Infor has cultivated a reputation for being a key player in the growing enterprise resource planning (ERP) market. This is in large part because the service provider offers ERP solutions for a number of different industries, supporting the unique demands of companies in specific fields that rely on these tools for daily operations.

Businesses using Infor solutions will be happy knowing that the vendor recently launched the latest version of its M3 ERP suite, which the service provider boasts includes more than 1,000 enhancements to the previous iteration. Infor reported that industries such as rental and services, distribution and equipment, food and beverage, fashion and manufacturing stand to benefit from the updates to its software.

"The latest version of M3 is built on a new delivery platform to enable fast and incremental upgrades and deliver new capabilities without the cost and risk of a major upgrade," said Henrik Billgren, vice president of M3 product management at Infor. "Combined with the Infor UpgradeX program, this offers customers a unique opportunity to move to the latest user experience, and exploit all the new capabilities available in M3, be it on premise or in the cloud."

The cloud figures to play a major role in the future ERP space and has been a point of emphasis for Infor for some time now. The cloud has made ERP more accessible than ever, thanks to its flexibility. Small businesses and startups do not have to purchase equipment that requires an upfront capital investment, even if these tools are never used to full capacity, if they opt for a cloud-based environment. The cloud includes a subscription-based pricing model, meaning organizations are never locked into a long-term contract.

Cloud-based ERP also allows businesses to scale operations, so resources are never wasted during low periods or high traffic computing time frames.

Companies planning an ERP implementation can benefit greatly from partnering with a vendor such as Infor, which is not only great for businesses that want an on-site deployment, but those that prefer one hosted in the cloud as well.

Infor ERP program critical for future improvements
Infor is hoping customers will help it make key improvements to its solutions moving forward through its partner program. Gerard Frey, vice president of the vendor's partner networking, explained that this initiative is critical for receiving feedback on products and making the necessary enhancements, CRN reported.

David Heffler, Infor's director of product management for Mongoose, explained that Infor's partner program includes training and managers to help companies use not only its ERP solutions, but other Infor systems as well.

"[The program is] limited by the partners' imagination," Heffler said, CRN reported. "Now that they are given a better platform to develop in a consistent manner and don't have to deal with a hard-coding way of doing things."

Communication with clients is what defines a successful service provider. This is likely why Infor has managed to become a driving force throughout the ERP market, even though larger vendors are also competing in this space. Businesses may have certain operating requirements today and far different expectations in a few years, so firms prefer having a partner in place that is flexible and open to supporting their needs at all times. Otherwise, clients will not hesitate to jump ship.

If Infor continues on its current path, it will undoubtedly expand its client base and push the envelope regarding ERP software and other mission-critical enterprise applications that are so important to companies on a daily basis.