Infor bets on cloud-based applications

A healthy cloud uptake expected to lead to on-premises ERP replacement to cloud-based business applications.

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Infor bets on cloud-based applications Tarik Taman, general manager of IMEA, Infor on the company's growth strategy.
By  David Ndichu Published  July 22, 2017

What is your company’s history-including Middle East History?

Infor was founded in 2002. Fifteen years later, Infor today employs a staff of 15,000, with over 90,000 customers in more than 170 countries.  Although Infor’s move to the Middle East was more recent, it has proven to be an extremely important market for us. Infor’s move to the region made it possible for us to build on and consolidate the customer base gained through third-party vendors of our software. Regionally, we have over 5000 existing customers and see tremendous opportunities for growth in the Middle East.

In 2016, we created the IMEA business unit to focus on India, Middle East and Africa to help drive digital transformation for customers in the region. We have CloudSuites in 13 major industries; of these, we are very active in the manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare & the public sector, and retail industries in the region.

What is your company’s core competence?

Infor is a cloud software vendor helping drive digital transformation across industries around the globe. We provide mission-critical solutions to a growing number of industries including the hospitality, manufacturing, retail, and distributions, along with some of the more traditional industries worldwide.

Infor’s global corporate strategy is to be the first true industry cloud provider in the market. Infor provides cloud-based business solutions, designed to give businesses the tools necessary to compete in an increasingly digitised world.  The company has spent millions of dollars either re-writing its solutions completely from scratch or re-tooling them to be multi-tenant solutions. We have worked to enhance the user experience as well as embed artificial intelligence in our solutions.

What are some of the trends impacting your sector?

We believe that the next few years represent the tipping point in the Middle East, India, and Africa (IMEA) region, as C-suite executives across industries and countries increasingly understand the macroeconomic catalysts driving digital transformation.  We anticipate cloud uptake to continue. The Global Cloud Index by Cisco forecasts the MEA region cloud traffic to more than quadruple by the end of 2019, with 83% of all MEA data centre traffic originating from the cloud by that time.

As aforementioned, Infor expansion in the Middle East and across the larger IMEA region is increasingly being driven by a healthy cloud uptake in what will likely be a decade-long ERP replacement market.

Discuss the latest solutions from your company and the impact you see in the market.

Infor offers cloud-based solutions built for specific industry verticals, known as CloudSuite.

CloudSuite applications cover everything from ERP to CRM, to human capital movement and supply chain management, among others, and delivered via Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The cloud-centric focus is driven by the belief that by delegating IT infrastructure responsibilities to the cloud, organisations can stay focused on their core business functions without being distracted by technology.

The combination of Infor CloudSuite solutions and AWS means applications can easily adjust to changes in processing volume as business demands fluctuate, because of the way Amazon Elastic Load Balancing automatically adjusts to cover shifting capacity requirements. That’s especially important in businesses that need to respond to variable levels of demand, such as seasonal sales or annual events. All the Infor products can also be spread across multiple AWS availability zones (AZs) all over the world, to minimise latency and reduce any risk of downtime.

What is your presence in the Middle East?

Infor has reported a triple-digit year-on-year growth in the first half of 2017 17 in India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA). This growth is driven by the increase in cloud uptake in the region.  Additionally, we acquired Cairo-based Accentia Middle East, which has approximately 100 employees.

Today, Infor IMEA subsidiary is a rapidly-expanding 2500 plus person organisation, with offices in Dubai, Jeddah, Cairo, Tunisia, six cities across India and more than 5,000 customers.

Describe some of your biggest successes in the region.

Since the launch of the IMEA region business in July 2016, Infor has added numerous marquee customers in the region including Saudi Arabian mall and property firm Arabian Centres, a division of Al Hokair Industries, India’s largest retailer Future Group, and leading manufacturers Future Pipe Industries and S.K.M. Air-conditioning.

What are your regional goals for the rest of the year and beyond?

We expect growth to continue, with leading industry analysts forecasting the Middle East and Africa (MEA) cloud traffic to more than quadruple by the end of 2019, with 83% of all MEA data centre traffic coming from the cloud.

We hope to quintuple the IMEA market share by 2020 and remain committed to this fast-growing, dynamic region and our customers, by helping them take their businesses to the next level through cloud adoption and digital transformation.

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