What was alluded to at the Inforum 2012 conference back in April 2012 (and talked about for the last several months in the media) finally took place on October 18, 2012, when Infor announced the grand opening of its new headquarters in New York City. This move not only announced the vendor’s new “digs,” but also introduced Infor’s new brand. The related press release briefly touched on Hook & Loop—Infor’s new in-house design agency. In addition, Infor revealed the launch of a new ION Experience Center at the operations center in Alpharetta, Georgia, its former HQ.
The relocation marks the culmination of nearly two years of radical change for the company under Infor’s new management team, led by Charles Phillips (former Oracle president). The authenticity of Infor’s brand is based on the espoused principles of the company. These principles start with product leadership and innovation, and include beautiful design as a core competency. As one can imagine this is a major undertaking and the vendor will continue to roll out the brand with its products and related services over time. Since Infor doesn’t have much PR activity in comparison to SAP, Oracle, or salesforce.com, rebranding can provide a relatively inexpensive buzz and distance the vendor from its often maligned consolidator past.
Some might facetiously comment on the fact that Phillips lives in NYC and that he probably wanted to travel a little less (and have better dining venues than in Alpharetta). Certainly, being close to potential corporate financiers also helps. I don’t buy the speculations about how moving HQ to a neutral place can help with stopping all those initial turf wars and fiefdoms of the past all on its own (i.e., particular product teams driving the R&D agenda for the entire company). A strong and authoritative leader can instill a new culture without necessarily moving the HQ office, and it is not like the previous R&D locations have changed their locations anyway. This move represents both a symbolic and concrete beginning of a new chapter for Infor.