Jon Swartz has a nice column in USA Today to time with Inforum in Orlando today. Of course, he plays to his consumery audience and presents gossipy elements of the relationship with Oracle and Larry Ellison (‘the irony is delicious”), the nice new NY HQ digs and UI and social aspects of the software.
If he had been at the keynote this morning he would have likely focused on the nice coliseum type seating, the bright red Infor logos contrasted with white couches, the drop down display screens and other nice aesthetic elements inspired by Infor’s in house creative agency, Hook and Loop.
He does not focus on a really interesting aspect of Infor’s revival - a relentless focus on “micro verticals”. They briefed us about them in New York earlier this year, and they are visible in the hallways here and got significant play in the keynote. “The Equipment Cloud” got a special mention and builds on Infor’s strong enterprise asset management (see my post about the complex implementation at the collider at CERN), dealer service management functionality (developed with Caterpillar’s channels) and ION interfaces to a number of custom operational applications.
Another exciting announcement is the SkyVault which leverages Amazon’s cloud based Big Data engine Redshift. In a Q&A, Charles Phillips invoked his Oracle background and said “I have had a chance to work with some of the best database engineers in the world”, and expressed amazement Amazon is able to provide massively parallelized, columnar storage and compression at just “$0.85 per hour for a single node 2TB data warehouse”
If you superimpose micro-vertical focus with affordable analytical compute power, you start to see high-payback operational and customer centric intelligence. The pervasive feeling at Inforum is a proud focus on business applications and industry specific features and functions. Oh, there is mandatory cloud, social, mobile talk, but the underlying functional focus is refreshing compared to all noise from the competition.
That to me is far more exciting than Charles telling Jon there are no bean bags in the Flatiron neighborhood HQ.