Infor to ramp product cycle, launches social, middleware, cloud apps

The challenger to Oracle and SAP aims to do more than just keep existing customers as it unveils retooled software designed for the so-called SMAC stack. Will it work?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Infor, which aims to better challenge Oracle and SAP, said it will launch almost 300 new products in 2013, including a social collaboration application called Ming.le, a middleware platform and big data effort.

The company, led by CEO Charles Phillips, formerly of co-president of Oracle, outlined the following at its annual user conference:

  • Infor Ming.le, which aims to tie analytics, business processes and collaboration together. The interface resembles current social networking tools and is designed to cut out email. In many respects, Ming.le is a spin on Tibco's Tibbr and dozens of other collaboration efforts. Ming.le will be embedded in Infor's ERP, supply chain, human capital management and enterprise asset management applications.


  • Infor 10x is a middleware platform designed to make the company's suite of applications better suited for the SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) stack.
  • Sky Vault is a big data effort to better utilize the data housed in Infor's ION middleware.
  • Infor Apps on IBM SmartCloud. The company said that Infor's software will be available through IBM's cloud. Infor also said will work with Amazon Web Services' Redshift big data effort.

Peter Goldmacher, an analyst at Cowen & Co., recently said that Infor is emerging as a legit third option to Oracle and SAP in applications. Infor, a privately held ERP company with about $3 billion in revenue, is a rollup of more than 60 acquisitions such as Baan and Lawson. Goldmacher said:

Over the last two years, the normally low profile company has been even quieter than usual, as it has capitalized on the advantage of being privately held to 1) Rewrite virtually its entire suite of apps and infrastructure software, 2) Make massive investments in its UI to materially close the gap between enterprise and consumer software usability, 3) Introduce new products like Mingle to insert content into process flows, and 4) Turn over 75% of its sales force to improve its go to market capabilities. In our view, these radical changes are helping Infor improve maintenance renewal rates, but more importantly, win net new customers.

Infor's plan is to target companies with $100 million to $5 billion in revenue with functionality across products, vertical targeting and better usability with its core manufacturing and financial applications.

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