Infor, a provider of business application software serving more than 70,000 customers in over 190 countries, recently announced strong momentum for Infor ION technology. More than 900 organizations in 59 countries have reportedly purchased ION, making it the top-selling and fastest-growing product in Infor’s portfolio of industry-specialized software products.
Hailed as a lightweight middleware offering, Infor ION is an integration framework that connects operational, front-office, and back-office systems across the entire business using industry standard XML document exchange. This open-standard document-based integration idea has been devised by Infor’s previous management garniture and nurtured by the current one (see TEC’s earlier article for more details).
More recently, ION has been spruced up to enable a modern, consumer-inspired user experience that incorporates social, mobile, and cloud computing in existing environments, to “make software beautiful.” In addition, ION can be used to integrate Infor applications with non-Infor applications and was instrumental in the development of Inforce Everywhere and Inforce Marketing, the joint customer relationship management (CRM) offerings with salesforce.com.
Among the companies that have purchased Infor ION to connect multiple Infor systems (and unlocking hidden information and analytics when and where it is needed) are A. Schulman, BAE Systems, Brewster Dairy, Ferrari, Hi-Tech Mouldings, Pan Emirates, Preferred Sands, and Pride Industries. To better manage the strong growth of this platform, Infor has hired Steve Moroski as senior vice president of Platform Technologies. Moroski, an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, joins Infor from Oracle (not surprising, given that Infor CEO Charles Phillips and his top lieutenants all came from Oracle), where he most recently served as group vice president for engineered systems.
ION’s growth is not too surprising a piece of news, since users need ION to integrate Infor and non-Infor software pieces together. A bit surprising, though, is that ION is reportedly licensed based on a Core CPU power—surprising because Infor’s previous management had been toying with an idea of offering ION free as part of the current maintenance contract to customers that were on relatively recent Infor product releases. The main goal was to shore up the install base, not to be a middleware vendor per se.
Given that Infor customers are paying for ION licenses, they may see additional value, whereas Infor gets a new license revenue stream.
I look forward to the Inforum 2013 user conference next month, where I will have the chance to more deeply explore ION’s value prop and pricing details. Stay tuned!