Infor targets A/NZ channel to push industry vertical SaaS products

Infor targets A/NZ channel to push industry vertical SaaS products

Infor's strategy is to support legacy and grow from the cloud with industry vertical SaaS products

Kevin Samuelson (Infor).

Kevin Samuelson (Infor).

Credit: Supplied

Global numbers as well as recently released financial results in New Zealand hint at some margin pressure for Infor, however, Ryan denied this was due to any changes in its approach or a refusal to lose. 

“I don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s the strength of the solution that sees us through," he said.

"We haven’t changed or approach in the last three to five years in terms of how we attack the market and how we compete. What we are seeing now is the strength of those industry solutions we have is taking us above the competition."

In A/NZ, SaaS particularly was a very mature market, he said. The assumption from customers was now all about cloud and that sits perfectly with Infor's strategy.

Many of the company's current partners were partners of one or more of the businesses Infor has acquired over the years. 

Christchurch-based EMDA, for instance, was a Baan partner and has since been an Infor partner for 20 years. Similarly in Australia, ComActivity worked with Lawson's M3 software.

Ryan said partners need to change their model for selling and delivery in the era of cloud. They need to clearly express the value of a cloud solution and change the model of delivery from customisation, which is more restricted, to extensibility which is enhanced.

Infor, he said, was helping partners to make that change and making sure its still viable to them and has a really customer outcome.

Helen Masters, Infor's APAC senior vice-president and general manager, Infor's strategy was all about delivering a business outcome and improving productivity.

In the Pacific region, the company was very strong in public sector, especially in local government, as well as in enterprise asset management and also in food and beverage and distribution in Australia.

Many of those local government customers would have been using a system called Pathway, developed by GEAC and now part of Infor's portfolio.

Masters said Infor is launching into the healthcare vertical in both Australia and New Zealand.

"We are really starting to play those market and bring solutions that are strong in the US into those markets," she said.

Already Infor counts Queensland Health as a significant customer, with its workforce management and scheduling software helping to coordinate over 100,000 staff and plugging that information into payroll.

Masters said Infor's approach was to start conversations at the C suite and talk business outcomes rather than "ERP", a term Infor prefers not to use.

Masters said many direct customers were asking for onshore delivery. In response, the company was bulking up its regional capability, especially in New Zealand, to deliver "near-shore" into Australia as well.

Infor's new industry vertical suites are delivered on and exploit the strength of AWS to deliver innovative functionality, including integrated data lakes and Infor's new AI platform, dubbed Coleman.

In A/NZ, customers are served from AWS's Sydney data centre.

Disclosure: Rob O'Neill traveled to the Inforum conference in the USA as a guest of Infor. 

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