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Infor CEO is ready to fight SAP in midmarket

Infor CEO is ready to fight SAP in midmarket

SAP plans easier said than done, Schaper says

And Infor has a different approach?

Our products were built for the markets they're serving. We're not attempting to take a product that was built for large enterprises and cram it down into the midmarket. We're equally not trying to take something that is prepackaged for mass consumption and move it up market as Microsoft is trying to do. There are inherent complexities that are built into a product to serve large enterprises.

So what do SMBs want?

They want very specific functionality at the lowest total cost of ownership with the least amount of complexity.

Where are your customers?

Fifty percent of our revenues come from the Americas, 41 percent out of Europe and 9 percent out of Asia Pacific region.

How important is China?

Not unlike every other software company, including SAP, it is our highest growth area. We have typically looked at the Chinese market, earlier in the evolution of Infor, as a market where we wanted to go after multinationals, whether U.S. or European-based. We have now moved with some new product capabilities into the mainland Chinese market, which is a much lower-end market but one where we believe we're perfectly positioned

And what challenges do you face in this particular market?

You start small but your products must be able to scale quickly because what today is a local Chinese auto supplier, for example, is likely to become in a few years a global supplier as China exports automobiles to the U.S. and Europe. This is coming in the next 18 months.

Do you offer any on-demand or hosted services?

We do but not for all applications. Most of what we build is at the request of customers. They have a lot of influence in our long-term development plans. But there are components that can be provided on either a hosted or on-demand model. Asset management is one, customer relationship management is another. But when you get into the extended supply chain, like warehouse management, planning and scheduling -- all core ERP applications -- we just haven't seen customer demand for that. Our products are capable of being hosted and we will host them as we see customer demand.

What about open source?

Open source is a key contributor to Infor and we will be a key contributor to open source over time. It is one of the critical differentiators in our business strategy of how we will SOA-enable our applications.


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