Specialist business application provider Infor is mulling the possibility of establishing a public/private cloud based in a New Zealand datacentre.
“We’ve got a number of discussions at the moment with regard to a local cloud,” says Asbjorn Aakjaer, Infor’s New Zealand country manager. “We’ve used a number of well-known global cloud providers in the past, but I see the New Zealand market as being very well suited to its own cloud. We have some challenges in terms of data speed, connectivity and latency, so a lot of customers are asking us about closer cloud options, geographically.”
The move would dovetail with the vendor’s strategy of following the cloud curve to give customers flexibility in deployment. Along those lines, the vendor finished 2012 collaborating with big players in virtuatlisation and open source middleware.
In November, Infor announced it had developed a reference architecture with VMware to allow the ERP system that can be used as a virtual appliance. Earlier, it announced that its ERP suite was avilable on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Jboss Enterprise Middleware solutions.
“What we’ll do next is deliver VMware images as a way of deploying our solutions, so if you buy ION [Infor's intregration and process middleware product] rather than downloading that software, installing and configuring it, we may offer you the right to download the VM image so the installation and configuration is a lot faster,” Aakjaer says.
Infor focuses heavily on providing ERP systems for a dozen verticals worldwide, including the dairy, aerospace and automotive sectors.
“We want a small number of verticals that we have complete solutions for, so that customers coming to us can get everyting they need, be that the food industry, or fashion or manufacturing,” Aakjaer says.
Consequently, the company works directly with customers and relies primarily on its major reseller partner, EMDA. (Infor sells point solutions through a handful of other resellers).
Infor has 196 customers in New Zealand. Aakjaer, who came to Infor from Lawson Software, which the company acquired in 2011, says 2012 was mostly about internal organising after the acquisition. This year, the company hopes to build business on the foundations laid with Vmware and Red Hat.
“While there were a few good projects that we were involved with in 2012, there certainly wasn’t significant flood of business,” says Aakjaer. “We now have a product strategy that makes sense and our customers have acknowledged as appropriate so 2013 is about executing that.”
The possibility of a cloud services solution in country could translate into opportunities for new resellers, but Aakjaer says that for now, there won’t be any siginifcant changes to its reseller channel.
“So we’ve talked about actively building a cloud provision service run and sold by New Zealand companies. That’s something that we’re certainly looking into further,” says Aakjaer. “We just need to make sure it’s the right thing for everybody.”