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Infor has announced that customers are reinstating previously discontinued maintenance agreements in record numbers, largely due to the Infor Flex programme, which provides customers a fast, flexible and cost effective path to adopt Infor's latest product developments.
Since the launch in June, Infor has experienced a 22 per cent increase in maintenance revenue from customers returning to its maintenance programme. Companies in all industries are re-signing with Infor, recognising the value Infor offers over other software companies and taking advantage of leading edge functionality and programs that help them reduce costs and improve business performance.
"While other software vendors force disruptive upgrades, hike maintenance fees, slash support, and deliver products in a one-size-fits-all manner, Infor strives to be a business partner, rather than a vendor to our customers," said Jim Schaper, chairman and CEO, Infor. "The early success of Infor Flex demonstrates the value Infor brings to customers as a provider of innovative solutions, expert professional services and flexible deployment options that support non-disruptive implementations and upgrades on their own timeframe."
Increasing business value for customers is the key to the Infor Flex programme, as the latest software capabilities are critical to maximising a company's IT investment and reducing its total cost of ownership. For example, Infor Flex allows support customers to upgrade to the latest versions of Infor products at their discretion to take advantage of Infor's service-oriented architecture (SOA) framework, Infor Open SOA. This provides non-disruptive access to product enhancements, innovative new components and complementary applications and modules, which helps drive enterprise-wide efficiencies.
The Infor Flex programme can also help companies quickly respond to the rapidly changing business landscape and adapt to new requirements, government regulations and demands from customers or members of the extended supply chain. "Upgrading, updating or replacing legacy applications is a top priority for enterprise software customers," said R. "Ray" Wang, partner in research and consulting firm Altimeter Group. "While many vendors have imposed maintenance fee increases and upgrade timelines, Infor adds a fresh perspective by offering choice, value and predictability to its customers."
Infor continues to invest in and advance its product line to help customers boost profitability, improve collaboration and remain compliant, and Infor Flex provides companies an easy way to expand their current software deployment, reduce risk and strengthen performance. According to Aberdeen Analyst Cindy Jutras, on average, companies routinely use only 27 to 32 percent of their deployed enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Additionally, ERP usage is increasing because additional modules and complementary applications provide companies with functionality that improves performance. With the latest Infor ERP versions, Infor Flex enables customers to cost-effectively expand their ERP system to seamlessly integrate robust solutions for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), Performance Management (PM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Financial Management (FM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM).
"Our MAPICS ERP system has helped us produce high-quality standby batteries and power systems for the uninterrupted power supply, telecommunications and energy markets for the past 23 years," said Scott Bond, director of IT, C&D Technologies. "Infor Flex will allow us to move to Infor ERP XA with less risk at a reasonable cost so we can take advantage of additional functionality and new developments that improve our overall supply chain and integration needs."
Infor has expanded the Flex program to include customers operating FourthShift, an ERP system for mid-size manufacturing companies, from SoftBrands, an Infor affiliate. Through Infor Flex, FourthShift customers can exchange their existing ERP solution for one of Infor's robust systems that meets their specific business requirements, if and when they choose to do so. Infor has several options for ERP solutions for mid-size manufacturers that enable them to improve business operations, strengthen supply chain performance, ensure regulatory compliance, and bolster customer service; however, FourthShift customers are not required to move to a new ERP system as FourthShift will continue to receive development and customer support.
Infor acquires and develops functionally rich software backed by thousands of domain experts and then makes it better through continuous innovation, faster implementations, global enablement, and flexible buying options. In a few short years, Infor has become one of the largest providers of business software in the world.