Pre-GITEX conversation with Amel Gardner, Vice President and General Manager of Infor Middle East and Africa. Let’s have a look at what Infor has been up to lately.
TECHx: How excited are you for GITEX Technology Week? What are your expectations for the event this year?
Amel:There is a real sense of business and life getting back to a more normal footing, and there is a definite buzz in the air around GITEX. Our whole team, plus our customers and partners, are excited about the event. We have strong expectations because we have a unique offering for the market, which we will clearly demonstrate and communicate during the exhibition.
The event provides the perfect platform to showcase everything we have to offer to our customers, prospects, partners and new staff who want to join us.We’re using our stand creatively to feature distinct zones enabling visitors from specific industries to understand how their organization can transform and gain the full advantages of the cloud, positioning them to embrace new technologies including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
Infor will demonstrate solutions including its industry-specific CloudSuites for industrial manufacturing, distribution, and healthcare, with specialists available to discuss each of these solutions. Infor will also showcase its enterprise applications and enterprise resource planning (ERP) engines that are at the heart of its solutions, and which are designed for specific industries. These highly robust solutions manage financial and operational tasks, streamlining processes, eliminating redundancies, and providing end-to-end visibility.
We are taking the opportunity to reengage with our community at GITEX 2021. There are many customers and partners we’ve not been able to greet, so this will be a wonderful opportunity to reengage. So much so that we are holding our own Executive Gala dinner for our regional customers and partners, where we will share our company vision and strategy for next year while reflecting on, and celebrating, our 2021 successes through customer excellence awards.
We also hope to meet potential new partners this year. Partners will also be instrumental to our growth.
Channel partners play a key role in strengthening Infor’s ability to reach customers and execute digital transformation projects across the region. Many of these partners have a long-standing relationship with Infor, along with a deep understanding of their geographical market, and expertise in planning and executing transformative projects in specific verticals such as industrial manufacturing, supply chain management, and healthcare. We are always looking for new partners too.
TECHx: How are cloud solutions evolving in the market today? What are the most significant trends you see emerging in the region?
Amel:We see a continued shift in the industry of companies adopting cloud solutions for mission critical operations. This year we have seen some amazing multi-tenant cloud projects already and we only see this accelerating. And these are not small projects, or tactical edge products, this is mission critical processes. For instance, like in Bahrain with ASRY (Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard) they are conducting a transformation project in the cloud. Then there’s Al-Jazira Equipment in Saudi Arabia helping them adopt a new B2C model, and right here in Dubai we have progressive hospitals such as Clemenceau Medical Center in Dubai Healthcare City all making huge strides to a digital future with Infor. These are all committing to the AWS cloud with Infor CloudSuites right at the core of their transformations.
In terms of trends, the pandemic has been revolutionary to the enterprise software industry. Firstly, it has driven many of our customers (old and new) to the cloud as the crisis has highlighted the difficulties, hazards and limitations of having IT staff on site to physically maintain IT equipment. So, the crisis has been a shot in the arm (no pun intended) on the move to the cloud.
The pandemic also forced us to rethink how we deliver our solutions to our customers – often remotely. This culminated in a new delivery approach which we call 60-30-10.
We recognize that whilst our various CloudSuites help provide industry specific business processes, not all business processes are created equal. Businesses need to determine which processes are most important to differentiate themselves.
The first 60% of the implementation effort involves core industry leading processes that businesses can adopt with very little effort. These are the processes that are necessary but do not provide differentiation. The goal for these 60% of the processes is very simple: adopt technology that delivers industry best practice, as quickly as possible.
For the next 30%, businesses need to focus on the processes that are differentiators but still fall within the realm of configuration or small tweaks. While this does demand some effort, a business is not starting with a blank sheet, but instead is choosing from options that can be quickly tailored and configured to best fit their needs.
The goal of these first two steps is to free up more time and capacity to focus on the final 10% of processes that are highly differentiating/unique and help make dramatically better decisions, better customer experiences, or better performance within a specific supply chain. To coin the phrase: ‘this is where the magic happens’ and the leading businesses of tomorrow will spend the majority of time defining, refining and then redefining this last 10%.
This approach keeps implementations on track, keeps teams from wandering off into uncharted “wish lists” and getting lost down blind alleys.
TECHx: How is Infor assisting enterprises in achieving relevant business objectives through the use of their solutions?
Amel:Infor has invested approximately $5 billion in product design and development to deliver industry specific CloudSuites. Our mission-critical enterprise applications are designed to deliver more value and less risk, with more sustainable operational advantages. We are a trusted partner for the long haul that customers rely on to help overcome market disruptions and achieve business-wide digital transformation. Infor works closely in partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to support a faster path to transformation for our customers, through business systems that are tailored to specific industries.
The unique power of Infor Cloud built on Amazon Web Services doesn’t just come from what’s inside. It comes from the special approach we’ve used to build business software—from assembling and fine-tuning our performance enhancing capabilities to helping you increase agility and improve your business.