Infor Expands Offerings in IBM’s System i Vertical Industry Program
July 16, 2007 Timothy Prickett Morgan
ERP software giant Infor, which by virtue of its acquisitions has become the largest supplier of such software for the i5/OS and OS/400 platforms in the world, said last week that it expanded its offerings in the Vertical Industry Program (VIP) set up by IBM this spring to do surgical-style marketing on a global scale for the System i.
The VIP initiative, which was launched by IBM and its independent software vendor partners in February, carves the world up into niche markets by industry and tight geographical focus where IBM and those partners think they can make System i sales. IBM identified 80 key niche markets when it launched VIP, but has kept the list to itself for competitive reasons. Partners with specific solutions work with IBM to compete to be one of the preferred solutions in each of those niches. This is in contrast to just having a large set of partners who try to sell to the whole world all at once.
Infor was an original member of the VIP initiative, selling its HCM Infinium software for the hospitality and gaming industry (HCM is short for human capital management, so it is personnel management software) and its ERP Xpert software for automotive parts manufacturers in conjunction with IBM in specific geographies. Showing the kind of granularity that VIP is shooting for, last week Infor said that its ERP A+ suite, which has modules for janitorial and sanitation distributors, had been added to the VIP list. (Again, specific market regions were not identified for competitive reasons.) The ERP A+ suite runs on the i5/OS and OS/400 platform and has hooks into Microsoft‘s Office suite to make it easier for small companies to do clever things with the data inside their ERP system. Infor’s ERP A+ is a distribution suite created by DP Solutions, one of the many acquisitions that went into making up the Infor collective.