Infor Puts Partner Recruitment In High Gear

Business application vendor Infor has recruited 110 new resellers in 25 countries to its Infor Partner Network since the company launched the program in June. It's also cut some 200 partners that were inactive or just providing maintenance and support services.

As many as 600 additional solution providers also have expressed interest in joining the program, giving the company plenty of potential recruits toward meeting its goal of having between 800 and 900 partners within the next three to four years, said Jeff Abbott, vice president of global alliances and channels, in an interview.

"We're attracting partners from our competitors," Abbott said, noting that recent recruits include partners who work with Epicor, Oracle, Microsoft and Sage. While some are adding Infor's products to their product offerings, "others are making a wholesale switch away from our competitors and to Infor."

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Infor was created through a series of acquisitions engineered by its owner, Golden Gate Capital. Those included GEAC Computer Corp. (which itself made a number of acquisitions including Dun & Bradstreet Software) and SSA Global (which bought many companies including Baan, Epiphany and Infinium Software). That's given the company a broad range of software products including ERP, CRM, financial management, human resource management and supply chain management applications.

Last year Infor grew even more when the company acquired Lawson Software for $2 billion.

Today the channel accounts for about 30 percent of Infor's sales. Infor overhauled its partner program to reflect changes across the company and help meet its goal of doubling its channel sales during the next couple of years. The new Infor Partner Network put resellers associated with the acquired companies under one program governed by a single standard contract.

The effort included parting ways with some 200 partners who were not actively selling Infor software, some still collecting annuity service and support revenue. Abbot said most of the vendor's remaining "legacy" partners -- and all those designated Silver or Gold in the program -- are now under the new contract.

Under the program Infor is also working with its partners to put more focus on "microvertical" markets.

NEXT: Additions To The Partner Roster

The current stable of approximately 400 partners, both longtime resellers and the newly recruited partners, have aggressive sales requirements to meet. Abbott said some partners are now certified for as many as 10 Infor products and the number of products sold per deal is up 50 percent.

Some of the solution providers added to Infor's partner roster include Brinel, Cambridge Online Systems Limited, Consultoria e Servicos Ltda., IBIS, Lucidity Consulting Group, Premier Computing Inc. and Vicor Business Services Inc.

Lucidity, a longtime Oracle Platinum-level partner that focuses on the manufacturing, distribution, and oil and gas industries, joined Infor's partner program in January. The Richardson, Texas-based company provides consulting, systems integration and hosting services and is ramping up to sell the Infor10 ERP Business (formerly SyteLine) and Infor Enterprise Asset Management applications, said Lucidity CEO Clint Brice, in an interview.

"We can bring some size and scale that some smaller firms can't," Brice said, noting that with 150 employees and annual sales of $30 million, Gold-level Lucidity is bigger than most Infor partners. While the CEO said some vendors -- including Oracle -- are more focused on direct sales, "Infor is the opposite and is more channel-focused." He had particular praise for Infor's presales assistance for partners.

John Vivian, president of Vicor Business Services, agreed. "The on-boarding training that we received was excellent, and having access to Infor sales resources has proved invaluable in positioning us to expand our business," said Vivian in a statement. "The investment that Infor is making in this program is encouraging and makes us feel that we are equipped to grow as Infor grows."