United States-September 15, 2020, 07:00 PM
Inforum 2020: The virtual experience kicked off this morning with many of the 13,000 registered attendees viewing the streaming broadcast of opening keynote sessions by Infor executives. The theme of the conference, “Unprecedented challenges, Real opportunities,” summarizes the common messages presented through the day. The event continues through tomorrow, with recorded content available on demand until December 15, 2020.
Inforum was originally slated to be held in Las Vegas, but COVID-related travel restrictions and concern for customer and employee safety prompted its re-imagining as a virtual experience. The Infor event team, along with Infor Design, applied creative ideas to give the critical content a new look and new way to be consumed.
Setting the stage
CEO Kevin Samuelson opened with insights about the impact of COVID-19 on personal lives and the professional world. Although the disruptive change is unprecedented and extremely difficult, many business and industries are rising to the challenge. They are adapting and using technology to help respond to extreme pressures with agility and innovation, he explained.
“Companies have realized that now is the time to act, as change is accelerating in every industry, in every country and in every process,” Samuelson said in his opening.
The result, he reported, is that Infor sales have defied expectations and actually accelerated the past few months. SaaS sales have accelerated to over 30% since COVID forced customers to reimagine their businesses. Customers upgrading from on-premises solutions to cloud products is up 80%, he said, and their perseverance has been the driving force behind this trend. Customers recognized the need to act and confront the potential economic impact head-on.
“Rather than delaying updates to core IT systems because they seem too risky, expensive, or time consuming, many organizations are concluding that they cannot wait to embrace the power of technology that reduces costs, drives revenue, and enables agility,” he said.
Now is the time for cloud solutions
Samuelson drilled into the way Infor’s cloud solutions have enabled agility and accelerated time to value for customers trying to adapt to pandemic-fueled market changes. “The vast magnitude of the crisis has ushered us into an unprecedented era of creative destruction, which we believe is focusing all of us on investing in modernization while budgets are constrained and visibility diminished,” he said.
Telemedicine is one example. He noted that many areas of medical education, billing, and cost structures will change. And as more care is provided virtually, less commercial real estate will be required, causing ripple effects in markets far removed from where telemedicine innovation was contemplated.
“The accelerated evolution of e-commerce displacing brick-and-mortar retail is something we also all see taking place. This has been underway for years, but the massive acceleration of these trends is causing vast numbers of bankruptcies and economic impact well beyond retail. For example, our manufacturing and distribution customers have had to completely reimagine supply chains, inventory management, go-to-market strategies, delivery and pricing,” he added. “They are having to tear down old systems and assumptions, embrace the change that is underway, and prepare for even more rapid change – much of which is unknown and could play out in many different ways.”
Infor CTO Soma Somasundaram joined Samuelson on the virtual stage, talking about Infor’s industry strategy and providing examples of the benefits. “Rather than trying to build a single product to serve all industries, we’ve invested billions to create separate industry-specific product suites. And when we talk about industry, we are not talking about broad areas of GDP. We go into the details for sub-verticals to meet the specific needs of those customers,” he said.
Somasundaram went on to describe the benefits of Infor CloudSuites, rather than just ERP or point-level products. CloudSuites allow integration of various systems and value drivers within a business. For example, how assets are managed, how employees are hired, how the supply chain is tracked, all impact the overall operations. “By going deeply into the industry needs, we’re able to look beyond a single-point solution to offer holistic insights and drive smarter, better outcomes. That’s what creates sustainable operational advantage for your business,” he said.
Something for everyone
Throughout the day, attendees could watch live product demos, ask experts questions, and chat with sponsors. Industry-specific breakouts and product roadmap sessions were also available.
Customer and Partner Award winners
The winners of the 2020 Infor Customer Excellence Awards were announced by Samuelson and Global Chief Customer Officer Nancy Mattenberger. Read these customers' stories of how they are innovating with Infor solutions.
The annual Infor Partner Awards were presented Monday.
Press releases and news bulletins
These press releases and news bulletins on Inforum-related topics were issued today: