Infor Hires AMR Researcher to be Chief Strategy Officer
January 11, 2010 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Consolidation doesn’t just hit IT vendors. It hits the companies that watch the IT vendors, too. In early December, IT consultancy Gartner announced that it was acquiring application software market expert AMR Research for $64 million in cash, and quickly followed that last week by snapping up IT consultancy Burton Group for $56 million. None of this will matter all that much to IBM midrange shops.
However, the fact that Bruce Richardson, who was the chief research officer at AMR and arguably the smartest person following the enterprise application space, has joined application software giant Infor probably will have an impact on the Power Systems i market as well as the Unix, Windows, and Linux markets that Infor sells products into. Richardson has been tapped to be Infor’s chief strategy officer, reporting directly to Jim Schaper, the software company’s chairman and chief executive officer.
Additionally, Richardson will act as a strategic advisor to Golden Gate Capital, the private equity firm that has funded the acquisitions that have turned Infor into the largest AS/400-related application vendor in the world and at more than $2 billion in sales, over 70,000 customers, and over 8,000 employees, a giant in the overall application space.
“As a student of the market for the last 30 years, I understand the dynamics of the business software marketplace–the forces that are driving the industry and shifting the balance of power in favor of customers,” explained Richardson in a statement announcing his appointments. “Infor gets it. Their leadership is changing how business software providers engage with customers. It’s amazing what Infor has been able to accomplish in seven years–a large and loyal customer base, a global footprint, an exciting lineup of products, a great management team and a bright future with enormous growth opportunities.”
While Infor and Golden Gate said nothing of this, it is pretty clear that Richardson is just the kind of person you might want on board if you wanted to take a run at acquiring some more software companies. Richardson is being tasked with helping Infor case out new markets, sort through customer requirements and do what he has been doing for years: figuring out what comes next, and what is important to the companies that pay big bucks for enterprise software. It won’t hurt to have Richardson help figure out how to compete with SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, Lawson Software, Sage Software.
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