One month after unveiling a plan to integrate and organize its disparate application portfolio into industry-specific solution suites, Infor is now aggressively recruiting channel partners to work with the newly revamped product line.
The company is looking "to reintroduce Infor in the marketplace to solution providers who are frustrated with their current vendors and who are ready to move up to a solution-suite selling environment," said Jeff Abbott, Infor vice president, global alliances and channels, in an interview.
Infor's product line is made up of a broad range of ERP, financial, CRM, human resource management and supply chain management applications assembled over time through a number of acquisitions, including Geac Computer Corp., Lawson Software and SSA Global.
Last month CEO Charles Phillips outlined a plan to organize those applications into solution suites targeting 13 vertical industries. Key to the initiative is the Infor Ion technology to integrate the applications and the Infor10 Workspace user interface that provides a common look and feel across those applications.
That followed the launch in June of a unified, global partner program, the Infor Partner Network, for partners that came to Infor through its acquisitions. A key element of that plan was the development of a single standard contract for all Infor channel partners.
With the overhauled product lineup and the revamped partner program in place, Infor is now stepping up its partner recruiting efforts, Abbot said.
"That is a powerful one-two punch," he said of the new product and partner strategies. "Now we have a complete program. We believe we have among the most competitive commercial terms in the market."
Infor's channel sales grew 28 percent in its fourth fiscal quarter ended May 31 and 23 percent in the first fiscal quarter ended Aug. 31, according to Abbott.
Infor currently has some 500 channel partners, although around 200 of them are not very active, Abbott said, and some are being shown the door. Current partners are moving to the new standard partner contract over time.
Abbott's organization has been analyzing Infor's channel sales by geographic region and vertical industry to determine where it most needs partners to improve sales coverage.
Most immediately Abbott is seeking 150 top-tier partners to build Infor's partner ranks to about 700. Overall, Abbott believes Infor has room for about 600 partners above those it already has, and he expects to have a partner stable of 850 to 900 solution providers in about two years and more than 1,000 in three years.
Infor has enlisted 10 new partners since launching the Infor Partner Network in June. "In addition to Infor's recently launched portfolio of truly innovative solutions, we were impressed with its new channel partner network program, which provides extensive support in the form of local resources, marketing and training," said Jean-Baptiste Blanc, vice president, sales at Catalyst Business Solutions, an Infor channel partner. "We welcome the opportunity to support Infor in its growth ambitions for the Middle East and Africa regions and look forward to a long term and fruitful partnership," he said in a statement.