Infor Welcomes Lawson Users to Annual Conference
April 17, 2012 Alex Woodie
Infor is gearing up for Sunday’s start of Inforum 2012, its annual user conference. This year’s show, to be held in Denver, Colorado, combines Inforum and Lawson CUE (conference and user exchange) into a single show for all Infor and Lawson customers. And as luck would have it, Inforum 2012 takes place at the same time that Oracle is hosting its big Collaborate 2012 get-together for its JD Edwards customers.
There is a lot of activity going on right now at Infor as it relates to the Lawson business. Since the merger was finally consummated earlier this month, the line that separated Infor and Lawson has been erased, and company executives and managers can get on with the task of fully integrating the companies, the products, and–most importantly–the product roadmaps.
There are sure to be a slew of announcements at the show, which Four Hundred Stuff will be physically attending. One announcement that would be nice to see is the introduction of Lawson M3 as a full Infor 10 product. While Infor hasn’t confirmed that an announcement will be made next week, there is a session at the show about Infor’s plans to connect M3 to ION, Infor’s strategic middleware layer. Only the most strategic Infor products can connect to ION, and these products are given the Infor 10 name (sorry PRMS, PRISM, and KBM).
All told, Inforum 2012 will have more than 700 sessions (about 200 more than is expected at the upcoming COMMON conference in Anaheim, California) across about 20 tracks. There will be one track for the strategic IBM i-based Infor 10 ERP products– iEnterprise (LX), Process iBusiness (System21), and Discrete iEnterprise (XA)–and another track for M3. The Infinium products will be discussed in the Infor10 Financial Solutions track, while the IBM i-based Infor10 Distribution iBusiness (A+) will be handled in a different track.
Infor CEO Charles Phillips will deliver the keynote address Monday morning, alongside his two co-presidents, Duncan Angove and Stephan Scholl. On Tuesday, Phillips will be joined on stage by Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff–provided there are no last minute changes. Benioff no doubt remembers his abrupt dismissal as a keynote speaker at last fall’s Oracle Open World, but Benioff’s slot is likely safe–Larry Ellison will be 750 miles away in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Oracle Collaborate 2012.
You can expect the Infor and Salesforce.com execs to take some playful jabs at Oracle, especially as it relates to the hot field of cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). Infor is heavily invested in Salesforce.com for CRM, which forms the basis for its InForce offering, a solution that Infor made available earlier this year. Former Infor chief strategy officer Bruce Richardson (formerly of AMR Research) also took a job as Salesforce.com’s new chief enterprise strategist last summer. Phillips is a former Oracle president, and many of the top executives he has placed over the last 18 months–like Angove, Scholl, and COO Pat Murphy–are former Oracle executives.
The fact that Inforum 2012 and Collaborate 2012 are taking place at the same time makes life difficult for vendors that partner with both Infor and Oracle. About 30 vendors have signed up to participate in the Inforum 2012 Expo Hall. It’s a little bit more difficult to get a handle on which vendors are exhibiting at Collaborate 2012 because the event is hosted by three separate user groups–the Independent Oracle Users Group, the Oracle Applications User Group, and the Quest International Users Group. Vendors that are participating in both must split their teams.