, but could go a long way towards it for many organizations. Industry-specific support will include Automotive, Equipment, Aerospace & Defense, Hospitality, and Healthcare.
Moving manufacturing to the point of consumption: MakerBot
The only hardware company in this list, MakerBot has brought the sensibility and practicality of 3D printing to the consumer world. With an outlet in Manhattan very much like the Apple Store, MakerBot is one of the industry leaders and perhaps the one that provides the most accessible take on the technology. The industry is still very immature despite several dozen acquisitions in the industry in the last few years, but it's growing in leaps and bounds.
Not an enterprise product you say? Well, I say that the arrival of MakerBot is the canary in the coal mine that shows how traditional manufacturing will ultimately be upended. Companies need long-term planning to plan out and determine how to incorporate on-demand manufacturing in their own operations as well as how they deliver products to market through such devices, something that will take a half-decade or more to sort out for most firms.
In any case, one thing is for sure, a growing number of business and household items will be customized and printed on the spot in the near future, and Makerbot is the clearest posterchild for the industry, despite literally hundreds of competitors getting into the space in the last several years.