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July - 2013 - issue > View Point
Industry is moving Towards Specifically Tailored Solutions
Soma Somasundaram
EVP, Global Product Development -Infor
Monday, July 1, 2013
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in New York, Infor offers enterprise software solutions for customer relationship management, supply chain management, enterprise asset management and more.

Upon following the footprint of enterprises we would find that they have traversed a marvelous journey to reach the point in advancement that they are in today. The mega-technology trends that have broadly taken effect are in the areas of social media, mobile, and cloud. Each of these will have a significant impact in the way enterprises interact with their clients, manage their teams and partner across their supply chain.

Tracking the Market Trend

The days are gone when there was only one single product in the market and the consumers had very few options available. Today customers need their products to be customized to their requirements; they want to be able to use it right out of the box and not after a year of customization. Customers want solutions that are purpose built for them. The consumers of today are no longer tolerant of getting general solutions that they have to spend resource to make it fit their business. That is where our focus is when it comes to micro-verticalization.

Every industry needs specific products and solutions that will cater to every detail that is required for efficient functioning. The aerospace industry has multimillion parts that go into the making of the aircraft. As they need to optimize every detail to match time and reduce cost, they demand solutions that go deep.

In the 1980s and 90s, the ERP solutions for the back end processes to organize their orders was in the form of a pen and a piece of paper that went into a folder and was filed in the back of a storage unit. Today, everyone has an iPad or a smartphone in their hands; today’s workers are knowledge workers, they are smart and they need smarter solutions. Hence, the systems that they use have to be contemporary, intuitive; aesthetically pleasing and more importantly the systems should empower them to make right decisions. The systems need analytics fused into them, mobile capabilities along with social connectivity on the cloud.

Driving Innovation to Stay Ahead

Innovation is tantamount in today’s competitive market. Every industry needs innovation and every solution in every market needs constant improvisation and adaptation.
We at Infor have domain experts in our R&D section who quite literally live and breathe within the micro-verticals. Therefore, the first aspect of innovation is being focused on a particular industry and evolving with the needs and requirements of that industry. The other aspect of innovation inevitably is technology. Every aspect of technology – mobile, cloud and social is moving at neck breaking speed. Currently we have a special team that works making these brand new technological innovations adoptable for our solutions. The team is independent of industry solutions and they come together within the organization via an architecture called ion. This allows these two teams to move at their own pace but deliver the solutions to the customers at a unified level; ultimately driving innovation.

Major Challenges Faced

Headquartered in New York, we have a global presence with offices in multiple locations. The major challenge is to travel over multiple time zones and keep track of the on goings of a whole range of operations by different teams in these zones and organization as a whole follow the core philosophies.

The Road Ahead

We are moving away from solutions that do little for everybody and moving towards specifically tailored solutions that will tremendously help the industry. Innovation is being done on every snippet of the industry. This is a trend that will create a new breed of software over the coming years. Today the customers are really exhausted by software driving the business rather than the software assisting them the business.

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