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Infor, the third-largest provider of business computer software with 70,000 customers and annual revenues estimated at nearly $2 billion (USD), is reinventing itself within the direction of latest chief executive officer (CEO) Charles Phillips, who joined this company from Oracle in October 2010. Observers agree that Phillips has his work reduce to build a substantial challenger to giants SAP and Oracle, given Infor’s checkered past. But observers also agree that when anyone can transform Infor, it’s Phillips, whose qualifications at Oracle was stellar.

A Look at the Beginning
Founded in 2002, Infor is rolling out a reputation over time as the “place where ERP systems check out retire,” because of dozens of hit-and-miss acquisitions. Despite its reputation, Infor actually begun as a neatly run company. Infor was frugal, paying under two times revenue for acquisitions. It also added significant maintenance revenue streams and aggressively controlled its costs. As a result, the organization enjoyed a robust cash flow and power to pay down whatever debt it had.

However, Infor’s disciplined approach begun to go off track while using acquisitions of MAPICS (2005), GEAC (2006), SSA Global (2006), andWorkbrain (2007), which generally included higher price tags but brought many product quality issues, questionable management practices, and cultural challenges.

For example, SSA Global might have doubled Infor’s size nonetheless it caused major heartburn and indigestion. The overall fit of the two companies was hampered by SSA’s legacy management issues and certain practices that alienated customers, including those on IBM System i. In addition, the performance-draining practices that ensued among Infor and SSA exacerbated the problem. For instance, product teams experienced turf wars, as well as the overall company goal have also been to subordinate growth and innovation, stop enhancing many products, and squeeze maintenance revenues on the increasingly agitated client base.

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