Infor has had "mobile" on its roadmap for some time now — the enterprise applications vendor has long been aware that it needed to add mobile capabilities to its product portfolio, and has finally done so with the unveiling of two native iOS mobile applications (Android versions will be released later this year) and a cloud based platform. The applications dubbed "Road Warrior" (a lightweight CRM application), and "ActivityDeck" (a social application that keeps track of Infor applications by sending real-time alerts, and enables on-to-go approvals of pending requests) are just the first steps for the company's broader mobile strategy which appears to be focused on interoperability. Core to the company's overall (and mobile strategy) is ION, a middleware solution that provides integration capabilities for Infor's application portfolio as well as third-party applications. The platform provides flexible deployment options (while important, this has become a requirement for enterprise environments) and supports on-premise, cloud (multi-tenant SaaS), and mixed environments.
Infor has had some strategic moves and made notable changes to its C-Suite in the last 12-18 months — the company gained a seasoned executive from Oracle when Charles Philips took over as CEO in Q4 2010 (Philips also brought a number of Oracle executives with him). Infor also made a notable acquisition in 2011 (Lawson Software) which bolstered the company's applications range and midmarket reach (Lawson's strengths are predominantly in healthcare and in state and local government) and also rebranded its software (Infor10). The company also enhanced its partner network in 2011 — resellers and OEM partners now can access a portal that features real-time data on partner performance and gain access to role-based product training, pricing and sales collateral.
Infor's aggressiveness, and deep vertical market coverage has the company regularly competing and often winning over its larger ERP rivals (Oracle and SAP) — this is notable, when considering that Infor is a young company that grew up very quickly via strategic acquisitions (Infor has made >30 aquisitions since being founded in 2002 — notable acquirees are Baan, GEAC and SSA Global). Consolidating and melding the disparate application platforms the company has acquired during its 10 year run remains a challenge — the ION platforms appears to be a big step in this direction that will be welcomed by many existing customers.
With the Infor's products now positioned for "social" and mobile computing, 2012 has the potential to be turning point for the company to demonstrate strong growth. Infor plans to move its headquarters to New York City this summer, and still is rumored to be preparing an S1. Additional mobile applications are certainly in the works — HCM and EAM apps are the most likely candidates in my view. Infor has and will continue to be an interesting company to watch ...