Infor CEO: Our IPO will take us to the next level

This scrappy provider of cloud ERP, CRM, HR, and vertical software believes its IPO will raise its profile and market share by a magnitude. Infor CEO Charles Phillips lays out the game plan in an exclusive interview.

The systems of record employed to run the enterprise — ERP, CRM, HR, manufacturing, etc. — may not be the most thrilling software, but their successful implementation plays an outsized role in ensuring a smooth-running business. Oracle and SAP loom large as the broadest, deepest vendors in the space. But Charles Phillips, CEO of New York-based Infor, wants to elbow his way into the top tier.

How? In part by launching an IPO in 2019 or 2020, as Phillips explained in a recent interview with CIO. “We’re probably a much larger company than people recognize by our brand,” says Phillips, who served as co-president of Oracle from 2003 through 2010. “The easiest way to brand the company immediately is have a top-ten tech IPO of all time, as this would be, and the biggest one in New York. New York wants a big high-tech IPO. It’s never had one.”

Infor has been laying the groundwork for this Big Apple moment for some time. After acquiring various enterprise software companies (the last big one was ERP vendor Lawson Software in 2011), Infor has worked hard to create exceptionally usable SaaS versions. The company now offers 23 CloudSuite products and has integrated artificial intelligence and analytics (the latter through its 2017 acquisition of Birst) into its cloud platform. More importantly, roughly half of these CloudSuite offerings drill into verticals from aerospace to healthcare to fashion, drawing on common backend services while regularly adding new vertical features based on customer demand.

Despite these efforts, Phillips’ ambitions might seem outsized: Infor took in $3.2 billion in revenue in FY2018, as opposed to, say, SAP’s 24.7 billion Euros. But with an IPO pending and cloud subscriptions growing by 34 percent, the company is ready to ascend to the next level. The following interview with Phillips has been edited for clarity and length.

To continue reading this article register now

Get the best of CIO ... delivered. Sign up for our FREE email newsletters!