Cranfield Management Development CentreInfor has announced a new agreement for its Education Alliance Program (EAP) in the UK with Cranfield School of Management. The new agreement will see Cranfield’s MSc in Supply Chain Management and Manufacturing utilise Infor CloudSuite Industrial Machinery (Infor LN) as part of the course program.

This is a program that Infor is pushing across the globe. ET spoke to Martine Cadet, VP Global Talent enablement at Infor last year about EAP.

The announcement brings the number of UK universities working with Infor to five. The others are:

  • Alliance Manchester Business School (University of Manchester)
  • CASS Business School
  • University of Surrey, Business School
  • University of Hull, Logistics Institute

Does this make the courses Infor centric?

Mark Stewart, Director, Education Alliance Program, EMEA at Infor Image credit LinkedIn
Mark Stewart, Director, Education Alliance Program, EMEA at Infor

It is unlikely to do so entirely. Students will have access to Infor CloudSuite Industrial installed with a specific industrial machinery accelerator. Mark Stewart, Director, Infor Education Alliance Program (EAP), EMEA, Infor elaborated: “The ERP is going to be used within the MSc for Logistics & Supply Chain Management and the MSc Procurement & Supply Chain Management. Around 176 students attend these two postgraduate courses. They will be looking to integrate this into the course in the next academic year 2018/19.”

Unlike the agreement in France with UPVD their appears no direct link to an Infor customer with the announcement. When about this Stewart replied: “We have already delivered a collaboration with HCL, Infor’s Global Alliance Partner, specialising in BPO.  We hope to do more with HCL and other Infor customers with Cranfield University, both within this collaboration and wider programmes that the University runs in different faculties – School of Manufacturing. “

Benefits to Cranfield

Cranfield University gains access to software that most students would not have exposure to. While Cranfield attracts a number of mature students to its courses, there is a high proportion of rising graduates in the MSc’s that Infor are working with according to Stewart. Rising graduates are those who move straight from completing their first degree and onto masters courses.

Denyse Julien, Director of the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Master’s program at Cranfield School of Management commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with Infor to offer our students access to industry-leading business software. Thanks to this partnership, from October 2018 participants on our full-time Supply Chain Management Master’s programs will be able to get hands-on experience with a live enterprise resource planning system. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain experience and skills in an area that is valued highly by today’s businesses.”

The initial agreement will last for three years. If successful the intent is to renew each agreement according to Stewart..

Benefits to students

Attendees for the course are also able to apply for internships and graduate placements at Infor. In Cranfield, Infor has picked one of the highest ranked universities globally to work with. Consequently it should have access to some exceptional students for its graduate intake through the EAP scholars program. This is good for both the University and Infor. University rankings are graded partly on the roles and remuneration that graduates pick up after leaving university. A foot on the corporate ladder in a global company such as Infor is a good start.

We asked Stewart many places are available at the Infor EAP Scholars program. He replied: “We know over the next 3 to 5 years we need to bring around 3,000 new hires into Infor. The exact figure changes and is also focused in critical markets, prioritised to support Infor’s growth. The UK is identified as a growth market, but it is worth mentioning that students going through the program at Cranfield could be eligible for placements across a number of regions at Infor and also with Infor partners and customers.  The EAP Scholars program is for developing talent across all of the Infor eco-system.”

What does this mean

This is a coup for Infor and Stewart, forming a partnership with such a prestigious university. Stewart commented: “The fact that such a world class educational institution has chosen to partner with Infor is testament to the depth, dedication and relevance of our Educational Alliance Program.”

This is also the first EAP announcement of the year, it is likely that more will follow. For Infor the advantages are that it creates a flow of quality graduates into the organisation. It also creates a wider awareness of its software in the rest of the class. Should those graduates in tie be in a position to select software for their organisation they may remember the software they once used in their degree course.


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