Companies concerned by ageing applications are being lured away from their legacy applications by the born-in-the-cloud vendors. Infor, aware of this issue, started a program called UpgradeX to help migrate their customers on-premises solutions into the Infor cloud. They will be able to take advantage of upgrades and new features that would not have been available to them without significant effort.
One customer who has recently taken advantage of this program is Liberty Healthcare Management Inc. The Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services brand operates 19 nursing facilities across North Carolina. In total it has 3,800 users across 45 sites. Their challenge has been ensuring reliable connectivity with aging hardware that currently runs their on-premises solution. Moving to the Infor cloud meant no more investment in on-premises systems and that meant resources could be freed up for patient needs.
Liberty Healthcare Management selected Infor Lawson in 2009 and this latest decision allowed it to upgrade to the latest versions of the Lawson product that are hosted in the cloud. This included Infor Lawson Supply Chain Management, Infor Lawson Human Resource Management, and Infor Lawson Enterprise Financial Management.
The company also implemented Infor Lawson Business Intelligence (BI) and Infor Process Automation. The analytics available to Liberty now include measurement over 300 KPI’s delivered using easy to use dashboards that is enabling rapid decision making for the benefit of both Liberty Healthcare and its patients.
Using the latest versions not only means that they will be able to take advantage of recent upgraded functionality but also reduce the amount of customisation in use and that they might need to develop in the future as upgrade paths have become a lot simpler. Kris Benton, supervisor, Software Development, Liberty Healthcare Management, Inc. commented: “We’re a very satisfied long term Infor customer and have already seen significant benefits by moving to the cloud.”
However, the program extends to all Infor customers no matter what Infor solution they are using. It is one way that Charles Phillips, CEO at Infor believes that they can achieve the rapid migration of revenue from on-premises licenses and revenues to SaaS based revenue that he committed to during the recent results announcement.
Moving to cloud doesn’t mean finding a new solution
While any companies will evangelise about how their born-in-the-cloud solution is better than legacy solutions such as SAP, Oracle and Infor there are alternatives. SAP does have a program to help migrate customer to the cloud, it produces more of a hybrid solution that allows customer to take advantage of some cloud technology.
The Infor methodology goes a step further, UpgradeX migrates the whole of the on-premises solution into an up to date cloud solution. They also recently announced Lift and Shift which is an additional program that allows customers to migrate on-premises solutions irrespective of customisation level into a single tenant solution in the cloud using their current version.
From there Infor hopes that they will slowly migrate their modules, connected using Infor Ion into the up to date cloud-based solution. In providing these options Infor has given its customers the opportunity to migrate into cloud with minimum disruption for maximum benefit.
Richard Gallo, vice president, Information Systems, Liberty Healthcare Management, Inc. commented: “Liberty chose Infor’s UpgradeX program because it offers cost savings while freeing up local resources. This program allows Liberty to remain agile in an ever-changing healthcare environment. The reliability and flexibility of Infor CloudSuite will allow Liberty to keep costs down while allowing us to grow and continue to provide superior patient care.
“Liberty’s overall experience throughout the UpgradeX process was very smooth. Infor provided the right resources at the right time to ensure our migration and upgrade went as smoothly as possible.”
Mike Poling, senior vice president, Infor Healthcare understands that there is often pressure on healthcare providers to deliver more for less. Migrating to cloud based solutions such as the Infor CloudSuite not only delivers a lower total cost of ownership but also ensures that the company has the tools to deliver cost savings across the business through process improvements and the insights gained from the solutions extensive analytics.
Poling commented: “The healthcare industry needs cloud-based applications to better steer through challenges on limited budgets by improving security, boosting operational performance, keeping systems as modern as possible, and optimizing applications for improved productivity. Infor’s cloud-based specialized applications for healthcare deliver a system that can support an organization’s future needs, while still ensuring departments and facilities run efficiently and effectively today.”
While this is only a single small customer of Infor to make the migration there are others who have taken, are taking or will be taking the same path. While some would see the move as protecting its revenue streams it also shows that Infor is thinking in the same way as the born in the cloud vendors. The focus is about how to bring customer technology up to date rather than adding lots of unique customisations. If Infor can continue to persuade customers to go on this migration path they should achieve their revenue target of 50% from cloud solutions during 2016.
What Infor will need to continue demonstrating is that having moved their customers to the cloud they are able to keep innovating. Infor will never get to the single code base that NetSuite, Workday and Salesforce offer and therefore upgrading to the latest version even on cloud solutions will take longer than those companies. There are other advances they can offer though.
Customers will want to see proof that upgrades are less painful than historic on-premises solutions and that they are moving their product portfolio forward. EnterpriseDB recently announced the latest release of PostgreSQL and an almost doubling of speeds. It will be interesting to see how quickly Infor adopt the new version in their migration from using Oracle to the open source database provided by EnterpriseDB continues.