ISE sent a team of people to Inforum in Washington, DC in September. We were joined by approximately 25 ISE and Paper-Less customers. Inforum is Infor’s largest customer event, with attendance of over 3500 people and customers, running various Infor solutions.
Inforum starts every year with a day focused on updates specifically for the Infor channel. ISE welcomes these sessions, to gain an early understanding of key messages delivered by Infor during the event, and to get a perspective of the status of the Infor Channel Partner program.
A consistent message from Infor management was that the Channel continues to be an important presence for Infor.
o Infor has seen a 160% increase in the amount of Alliance Partners. These are companies that provide services for Infor, but don’t resell software. This is good for all of us, as it’s another set of resources available to both the Infor Channel and Infor customers.
o Infor has seen 117% year-on-year growth in cloud solutions, and that is expected to continue
o A total of 6900 license deals were processed in Infor’s last fiscal year, and 1,045 new customers
o Infor is now over $3Billion in annual sales
o Infor is now positioning that they are in Phase 3 of their lifespan.
Phase 1--Acquisition from about 2004 – 2010
Phase 2--Organic Growth and Innovation, 2010 – 2018.
Focus on improving the products offerings, Infor OS, Support infrastructure, new Customer experience, etc...
Phase 3 – Execution 2018 and beyond.
Greater commitment to the customer base, building references, etc...
Infor Coleman is being extended as the Infor Artificial Intelligence (AI) offering. Combining with IoT and offerings like Alexa for business, offering truly innovative solutions. “Alexa, what’s the shipment status on customer “x” order”? Coleman, what’s my CTP status on making 100 widgets?”
Many discussions on Digital Transformation, (DX), focused on truly leveraging digital tools. ISE feels we are well-positioned to take our customers to the next level of DX. That can be as simple as subsets of tools like IntelliChief and MES, and the elimination of paper, to far more expanded capabilities, such as full automation through MES on the production floor, state of the are Decision Support, and ubiquitous computing throughout an entire manufacturing enterprise. The DX transformation started many years ago, it is in full motion as we speak.
Inforum – Tuesday - Thursday
· Hundreds of break-out sessions.
· Topics covering manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, etc...
· Many, many topics on Cloud
· XA Specific
o There were substantially more XA topics this year, than the past few, with good content.
o XA9.3 due out in late 2019. Some smaller 9.2.x releases between now and then
o XA10 will be the first version of XA with no green screen. No stated dates for release as of yet. Target date in 2020 or 2021.
o Continued enhancements in NetLink, including Excel export, multi-session capabilities, and improved tailoring.
o Infor Document Management (IDM) in XA is pending, to be added to the Infor ION and Ming.le stack will be included at no charge for those already licensed to the ION and Ming.le stack.
o Continued enhancements to the Birst offering, including integration to XA
The next Inforum will be held in New Orleans in September of 2019
CloudSuite Industrial Version 10.0 slated for General Release January 2019.
What’s new? You can find out more information here:
When we consider what ERP was 10 years ago, compared to today’s offerings, we see substantial changes, affecting the actual definition of ERP. The front-end of ERP now often extends outward to include CRM and e-Commerce/Portal technologies, the core of ERP includes many enhancements for shop floor execution, product configuration and enhanced planning, and the back-end includes far more for transportation and warehouse logistics, services after the shipment, etc.
All these extensions can leverage the core data and stability of your ERP system but extending into new processes well beyond traditional ERP. ISE works closely with Infor to monitor Infor offerings, their alignment with XA and Syteline, and the direction moving forward.
The annual SUN Conference is coming up in February 2019! Check out the details here: https://sytelineusernetwork.com/sun-conference/
Any questions, please contact Molly Burgess at
ISE is proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the inPower 2019 conference.
Click the link for more information http://www.xausergroup.com/
Running CloudSuite Industrial and needing more analytics on your business? Look into “Birst” by Infor. https://www.infor.com/products/birst
For more information on Birst or CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) Contact Molly Burgess. Molly.Burgess@ise-erp.com (612) 239-8182
And now... some things we think you should know about....
While at Inforum, ISE met with key members of the IBM Power team and discussed various aspects of the Power platform, Infor and IBM initiatives, and long-term directions. ISE is one of the few business partners in North America who is a certified partner of both IBM and Infor. IBM and Infor both recognize this status, and we participate in joint sessions with both Infor and IBM. ISE has been coast-to-coast with IBM Power installations in the last 2 years. ISE also works with the Infor Direct channel as an IBM hardware provider.
Also, as the “software stacks” continue to become more complex, relying more and more on core tools in the OS, ISE continued to invest in internal efforts to understand the complexities, which helps to streamline both core installations and upgrades.
New schedule for XA software releases
The Infor XA group has announced that they have moved to shipping monthly XA server fix bundles (both client and server). It is possible that there will be minor enhancements contained in an incremental fix bundle, but generally it is just fixes. Incremental fix bundles will always be found under KB 2018670. That KB will be updated monthly with the new bundles. They also announced that every 6 months all monthly incremental fix bundles will be packaged together in a more traditional PCM and released. The six month cumulative releases undergo a full security scan. QA processes for the all releases have been upgraded to Infor cloud standard. This will be a fixed release schedule, which will replace the prior method of releasing PCMs at about 500 PTF intervals. Client and server fixes will release together on a standard monthly cadence.
Subtle Changes in Infor Messaging
If you go to Infor’s web site, you will see many topics related to Cloud and “Cloudsuite".
Cloudsuite is an umbrella term, focused on all Infor offerings within the cloud. Infor continues to expand their offerings of subscription and SaaS (Software as a Service) licensing options. Both XA and Syteline are offered in subscription models, and great options to move you from on-premise to Cloud. Contact your ISE rep for more information.
Paper-Less is always working on things to better the product and expand our solution.
There are several things to be aware of that will impact all Paper-Less customers in the future. We have worked hard to improve our product build and installation procedures to expedite the process, reduce its vulnerability to error and minimize the time customers wait for release upgrades and fixes. We have also been working to eliminate the complexity of supporting an excessive number of back-level releases. While it has always been our policy to support the current release and one back, we have not been inclined to enforce that because our upgrade and installation process was not efficient. With the improvements we have made to these processes, we can begin to implement that practice. This is in the best interest of all our customers simply because our support resources will not be consumed with the complexities of managing multiple old releases. We have also been working hard on a product called Shop Activity Management (SAM) which is designed to offer ATM-like function for customers that do not run Infor XA. In time this product will replace ATM and become the upgrade path for ATM customers. If anyone wishes to participate in that journey and become a beta test site, we would welcome the opportunity to explore this with you. Lastly, we can comment on some of the new enhancements we are working on in the MES solution. In 2019 our goal is to deliver alternate workflows more tailorable to our customer's manufacturing processes. We have prototyped several ideas and have some working models in the lab. We invite you to contact us for more details.
How quickly the year passes, right? 2018 has been a great year in many ways for ISE and Paper-Less, and a year of transitions. We have made several changes over the course of the year to enhance our performance. Most importantly we have been adding staff to sales and customer service teams to better serve our customers. While it sounds a bit cliché, we value our customer relationships tremendously as well as the relationships we have with our employees. The changes we have made in 2018 represent our commitment to customer service and advancing our employees whenever possible.
With that in mind I am pleased to announce the promotion of Tony Fleischman to the role of Vice President of ISE. Tony has worked with the company for 20 years and has achieved great success in delivering solutions to our customers. Tony embodies the core values that differentiate ISE from other vendors and those values guide his decisions and judgement every day. In this capacity Tony will have an increasing influence on the company direction and the contributions we make to our customers.
We look forward to ringing in the new year together and having our collective contributions make 2019 a prosperous year for our companies and the people that make it all possible. Happy New Year!
Our ISE User Conference will be taking place in the Fall of 2019.
Stay tuned for all the details!
Upcoming 2019 Events
A word from Mike...
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