Infor offers flexible approach to upgrading ERP

ERP software supplier Infor is hoping to nudge some of its existing customers to either upgrade their current solutions or purchase new ones with a program that offers deep pricing discounts and the option of interest-free financing.
By Sidney Hill June 24, 2009

ERP software supplier Infor is hoping to nudge some of its existing customers to either upgrade their current solutions or purchase new ones with a program that offers deep pricing discounts and the option of interest-free financing.

Infor CEO Jim Schaper
Infor CEO Jim Schaper explains the company’s Flex program in a video.

The program-called Infor Flex-was announced on June 22. It’s available to Infor customers on existing maintenance contracts.

Infor CEO Jim Schaper said the program offers these companies "the ability to take advantage of our latest technology to improve business performance . . . and emerge from this recession as stronger, more competitive organizations."

The slow economy has caused a lot of companies to curtail IT spending, in addition to prompting some to push enterprise software suppliers to lower system maintenance fees. But Schaper insists that Infor has suffered less than its competitors in both of those areas, and this program is part of Infor’s ongoing effort to reduce the total cost of owning its software applications.

"In hard times, good companies get better," Schaper says in a video on Infor’s Web site explaining the program. "We’re more committed than ever to providing flexibility and value to our customers."

Schaper goes on to say that there are two options to the Infor Flex program:

• Info Flex Upgrade, which he describes as a direct path to the latest version of whatever Infor application a company currently uses; and

• Infor Flex Exchange, which allows companies to switch a different Infor solution.

Infor, having grown through the acquisition of more than 30 software companies over the past several years, has a number of enterprise software suites. It also has a service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework that allows for blending components from the various suites, and a new user interface called Infor MyDay that can serve as the front-end for any Infor applications a company wishes to deploy.

In the press conference announcing the Infor Flex program, Infor Senior VP Dennis Michalis offered estimates of how much a company could save by choosing Infor Flex Upgrade rather than switching to an ERP system from another vendor.

Based on a system with 100 users, Michalis said, moving to a new Infor solution under the Flex program would require a $15,000 transaction fee. No such fee would come with purchasing another vendor’s system, but Michalis said that would option would involve license fees ranging anywhere from $200,000 to more than $4 million, while the new solution purchased through Infor Flex Exchange would not require a license fee.

See the graphic below for Michalis’ complete comparison between Infor Flex Exchange and other vendors’ solutions.

Infor comparison chart