We want to be the Cloud vendor of Choice
Jeff Abbott, Senior Vice President - Global Alliances and Channels and Demand Generation, Infor
talks to VARINDIA about the company’s cloud strategy, the channel structuring and how Infor is positioned to become a key Cloud player
Today Cloud has moved on in a pace that people might never have suspected a few years back. The importance of Cloud has made necessary for any vendor to offer cloud-based solutions to address customer needs over the next couple of years. Infor was quick to understand this and has put on the garb of a Cloud-enabled solution provider in the market.
Explaining the new announcements that Infor has made that supports its Channel strategy, Jeff said that the company is transitioning all of its solutions to the cloud. "While competitors are managing to take only single products to cloud, we are creating cloud suites by taking various applications and tuning them to specific industry needs by launching Infor CloudSuites. We have suites for Healthcare, Fashion, Automotive, Food & Beverages and so on. In total, we have chosen 12 verticlas across the world and designed specific products by introducing as many domain features in it, required of that vertical," he reiterates. For instance, if there is Infor CloudSuite Business, a Cloud-based ERP services for the services industry, for mid-market manufacturers Infor has Infor CloudSuite Industrial, specifically designed for them.
Besides, it also has its channel partner cloud initiative, Infor CloudSuite Academy that enable 750 partners globally to move their business to cloud and understand how they can align their business models to grow their businesses and stay ahead of the demands of the customers.
Infor also launched its global relationship with Amazon Web Services in line with its a strategic decision at the corporate level to focus on applications.
Infor & India market...
From an Indian perspective, Infor is almost like a start-up, started 4 years back. It started building the channel over the next couple of years. Infor's primary focus was to have a sound model for the Channel in the metros. However, it soon realized that SMB is where the opportunity lies and that with their business size growing, there lies enormous scope in mid-town markets. “With demand coming from the smaller cities, we have accordingly planned our action plans for the next 2 years and will roll out our partner recruitment programs in these tier 2 & 3 cities,” says Jeff.
Infor has so far engaged with 2 types of partners – top of the stack, in which it has large MNCs, called the Alliance partners, who look after the large accounts and another is the full-fledged channel partner business, which is called IPN (Infor Partner Network) launched in 2012. The Channel Partner business is structured into 3 layers of partnerships – Associate, Silver and then Gold. Besides Infor also have the services partners, who help the company build the capacity in the market and get their solutions implemented. “We are a performance driven channel organization. We have 25 partners here in India today and will take the number to 40-50 in next 1and half years. Globally we plan to grow our channel business to 30-35 % in next 2 years,” he says.
Infor also invites its partner community to extend its Cloud solutions. “We have a development platform Infor Mongoose and we use this platform to allow our alliance partners to easily design and deploy applications that enhance and extend your core enterprise solution. By having a Cloud focus not only as a company, but throughout our partner eco-system, we extend better solutions to customers,” Jeff replies.
As Jeff remarks, Infor wishes to go public very soon. With its long term focus on growth, solution innovation has been its integral part in the last 2-3 years, though it does continual acquisitions to fill up its industry footprint. Its stated bottomline is very much clear - it wants to be the Cloud vendor of Choice over the next couple of years, and given its huge product range, it will work with its partners to move all of them to the Cloud.