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Charles Phillips Takes Over As CEO for Infor

Infor has recently announced that Charles Phillips, former president and director of Oracle will be stepping into the role of chief executive officer at Infor, while the former CEO, Jim Schaper will take on the role of Chairman of Infor.
While it's too early to tell how this will affect Infor's business, Charles does bring a wealth of experience to the table from his previous positions both at Oracle and at Morgan Stanley prior to his position at Oracle.   Information about Charles Phillips of Oracle can be hard to come by, but during his time at Oracle he became increasingly uncommunicative with the outside world except on the financial analyst calls.  Infor will likely suit him well, since it's a private company, he won't have to communicate with anyone outside of the company if he doesn't want to.

Infor is a ERP software provider for medium sized businesses who's revenues are estimated in the neighbourhood of $2.2 billion. However, because it's a private company, we don't know the actual numbers for sure. Their software focus could be a challenge for them in the future, because a lot of their revenue is generated from legacy software maintenance fees, something that many feel is an unsustainable revenue stream with the popularity and advantages provided by new Software as a Service (or SaaS for short) solutions.

Legacy software that is built on old technology is believed to be unsustainable because the model typically requires each customer to have the software installed on their local network / machines and have updates applied (By their IT department or the vendor) on a regular basis. These applications are tied up with often costly ongoing maintenance fees that are mandatory and generally unfavorable for the customer.

The new SaaS model for software lets the vendor automatically broadcast updates out to all customers with very little effort on their part or the customers part which lowers operating / development costs and often allows the vendor to offer a superior product at a lower price.  Due to the ease of management, SaaS products can often follow a much more aggressive product life and release cycle, which allows the software to stay current with updated technology.

Hopefully Charles Phillips' extensive knowledge of the application space will allow him to lead Infor into the SaaS marketplace and transition their business from legacy technology into something that will be more sustainable for them in the long term.

 

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