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Infor Unveils the Infor 10x Umbrella Release

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: April 29 2013

The slew of product announcements at the recent Inforum 2013 conference was underlined by the announced general availability of Infor 10x, an enterprise release that in Infor's view marks a major step forward in achieving its vision. Infor 10x unites a multi-purpose middleware platform featuring social, mobile, analytical, and cloud capabilities with Infor's suite of solutions.

All major applications feature a reinvented HTML5 user experience, the new Infor Ming.le platform for social collaboration, business process improvement, and contextual analytics, and pervasive in-context analytics embedded throughout workflows that are packaged within the Infor ION integration framework for managing business process flows, workflows, and alerts.

The modernizations that 10x delivers will affect Infor's major industry solutions, spanning 12 focus verticals as well as best-of-breed business applications for financials, human capital management (HCM), enterprise asset management (EAM), supply chain management (SCM), product lifecycle management (PLM), and customer relationship management (CRM). The release will follow a phased roll-out approach, beginning with Infor ION, Infor Ming.le, EAM, CRM, Hansen, LN, and SunSystems applications. Infor 10x capabilities will then be expanded into additional core enterprise resource planning (ERP) product lines over an estimated 12- to 24-month period, with rollout expected to be complete by the fall of 2015.

A Pragmatic Innovator

I think that Infor is smart to use Ming.le (formerly Infor Workspace) as the user interface (UI) for all of its apps—salesforce.com just announced that Chatter will be the UI for all of its apps, and that seems to be the future of enterprise software. Plus, Ming.le is not only a snazzy consumer-like social UI; it's also useful in sending contextual info to employees. The true value of social tools and collaboration is when it helps concrete business processes and solves actual situations/issues, e.g., field service work, product development work, order management and fulfillment, etc. To that end, in Ming.le, users sharing posts creates newsfeeds for relevant folks, and the Social Business Graph means following not only people, but also machines, orders, warehouses, etc.

Infor is using a variation of the Oracle Apps Unlimited strategy to enhance most of its legacy ERP apps on their separate tracks. However, instead of going for a brand new converged “uber” Fusion Apps suite, the apps “convergence/fusion” happens only on the so-called SOHO user experience level, which entails Ming.le, ION, Motion mobility apps, pervasively embedded contextual business intelligence (BI), etc. Oracle is really burdened by spending money on maintaining both legacy ERP systems and Oracle Fusion Apps, while there is no incentive for legacy ERP guys to go to Fusion (why would they, if they are getting enhancements anyway?).

In the greater scheme of things, Oracle’s Fusion is the most ambitious approach, Infor’s 10x is the most pragmatic, whereas SAP’s HANA approach is, to my mind, the most inspiring. Of course, Workday’s approach is nearly perfect, but the vendor has had the benefit of starting from scratch, and a few decades later than its archrivals.
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