Earlier this week I attended Infor’s Innovation Summit at their offices in New York City. It was an opportunity to both check out the amazing renovations that the company has made to their offices as well as catch up on some of the changes they have made to their large portfolio of enterprise software products. Infor is unique in that they have an internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, that is tasked with changing the overall experience of the software and making it more easy to use, modern, and functional. The influence of Hook & Loop extends through the software, to the marketing, and into the design of Infor’s office itself.
Much of what Infor presented concerned the changes that Hook & Loop has made to the user experience. This was exciting to me because much of my ERP selection research has focused on the importance of ease of use when selecting a software solution. There was also much emphasis put on Infor’s strength in microverticals. In a blog after Inforum last spring, I noted that 50% of Best-in-Class organizations select an ERP solution that is industry-specific. But what I most wanted to talk about in this blog was Infor’s Ming.le, it’s social business technology.
For a few years now, we’ve been hearing about social business tools embedded within ERP, but these hasn’t been much news of organizations actually using the technology. At the Innovation Summit, Emily Williams, Product Manager, noted the success that Infor has had getting the product into organizations hands since it’s launch last June. Ming.le now has 255 customers with 41,000 users. I’ve discussed in the past why this technology is important (read my report, “Solving Collaboration Challenges with Social ERP“, for more information about how social ERP can help to transform an organization), but at the time adoption rates were extremely low. In a more recent report, I noted that large enterprises that ignore this technology (and others, such as in-memory analytics), may soon be left in the dust. Not only are Leading large enterprise already twice as likely to have this technology, even more plan to do so in the future.
Figure 1: Leaders are Ahead of the Curve
And if they do implement this technology, they can expect to find even more robust features. In the case of Infor, the company noted new features such as Infor Communities, which enables the extended enterprise (such as suppliers or resellers) to interact within Ming.le, in addition to on-demand workflows, email notifications with contextual drillbacks, workflow locators, and more. This is exciting technology, that fits in well with the things that Hook & Loop is doing.
This last chart leads me to the next thing I wanted to discus, d/EPM. The “d” stands for dynamic. Much of my EPM research has focused on how EPM can help organizations to be more agile. This solution is designed to be easily changed and extended, and runs in-memory enabling quicker access to data and faster decisions. Additionally, Ming.le has been integrated with this solution. My research finds that Best-in-Class organizations are over twice as likely to utilize social collaboration technology within the planning process. Although, it is an extreme minority of organizations that are currently doing this, it is an interesting use case and I’m looking forward to exploring it more in future reports and news from Infor.
It appears as if Infor is focusing a lot of the things that I’ve been expressing in my research over the past year. Having an internal creative agency responsible for the user experience is an interesting, and exciting, strategy for Infor. I look forward to seeing if its customers are able to take advantage of these changes.
Senior Research Analyst
Business Planning and Execution
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