Infor to grow channel by a third

Business people in front of computers

Enterprise software vendor Infor says it plans to increase its European channel by 36 percent over the next six months, increasing its total from 240 to 326 partners.

The firm is looking to bolster its UK channel by 13 percent.

“Our approach to channel recruitment is focused on quality over quantity – we are not looking to take on thousands of partners and risk dilution," says Peter Stanley, Infor’s vice president, European partner sales.

“Instead we want a smaller number of partners who have considerable industry experience and are well aligned with our products and dedication to the needs of customers in micro-vertical industries.”

Infor automates business processes for industries including healthcare, manufacturing, fashion, wholesale distribution, hospitality, retail, and the public sector. It deploys its cloud applications primarily on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud and open source platforms.

The New York-based company added 97 new European partners to the Infor Partner Network (IPN) last year, and grew channel revenue by 18 percent over the same period.

Unofficial figures put around a quarter of Infor’s worldwide sales through the channel.

The firm says it is currently looking for new partners focused on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, particularly in key vertical markets such as fashion, food & beverage and industrial machinery.


Speaking at its EMEA Partner Summit in Paris yesterday, Infor president Stephan Scholl, said that cloud is set to account for 50 percent of the vendor’s direct sales by next summer.

While acknowledging that the channel’s perpetual licensing business remains healthy with double digit growth, he urged partners to start their journey to the cloud.

As part of the cloud drive, the exec announced a new compensation model for partners that’s geared towards an annuity revenue model. It reduces payment to partners for the first year of a deal, but increases it from year two onwards. (see image)

“Customers want five, ten year relationships with you and this is a great way to build consistency, predictability in your business,” Scholl told partners.

Ralph Bolton, technical director at Gold Infor partner, Sapphire Systems welcomes the changes: “To adopt a cloud model, from a reseller’s perspective, you do need incentivisation and compensation, so that’s a great step in the right direction.”

However, Bolton says he needs more information from Infor before making any strategic decisions. “Although it was a great, positive announcement today, I still think there’s further to go. There’s a whole services delivery piece that’s still unclear.”

Last December Infor launched its CloudSuite Academy, a training programme that teaches partners how to implement Infor applications in the cloud.

“Our business is pivoting the cloud in a pretty accelerated way, and partners need to do that as well,” Stanley tells Channel Pro.

Elsewhere, Infor says it is helping its partners to specialise in key industries to participate with its Micro-vertical Specialisation Programme, which delivers industry-specific applications built on Infor Mongoose.

“Infor is focused on micro-vertical specialisation and helping customers make the move to the cloud, and so is the IPN,” says Jeff Abbott, senior vice president, global alliance and channels at Infor.

“Partners are an integral part of our long-term business strategy, and we’ve achieved this level of success by ensuring that the programme’s structure and resources tie directly into our larger company initiatives.”

Christine Horton

Christine has been a tech journalist for over 20 years, 10 of which she spent exclusively covering the IT Channel. From 2006-2009 she worked as the editor of Channel Business, before moving on to ChannelPro where she was editor and, latterly, senior editor.

Since 2016, she has been a freelance writer, editor, and copywriter and continues to cover the channel in addition to broader IT themes. Additionally, she provides media training explaining what the channel is and why it’s important to businesses.