While companies are adopting cloud applications in growing numbers, most are using what Infor CEO Charles Phillips calls "edge applications" like CRM or human capital management (HCM). Infor believes companies may be interested in cloud software suites in addition to standalone apps. So at this week's AWS Summit in San Francisco, Infor announced its CloudSuite, a group of industry-specific application suites available on the Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud.
"SaaS today refers primarily to HCM, CRM or another edge application, never to mission-critical business operations," Phillips said in a statement. "Infor CloudSuite redefines cloud for the enterprise, delivering the first full suite of business applications purpose-built by industry running in a public cloud through Amazon Web Services."
Infor plans to roll out industry suites, delivered via AWS, throughout 2014. The first suites, set for release in the second quarter, are Infor CloudSuite Automotive, Infor CloudSuite Aerospace & Defense and Infor CloudSuite Hospitality. Early this summer Infor expects to deliver Infor CloudSuite Corporate, a core financials suite, and a complete human capital management suite.
Included in the Infor CloudSuite platform are:
- CloudSuite Analytic Packs, with industry components, data models and industry dashboards.
- Development tools, including Infor ION middleware, Infor Ming.le social collaboration, Infor Analytics and Infor Mongoose development platform
- Management tools, including Infor LN, Infor M3, Infor Lawson, Infor SyteLine, and Infor SunSystems Extension Applications such as Infor EAM, Infor Expense Management, Infor HR Service Delivery (Enwisen), Infor PeopleAnswers Talent Science, Infor Learning Management, Infor Workforce Management, Infor Epiphany Interaction Advisor, Infor Orbis Marketing Resource Management, Infor Product Configuration Management and Infor Supplier Exchange.
"Customers want help figuring out how to move more of their operations into the AWS Cloud. They want to shift their resources to focus on what they do best, rather than on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of managing IT and complex software,” said Andy Jassy, SVP of Amazon Web Services, in a statement. "We are excited that Infor is addressing these needs using the AWS platform."
According to Infor, it is in the process of consolidating its existing subscribers and transitioning its current internal infrastructure to the AWS platform.
"AWS has the best and most advanced cloud infrastructure in the world, providing a delivery model, cost structure, and focus on operational excellence that perfectly complements and enhances our products," said Phillips.
Growth in cloud ERP was one of the top eight ERP trends picked by industry experts for 2014, according to a piece published in December by Enterprise Apps Today. Cloud ERP "enables organizations to not only unite around business processes, but because data is now in the cloud it is much easier to coalesce across supplier networks and supply chains to drive greater efficiency in manufacturing projects," said Christine Hansen, Epicor Software's product marketing manager, in the article.
Gartner has predicted that at least 30 percent of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud by 2018. A number of ERP providers have been updating their cloud strategies in recent months, including Sage , Microsoft Dynamics and NetSuite.