Cloud ERP Will Grow Manifold

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 10, 2015

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP), as a technology, has undergone a sea change in recent times. While various reports suggest that cases of ERP failures are common, new trends in mobile, analytics and cloud are driving its growth and adoption. Infor, a $2.8-billion provider of business application software, namely ERP and PLM solutions is expanding its India market.

With over 73,000 customers of Infor globally, 500 are from India, including Larsen & Toubro and Future Group. In an exclusive interaction with CXOtoday, Atul Sareen, MD - Infor India, discusses how mobility and cloud are driving the Indian ERP market and explains Infor’s plans for the country.

The ERP market is moving to the cloud. How do you perceive the change in the market? What are the key drivers for companies moving to cloud ERP?

Today’s dynamic business environment has forced businesses to rapidly innovate and manage cost in order to achieve business growth. Cloud computing addresses these challenges with ease of implementation, scalability, and reliability to drive business momentum. We are also witnessing that along with customer facing applications, organizations are also automating their back-end ERP applications by moving to cloud based model for greater flexibility and business benefits. Additionally, the increasing need for business insights driven analytics and mobility driven solutions increases the need for an agile ERP. A recent study conducted by Gartner, states that 47% of companies are slated to move some of their most critical applications to the cloud in the next 5 years. . Furthermore, new application developments like flexible cloud social platforms are also driving the adoption of enterprise ERP solutions. These are some of the reasons for businesses to move from Legacy ERP systems to Cloud based ERP model, which is expected to grow manifold in the coming years.

How is mobility changing the business applications such as ERP, PLM market globally and in India?

Mobility is playing a critical role in consuming information and gathering intelligence on the move to make important business decisions. Mobile technology has enabled organizations to maximize operational efficiency, increased collaboration and productivity by integrating their business applications like ERP & PLM on mobile devices. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is redefining the way workforce consumes enterprise data and therefore mobility today is at the heart of designing business systems. However, if security issues are addressed, then mobility coupled with cloud computing will equip enterprises in expanding market penetration and gain operational agility to achieve faster time to market in emerging markets like India. 

What is the rate of adoption of cloud ERP in the large enterprise segment? 

A significant chunk of the company’s revenue comes from large enterprises. While the uptake on cloud has been mostly on human capital management and customer relationship management, we also provides operations management on cloud, an area that not been explored by others. While we cater to every market segment, we realize that the requirement in every vertical is different. As a result, we deliver specialized and purpose-built business software for specific industries such as aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive, retailers, banks and global luxury brands to address business solutions and deliver operational efficiency.

How different your approach for the mid-market segment?

We have a strong focus on the mid-market customers as well and across multiple industries. Infor has a wide portfolio of customized solutions. With faster deployment time comprising of on-premise and cloud, we deliver maximum return to customer in the mid-market space and equip them to generate rapid value and returns. Recently, Infor has introduced a specialized solution InforSyteLine 9 that brings simple and scalable technology to mid-market segment in India. The company is trying to convince its customers to move to cloud-based application in the area of manufacturing, and we also see a lot of interest among clients. 

What makes you so confident about the India market?

India has been an important market for Infor in Asia Pacific where the growth always remains above average. The company is bullish on the growth opportunities available in the market which sees a huge uptake of ERP followed by SCM, Business Intelligence and CRM solutions. To highlight, our biggest growth last year amongst Infor’s key industries were seen in industrial manufacturing and equipment, automotive, fashion, high tech and food & beverage. In India, we sell more than 30 different products and solutions and customers in the ERP, PLM and SCM space. Additionally, The Infor Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad is a key contributor in harnessing our global innovation engine and helps in developing latest technology to enhance business capability for clients. At present the CoE boasts of 1100 employees and delivers proven results by helping customers optimize business innovation, performance and align with market dynamics to gain competitive advantage. Infor will continue to focus on micro verticals and make its solutions more readily applicable to the local market in the coming months.