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New York Times Bits blog reports Infor CEO Charles Phillips has remade Infor "into a company that will give his old employer a really hard time."
Phillips left Oracle as co-president in 2010, and joined Infor. In a March 18 New York Times blog post titled "An Oracle Veteran's Comeback Plan," reporter Quentin Hardy recaps a recent discussion with Phillips about how Infor plans to win market share from SAP, and especially Oracle, by focusing on industry-specific applications. Here are excerpts:
' "Oracle is big, but it's focused on trying to put together a system of hardware, and it is confusing as a software company," he said in an interview. "On applications, they are easier to beat than SAP." Oh, and he plans to beat SAP too ...
'… Mr. Phillips said Infor … has spent the past seven years rewriting big industry-specific applications from older software languages into .Net and Java, which can be used in contemporary deployments of cloud computing and mobile devices.
'Mr. Phillips also said he'd been frustrated carrying out a similar software modernization project at Oracle. "We tried to integrate the applications, but we couldn't get funding," he said.
'Infor has also built some very attractive and easy-to-use interfaces for mobile devices, and a kind of social networking software that stays close to solving business problems. The plan is to attack companies in a dozen industries, like hospitals and automobiles, targeting companies with revenue between $500 million and $10 billion in revenue - the kind of places that don't draw Oracle's top salesmen, and can't afford big customization projects.
'The idea is that Infor will grow in a relatively unattended part of the market, while Oracle and SAP fight with each other for bigger accounts. Mr. Phillips plans to add a new industry every 18 months, eventually, growing a company big enough to be a threat to the giants.'