by Chris Moore

Oracle, SAP and INFOR ?????

Oct 11, 20073 mins
IT Leadership

I have a question: Who knows about INFOR? Who has worked with them and where did they come from? Why do they think they are the #3 ERP vendor after Oracle and SAP?

As CIO for a local government we use the HANSEN system for asset and infrastructure management. Many US and Canadian cities, regions and counties use the Hansen system. In May of this year Chuck Hansen sold Hansen to INFOR, which acquired the software system and the customer base in the transaction.

I have been waiting for a call from someone, anyone from INFOR to touch base, connect with the CIO of one of their larger local government customers. I decided to stop waiting and pick up the phone to find out what is going on. Before I called I collected available information about the company from multiple sources. The more questions I asked, the more concerned I became. Were we, like other customers, going to get lost in the acquisition? I connected with my counterparts across the country and asked them if they had heard anything from INFOR. Within 24 hours I had responses from coast to coast saying, NO, I haven’t heard a thing, and If you hear anything please let me know.

After polling other CIOs across the country, I called INFOR’s head office in Atlanta, seeking Jerry Rulli, president of the Americas, only to find out that Jerry worked out of the Chicago office. I then called Chicago and got his voice mail. I left a courteous yet detailed message that basically said I am out here in the desert with no info, please call.

I was impressed when Jerry called me back less than 3 business days later. He told me he was sorry, that I must have slipped through the cracks, and that he would have the general manager for the public sector business contact me to further discuss my concerns. Within 10 minutes Bruce Gheesling, the public sector GM, called me, and we set a date to talk further.

I am still concerned that INFOR’s growth strategy is acquisition, with cracks big enough for large customers to fall through. I am not convinced yet that they have the transition thing down as a science, but I give their senior leadership full markers for being responsive. In fact, the local INFOR sales director called me out of the blue today to let me know that her VP was going to be in town next week and wanted to meet with me. GOOD. I am really looking forward to that meeting.

Look for part 2 of this blog after my discussion with Bruce tomorrow, and then maybe a third entry after next weeks face-to-face meeting. I sure hope these people can pull the relationship out of the fire.

Does anyone have and INFOR story? Has anyone else become an INFOR customer via acquisition?