Global CIO: Can Charles Phillips Grow Infor While Avoiding Oracle & SAP? - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/26/2010
06:13 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
[Ransomware] Taking the Mystery out of Ransomware
Dec 07, 2016
Lost data. Systems locked down. Whole companies coming to a grinding halt. When it comes to ransom ...Read More>>

Global CIO: Can Charles Phillips Grow Infor While Avoiding Oracle & SAP?

The Oracle ex-president's new company has $2 billion in revenue and 70,000 customers—and suddenly a much higher profile within SAP and Oracle.

Now that Infor has hired former Oracle president Charles Phillips and decided to stop being the only $2-billion enterprise-software company that no one's ever heard of, it's a good thing that Phillips is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a former captain in the United States Marines, as well as a veteran of the bare-knuckle brawling that takes place in the enterprise-software market.

And it's also a good thing that Infor chairman Jim Schaper, who turned over his CEO role to Phillips, was a national champion back in his days with the University of South Carolina's track team, in addition to being the passionate leader behind Infor's astonishing level of growth since it was formed in 2002.

Because for all of their protestations to the contrary, Infor has, by hiring Phillips, embarked on a path that will surely lead to intense and more-frequent direct competition with Oracle and SAP. Schaper and Phillips might wish that were not the case, but to achieve the ambitious growth plans the two have laid out, those marketplace confrontations with market leaders SAP and Oracle are inevitable.

So the big question is, is the privately held and 8-1/2-year-old Infor up to the challenge? Can it continue to grow and expand and roll out powerful new products and maintain excellent customer-renewal rates while also moving into new markets where SAP and Oracle are also on the prowl?

But beyond that, let's put that pressing issue of competition off to the side for a moment and consider: while there are lots of 8-1/2-year-old enterprise software companies around, there are almost certainly no other companies of that age with the following set of extremely impressive achievements:

--70,000 customers in 125 countries

--a record of profitable growth without the entanglements of impatient venture capitalists

--90%+ customer-renewal rates

--vast experience in M&A: Infor has acquired and integrated 70 software companies

--and an advanced generation of new products set to arrive in January 2011.

In a phone interview Monday, Phillips said, "I really feel like I've found a diamond in the rough here—the barriers to entry in this business are so incredibly high that I believe it usually takes 10 years to build a viable enterprise-applications company.

"It typically takes the first five years to understand the customers' requirements, and then the next five to get the software right.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

"But in less than 10 years, Infor has achieved all that—they're there. And they got it done by doing things, not by talking about it," said Phillips.

And by winning the loyalty of customers:

Previous
1 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll