Infor offers a combined product portfolio comprising Infor BI for CPM and BIRST, a cloud-based BI platform acquired in 2017. Whereas Infor BI is positioned for CPM topics like planning and financial consolidation, BIRST provides BI and analytics functionality for formatted and ad hoc reporting, dashboarding and analysis/data discovery.
Infor is a global US-based vendor of ERP, CRM, BI, SCM and other industry-focused business software solutions. The company was founded in 2002, has more than 170 offices in 41 countries and supports over 90,000 customers in around 200 countries. Infor is privately held by Golden Gate Capital, Koch Industries and Summit Partners. In the 2016 fiscal year, Infor generated 2.7 billion US dollars in revenues. The company does not disclose detailed financial information specifically for its BI division.
The history of the original Infor BI product dates back long before 2002, when Infor was founded. Infor BI (formerly Infor PM 10) was initially developed by the German vendor MIS under the name MIS Decisionware. The MIS product portfolio was purchased by Systems Union, which was taken over by Extensity (formerly known as GEAC and Comshare) in 2006.
Infor then bought out Extensity immediately thereafter. The independent product lines of MIS and Extensity were combined into the Infor PM (Performance Management) suite, which includes components for dashboards, reporting, (OLAP) analysis, planning and financial consolidation.
Infor PM 10, the first release of the suite, was later renamed to Infor BI. Despite all these changes, the core system architecture has remained stable.
With the acquisition of BIRST in 2017, Infor’s BI portfolio has been enhanced with a BI and analytics product. BIRST is a company founded by several Siebel Analytics veterans which offers a cloud-based BI platform for formatted and ad hoc reporting, dashboarding and analysis. BIRST will be the strategic BI and analytics product in Infor’s business software portfolio.
With the acquisition of BIRST, Infor has changed its go-to-market and product positioning strategy significantly, splitting its portfolio into BI and Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) products. BIRST is now positioned to serve BI usage scenarios and Infor BI – Infor’s existing BI and EPM product – to serve EPM usage scenarios.
In Infor’s overall portfolio, Infor BI is positioned for CPM and planning, whereas the BIRST product is positioned for BI and reporting. Interestingly, and in contrast to the vendor’s competition, Infor seems to reject the market trend of providing a single platform for BI and CPM for better, integrated decision-making. Instead, BI and CPM are separated into two different products.
User & Use Cases
Infor BI is a platform for building tailored reporting, analysis and planning applications. The product’s main use cases are standard/enterprise reporting, ad hoc query, basic data analysis (typically OLAP) and budgeting/planning. Dashboards/scorecards and advanced analysis are seen as the most important growth area for Infor customers in the future.
Only ten percent of employees currently use Infor BI compared to the survey average of 17 percent. This reflects the fact that the product is particularly geared to business power users with its broad functionality for various BI and planning tasks instead of being a product for masses of end users.
Infor particularly targets mid-size and large companies across all industries. 51 percent of our sample of Infor customers come from large companies (with more than 2,500 employees) and 44 percent from mid-sized companies (with 100-2,500 employees).
The median number of users in Infor implementations is 150 users, but the mean of 773 users indicates there are also some significantly larger implementations.
Current vs. planned use
N = 45
5 products most often evaluated in competition with Infor
N = 43
Percentage of employees using Infor
N = 45
Number of users using Infor
N = 45
Tasks carried out with Infor by business users
N = 44
Company size (number of employees)
N = 45