Infor Delivers New Marketing App Based on Salesforce
September 25, 2012 Alex Woodie
Infor last week announced the availability of Inforce Marketing, the latest software as a service (SaaS) application to come out of the ERP software company’s partnership with online CRM provider Salesforce.com. The new offering is designed to help organizations manage their marketing activities, such as setting budgets and executing multi-channel campaigns, and integrates directly with Infor ERP systems via Infor’s ION middleware.
Inforce Marketing is a native Force.com application, which is to say that it was built on the Salesforce.com platform, and is accessed by users through their Salesforce application. The software has four main areas of focus, including budgeting and planning; multi-channel campaign management; lead optimization; and analytics and reporting.
On the planning and budgeting front, the software guides users through the process of creating budgets and sales campaigns. It includes “lead calculators” that help professionals identify their lead generation requirements at each step along the way.
Once a plan is in place, they can execute it with Inforce Marketing, which supports multi-channel campaign management functionality across email, social media, snail mail, and telemarketing. The software automates the follow-up process, making marketing professionals more efficient by eliminating manual tasks.
As the campaign ramps up and sales leads start to come in, Inforce Marketing’s return on marketing investment (ROMI) tools help the marketing pros sort the good leads from the not-so-good ones, and arrange follow-ups. The software can even trigger marketing activity for specific leads based on actions those leads take.
As leads turn to sales, a set of reporting and analytic tools (such as KPIs) can track the effectiveness of campaigns and adherence to budgets and plans. There are also revenue estimating tools and trend analysis tools that give marketing professionals the big picture.
The overall goal of the software is to take the guesswork out of marketing, and implement repeatable processes that can lead to higher revenue. This sort of software has been available, but it was too expensive and hard to manage, says George Wright, senior vice president and general manager of CRM at Infor, in a press release.
“Inforce Marketing breaks down these barriers and boosts collaboration by combining real-time information from multiple sources through the Salesforce interface, providing fast, effective results, while keeping costs in check,” he says.
Inforce Marketing can work with any of Infor’s ERP and financial applications that are hooked into the ION middleware. This includes IBM i-based ERP systems like the old BPCS, MAPICS, System 21, and Lawson M3 products (most of which have names that have changed a couple of times now), as well as the Infinium financial software.
Inforce Marketing is the second Force.com application to come out of Infor, following the release of a Inforce Everywhere (now just called Inforce) that was released this spring. The company is planning a third Force.com application, Quote and Order, in the first quarter of 2013. Previously, Infor called that product Inforce Ordering.
Inforce Marketing was unveiled last week at Dreamforce 2012, an annual cloud computing conference hosted by Salesforce.com. The San Francisco, California, event boasted 70,000 registered attendees and more than 350 cloud companies in the expo.