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Infor Claims No. 3 Enterprise Software Slot

Infor may not be a household name, but it is now a $2 billion player in the ERP market.

Infor ERP

Atlanta-based Infor completed its planned acquisition of SSA Global on Friday. On Wednesday, it simultaneously added Extensity and Systems Union to its portfolio.

The company's product lineup already includes acquired technology from Baan, E.piphany, MAPICS and other companies. Infor has made more than 20 acquisitions in the last few years.

Extensity fields performance management software, financial applications such as budgeting and reporting and business intelligence software targeting the upper- to higher-end of the midmarket. Systems Union out of the United Kingdom has similar offerings focusing on smaller companies.

Infor and its majority investor Golden Gate Capital have created what Infor CEO Jim Schaper Wednesday called the third largest enterprise software company in the world after SAP and Oracle. The combined company boasts 70,000 customers, 90 percent of which are companies making between $50 million and $2 billion annually, Schaper told reporters.

This latest in a series of Byzantine deals involved closing the planned SSA Global acquisition on Friday and then buying U.K.-based Systems Union and Extensity on Tuesday. Infor purchased the ERP business of GEAC last year. The remainder of GEAC was folded by Golden Gate into Extensity, which was swallowed up this week.

Schaper said the current Infor sells about $800 million, or 40 percent, of its licenses globally through third parties. SSA derives 15 percent to 20 percent of its license revenue through indirect channels, and System Union is about 50 percent indirect. "When you roll that altogether, 20 percent of overall license revenue will be generated out of partners, and we expect our partners to continue to grow," he said.

He said a large number of Infor's current 500 partners are exclusive to the vendor.

One partner, John Koontz, CEO of CISTECH Business Solutions, Charlotte, N.C., has been selling MAPICS, a pioneering IBM ERP application that has gone through a series of owners before landing at Infor, for 20 years, and he said he has been happy with the way Infor has handled acquisitions in the past.

He said he is happy with the level of support and R&D Infor has put into the venerable product. "MAPICS was part of a $200 million company a few years back, then part of a $400 million company and now I guess a $2 billion company," Koontz said.

He said the iSeries customer base may not be growing but is extremely loyal. MAPICs also runs on Windows.

As for this consolidation—it had to happen, partners said, noting Oracle's buyout of PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems and SAP's purchase of TopManage for its Business One mid-market ERP savvy.

Ron Zapar, president of Re-Quest, a Chicago area Oracle partner, said he does not see much of Infor in customer accounts. "We run into point solutions. We used to run into Epiphany in CRM things, and in the old days we used to run into Baan all the time, just not anymore," he said.

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