Infor Puts CM3 Project On Hold
June 29, 2022 Alex Woodie
Infor is no longer developing an on-premise and containerized version of M3, its ERP system that’s popular with IBM i customers. While the CM3 project is apparently dead, the company is working to certify the latest release of the ERP system on IBM i version 7.5, IT Jungle has learned.
Like other ERP vendors with large legacy installed bases, Infor has struggled to get customers to move to its cloud offerings. In particular, its customers who run the M3 ERP system on IBM i have not migrated to the cloud version of the product in the numbers that Infor expected. Because Infor has slowed development of the version of the product that runs on IBM i, it has effectively relegated M3 on IBM i customers to running older releases of the software with no clear path forward.
Infor’s M3 product managers responded to this phenomenon by proposing CM3, a containerized version of M3 that customers could run on-premise. Many enterprise cloud products, including M3, run in containers using Kubernetes. With CM3, Infor was proposing to allow customers to run the application component of the product in a Linux or Windows container on Kubernetes, while allowing the database component to continue running on IBM i as it has for decades.
While the CM3 proposal looked like it might address concerns of M3 customers and Infor, the project has apparently been canceled. IT Jungle has obtained an Infor product announcement that states:
“Infor has been working on a pilot project called Containerized M3 (CM3), to bring a snapshot of the cloud version to on-premise customers. However, investment in CM3 on-premise has been put on hold, as the initial feedback from customers was that they were not prepared for a major upgrade investment in CM3 on-premise when many want to subsequently move to the cloud.
“In parallel, Infor has seen a huge uptake on cloud conversions and is increasing its investment in cloud capabilities to meet additional customer needs.”
It’s not clear whether IBM i customers have suddenly had a change of heart and are ready to abandon the platform in favor of running M3 in the cloud. In any event, it looks like Infor is ready to move forward with M3 running on IBM i.
In the same product announcement, Infor says that it’s going to continue to invest in ensuring the latest release of M3, version 13.4, runs in an on-premise manner on the latest release of IBM i. It states:
“As part of this additional investment, Infor is going to…[c]ertify M3 13.4 on the latest hardware and operating systems, including IBM i 7.5 and Microsoft Windows 2022.”
What’s more, the company states that it’s going to provide customers on maintenance “with access to certain M3 Business Engine functionality for M3 Cloud. Customers can work with Infor Global Professional Services and Infor certified partners to potentially retrofit M3 13.4 on an individual project basis.”