Infor CEO cites crucial PH role in global operations

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Charles Phillips, the former president of software giant Oracle who is now chief executive of business software rival Infor, underlined the importance of the Philippines in the company’s worldwide operations during his visit to the country on Wednesday, July 11.

charles philips

The mild-mannered Phillips, an ex-US Marine and Wall Street executive, said in an intimate press roundtable that the Philippines is home to about 900 employees, which is 27 percent of the company’s Asia Pacific headcount.

Most of its local employees came from Lawson Software, which Infor acquired in July 2011 for $2 billion. Lawson set up shop in the Philippines in 2005.

“I am here because Manila is extremely important to us,” said Phillips, who also spoke at an Infor user conference at the SM Aura in Taguig City.

“Our key products and services are being developed and delivered from here via our shared services division. Our team in the Philippines serves the broader market regionally and globally,” he added.

Phillips explained that while the company does not have a single executive who oversees the entire local operations, it has a number of officials who run the different divisions of the company.

Tim Moylan, Infor’s president for Asia Pacific and Japan, pointed out that Infor is in fact bigger than German software firm SAP in terms of local presence.

“We have built a strong development capability here — bigger than any of our more well-known competitors,” said Moylan, himself a former top regional executive of SAP.

Infor, which now claims as the third largest enterprise applications company after SAP and Oracle, counts local firms such as Jollibee, Robinsons, and Century Canning among its clients.

Moylan said revenues from its Philippine operations grew by double digits last year. “We intend to double our revenues this year at a time when our competitors are going backwards.”

Overall, Infor racked up a total of $2.8 billion in revenues and employs 13,000 employees. Its three million cloud subscribers comprise about 10 to 15 percent of its total customer base, according to Phillips.

“While do have cloud offerings, we don’t want to force our customers to go into the cloud. We’ll give them the products that what they think is best for their business,” the Infor chief executive said.

In his presentation, Phillips emphasized that the overriding concern of Infor is to create specialized micro-vertical suites for various industries that are fast and fun to use.

Unlike software products of its competitive that look like complex grids that have not been updated in the last 15 years, Phillips said its software were developed with design as the main consideration.

“This is the reason why we have put up our own in-house design company, Hook & Loop, based in New York,” Phillips said. “We want to our micro-verticals to look like Facebook and Twitter apps that people use on their tablets and smartphones.”

Among the products Infor has already introduced in 2013 is Infor 10x, its next-generation enterprise release. These applications feature social, mobile, analytical, and cloud capabilities.

In addition, the company unveiled Infor Ming.le, a social collaboration platform which is embedded within key systems like ERP, and Human Capital Management (HCM), allowing employees across all areas of the business to automatically follow documents, assets, machines, people, and processes.

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