Infinium Attempts To Better Gain Some Markets' Ear
On February 26, Infinium (NASDAQ: INFM), a provider of e-business
solutions and ASP services for certain industries, announced that it has
formed a joint-marketing partnership with Richer Systems
Group Inc. (RSG), the developer of Enrich,
a real-time fleet management solution for the transportation industry.
RSG's Enrich suite of transportation software solutions was designed with
the input of many of North America's leading truck rental, leasing and
commercial trucking companies, to address the unique business pains and
needs of the for-hire segment of the transportation industry.
on the other hand, strives to be the transportation industry's preferred
provider of human resource and financial enterprise business solutions.
It delivers a line of industry-specific enterprise business, CRM and business
intelligence solutions, ASP offerings, and services and support tailored
to the stringent requirements of the round-the-clock, complex operations
of this dynamic industry. Infinium touts that its solutions are deployed
at more than 35% of the Top 100 fastest growing carriers in the United
States, according to the Transport Topics 100. Infinium's customers represent
many of the largest, most respected names in the transportation industry
and include Averitt Express, Covenant Transport,
Fed Ex Supply Chain Services, Kuhne & Nagel,
Maverick Transportation, MS Carriers, SAIA
Motor Freight Line, US Xpress, and
Viking Freight, among many others.
innovative vision, product and partner strategy addresses the evolving
needs of organizations within the transportation industry," said Tom Piatak,
Vice President of Transportation at Infinium. "We're confident in our
ability to transition the transportation market to the e-market, and with
Richer Systems Group, further our leadership position within this fast-paced,
another matter, Infinium has indicated in recent conversations with TEC
that it has devised a strategy to more aggressively exploit the opportunities
within the process manufacturing market. Although the company has long
(since the mid 90s) offered a solid product for certain process manufacturing
segments, it admits that it has not been successful in creating a strong
brand name and a mind share. In accordance with our recent articles that
regard the dearth of viable products within this segment (for more information,
Corporation: The Last Viable Process Manufacturing Vendor Standing?
ERP Market Loses PRISM and Protean), the company has recognized an
apparent opportunity and claims to have achieved significant contract
wins since the second half of 2000.
of them dates back to September 2000, when Luster Products,
Inc., a manufacturer of premium hair care products, selected Infinium
to provide fully integrated, Web-based enterprise business solutions.
As part of strategic initiatives to support its continued growth, Luster
Products began evaluating new, fully-integrated front-to-back-office business
solutions. As a result, Luster selected Infinium to provide Infinium Customer
Relationship Management (CRM), Infinium Financial Management, Infinium
Human Resources, Infinium Materials Management, Infinium Process Manufacturing,
and Infinium Business Intelligence Analytics, tightly-integrated with
solutions from strategic partners FRx Software Corporation,
Knosys, Inc., and ShowCase Corporation with
a total contract value of approximately $1.1 million, including professional
services and support.
focus is the way to go and Infinium seems to be on the right track with
the above announcements. Infinium, like most of its competitors, has experienced
difficulties in 2000 that put the company through serious soul-searching
and tough decision-making (for more information, see Infinium
Ends Its Most Challenging Year). To that end, during 2000, the company
has refurbished (expanded the functionality scope and Web-enabled) much
of its product suite, and refocused itself on an e-Business strategy built
on its solid ERP foundation. The company has also been reorganized to
focus on three key initiatives: customer relationship management (CRM),
e-Business applications, and the ASP business. To deliver these, Infinium
has taken a flexible approach to acquire, internally develop, and/or partner.
The recent moves represent the continuation of its 2000's efforts.
enterprise business solutions include customer relationship management
(CRM), human resources/payroll, financials, supply chain, e-procurement,
and business analytics. In addition, Infinium offers complete industry-specific
solutions for process manufacturers, and partners to provide end-to-end
solutions for the hospitality and transportation industries. While the
company is the undisputed leader in the hospitality & gaming industry
and is a strong player in the transportation industry, it will have its
work cut out to gain significant market recognition within the process
product seems to be a good fit only for certain areas within process manufacturing,
those that entail medium-to large sized enterprises with small-to-medium
sized plants that run in the batch (vs. continuous) manufacturing mode.
It features strengths in formula/recipe management, product costing, laboratory
inspection and hazardous material control (e.g., material safety data
sheet - MSDS and SARA reporting) functions that make it a good solution
for specialty chemical industries (e.g., paints and coatings, adhesives,
pharmaceutical prep., chemical prep., industrial organic chemicals, and
plastics). On the other hand, while the company has indicated it intends
to deliver functionality for the food & beverage industry, it has provided
neither a time frame nor details on the scope of the intended enhancements.
A further limitation is the product's confinement to the IBM AS/400
the low penetration of the process manufacturing market remains the company's
opportunity, and it may have a fair shot at pursuing it. Infinium should,
without any delay, launch an aggressive marketing campaign that would
explain its strengths like the integration of CRM, back-office, e-procurement
and business analytics applications as well as the product's availability
through an ASP business model. The ongoing series of seminars nationwide
named "Discover the new generation of ERP" is a good step in that direction.
company should also demonstrate in a more perspicacious manner its commitment
to further invest in its process manufacturing solution. Further, its
ASP strategy to provide a holistic, turnkey solution may obfuscate the
AS/400 platform confinement. Supplying all elements of ASP business combined
with Infinium's readiness to accommodate customizations may alleviate
customers' initial reticence to venture into still uncertain land of ASP.
Infinium's potential and current customers should certainly consider the
new product offerings, but avoid a selection without looking at what the
other vendors have to offer. We encourage users to familiarize themselves
with the company's above-mentioned ambitious new products offerings and
their availability, at least to better leverage their negotiating position
with other vendors involved in a particular selection exercise. For a
deeper analysis of Infinium and more comprehensive user recommendations
Software Inc.: Having All the Right Cards?).
for potential Infinium process manufacturing users our advice would be:
Infinium if you are a small to medium, batch process manufacturing company,
in mind that if the non-process manufacturing items (e.g., HR/payroll,
CRM, etc.) are also critical to you, then Infinium brings added value
to the table, although the integration should be validated during the
technical review sessions as a part of a thorough selection process.
the selection process, question the company's executives about the positioning
of its process manufacturing offering within the total business strategy
to or visit existing users to access their confidence in the future
of Infinium's process manufacturing product and its track record relative
to meeting process industry needs.