Waking Up to a “New Day” at Infor

Infor, the third-largest provider of business application software with 70,000 customers and annual revenues estimated at nearly $2 billion (USD), is reinventing itself under the direction of new chief executive officer (CEO) Charles Phillips, who joined the company from Oracle in October 2010. Observers agree that Phillips has his work cut out to build a strong challenger to giants SAP and Oracle, given Infor’s checkered past. But observers also agree that if anyone can transform Infor, it’s Phillips, whose track record at Oracle was stellar.

A Look at the Beginning
Founded in 2002, Infor has developed a reputation over the years as the “place where ERP systems go to retire,” as a result of dozens of hit-and-miss acquisitions. Despite its reputation, Infor actually started out as a neatly run company. Infor was frugal, paying less than two times revenue for acquisitions. It also added significant maintenance revenue streams and aggressively controlled its costs. As a result, the company enjoyed a strong cash flow and ability to pay down whatever debt it had.

However, Infor’s disciplined approach began to go off track with the acquisitions of MAPICS (2005), GEAC (2006), SSA Global (2006), andWorkbrain (2007), which generally came with higher price tags but also brought a host of product quality issues, questionable management practices, and cultural challenges.

For example, SSA Global may have doubled Infor’s size but it caused major heartburn and indigestion. The overall fit of the two companies was hampered by SSA’s legacy management issues and certain practices that alienated customers, including those on IBM System i. In addition, the performance-draining practices that ensued among Infor and SSA exacerbated the situation. For instance, product teams got into turf wars, and the overall company goal seemed to be to subordinate growth and innovation, stop enhancing many products, and squeeze maintenance revenues from the increasingly agitated customer base.

Continued Transition and Confusion
In the late 2000s, customers were not pleased to be “nickeled and dimed” for hardly any new differentiating functionality from Infor, and neither were partners, who may have received much better treatment from the previously independent companies.

Next, the pressures of the 2008 recession led to numerous restructurings at Infor, with both quiet and not-so-quiet management departures. When cost containment and headcount cuts followed, product development inevitably suffered, and many industry observers doubted that the company could ever recover, especially without a focus on product innovation.

Infor’s management attempted to achieve a breakthrough with a distinct value proposition, but it was without lasting effects. Even a marketing campaign touting how Infor was not like the “Big ERP” guys fell flat.

Meanwhile, product direction meandered. At first, Infor’s ambitious Open SOA platform strategy was to do everything itself based on open standards, but that strategy was soon abandoned because it consumed too much time and financial resources. Then in 2009-10, Infor modified its platform strategy and declared Microsoft technologies as the preferred (which has since changed again). Of course, each failed attempt or abandoned initiative led to another wave of departures and more muddling through.

The Arrival of Charles Phillips
In late 2010, Infor CEO Jim Schaper found a successor who seemed fit for Infor’s next phase. Indeed, former Oracle president Charles Phillips had orchestrated and overseen Oracle’s growth from about $10 billion in the mid-2000s to more than $35 billion today. Phillips was at the center of blockbuster acquisitions, such as PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems, Sun Microsystems,BEA Systems, and Retek. He was also at the center of the Oracle Fusion Applications (OFA) convergence strategy and has probably seen what works and what doesn’t in that major (and still ongoing) feat at the software giant.

With him, Phillips brought along other Oracle seasoned executives, most notably Duncan Angove, current president of Infor. At Oracle, Angove set up and ran full profit-and-loss operations for Oracle Retail, Oracle’s first industry global business unit. Oracle Retail became the largest and number one provider of software to the retail industry (read more).

In addition, Pam Murphy, now corporate senior vice president (VP) of operations, has an extensive background in field sales and consulting operations. During her 11-year tenure at Oracle, she was responsible for a variety of operational and financial functions. Murphy has deep operational experience in global organizations and has worked in Europe and America in a variety of roles. Prior to Oracle, Murphy worked at Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen.

Stephan Scholl, now executive VP of global field operations, runs Infor sales, consulting, alliances, and channels globally. Scholl was general manager of the Utilities Global Business Unit at Oracle where he was responsible for sales, development, and marketing for the vertical. He was instrumental in generating significant growth for Oracle and a leader of the company’s successful Green Strategy. Prior to that, Stephan ran Oracle’s North American consulting group, the company’s largest organization. Before Oracle, Scholl was in consulting and sales management roles at PeopleSoft.

In the spirit of innovation, Infor announced in November 2011 a relocation of its headquarters to New York City, now planned to open in the autumn of 2012. The new office will feature an Innovation Center where software engineers and graphic designers will focus on building out Infor10’s intuitive graphical user interface (GUI), and lead the integration of social applications into the enterprise.

This move reflects a big shift in development strategy and even political power within Infor, which can only be a good thing. By tapping into the New York City creative mindset and potentially the financial community, Phillips can use the new Innovation Center to help drive Infor10 to become a leading-edge solution.

Infor’s newly espoused strategy outlines a product-driven company with services for a complete application, containing localization, analytics, integration, industry-specific content, social media, and mobility. To back up that strategy, the company is making significant investments in product development, with more than 500 software engineers added in 2011 and announced plans to hire an additional 75 developers in its New York Innovation Center.

In 2011, Infor reportedly shipped 69 new products (e.g., Infor10 Sales and Operations Planning), 1,904 new features, and 2,001 customer enhancement requests-an increase of more than 70 percent from the previous year. Infor10 Financials Business (SunSystems), the company’s global financial management system (FMS) saw a major new release in 2011, and was reviewed in Business Intelligence software solutions.

Blueprint for the Future: Infor10
Over the course of its history, Infor has acquired more than 40 companies, with more or less strategic importance. The company’s latest strategy includes a common UI, analytics, reporting, workflow, event management, master data management(MDM), localizations, mobility, and packaged integration for all of its applications. Rather than having each product line development team work on these functions, a dedicated central team attending to all Infor applications works on each of these functions. The objective is to enable software from multiple acquisitions to function like one big application as much as possible.

To that end, in the fall of 2011, Infor unveiled Infor10, its next-generation enterprise software, which offers an enhanced user experience and industry-specific functionality. As indicated earlier, on the front end, Infor10 Workspace, which incorporates Microsoft SharePoint, provides customers with a single sign-on, common navigation, and common look and feel across multiple applications. Infor10 Workspace is designed to deliver a consumer-like user experience and change the way the average enterprise user has traditionally done his or her work. The UI unifies and presents all relevant information for each user on one screen, including role-based workflows, task and alerts, in-context business intelligence (BI), event management, social media collaboration, consumer-like search capabilities, and business activity streams.

ION: The Infor10 Workhorse
The Infor10 ION Suite is at the heart of Infor10. As a lightweight middleware technology, ION connects and integrates Infor and non-Infor applications, storing information in a common format and repository called Business Vault. ION allows information that flows among applications, analytics, and social media streams to be accessed by users from their desktops, laptops, or mobile devices.

ION software provides middleware (and open-source enterprise service bus [ESB]) for cross-application integration, workflow automation, machine-to-machine business process management (BPM), and shared data reporting. The tool thus enables new and existing Infor and non-Infor applications to work as a holistic solution, helping to create streamlined workflows and end-to-end business processes, while considering system performance speed and upgrades. It uses standard XML business document for data transfer.

ION Suite is a new generation of business middleware that is lighter weight, less technically demanding to implement, and built on open standards. It is designed to meet the needs of the business, and the needs of the chief information officer (CIO) in containing information technology (IT) costs. But there’s more to ION Suite than just easy-to-use connectivity. With ION Suite, businesses get common reporting and analysis, workflow, and business monitoring with one, consistent architecture. In addition, ION Suite uses event-driven architecture (EDA), so it proactively pushes data, work activities, and exception notifications to users. Users don’t need to go to the system to get the information they need-ION Suite makes sure the information comes straight to them.

What it Does
ION Suite includes the following four services that are easy to install and configure:

1. ION Connect-Allows applications to operate together easily, enabling the seamless execution of business processes, and allowing for quickly bringing new partners and customers onboard, as well as reusing business functionality to realize a quick return on investment (ROI).
o Easy setup. Infor applications operate with a standard business language so ION Suite setup is easy. Businesses don’t need to do any translation or mapping-two of the biggest integration challenges.
o Easy operations. For those companies running a portion of their business in the cloud, ION Suite can exchange data working in a hybrid model. Companies don’t need a second, separate integration stack to maintain this hybrid environment.
o Easy connections. ION Suite includes a library of “connectors” to integrate to third-party applications, so businesses can quickly integrate non-Infor apps into their system.

2. ION Business Vault-A single, optimized, unbreakable business repository where ION Suite stores enterprise data. This unifying source for all the data that flows through ION Suite makes it a robust platform for reporting, BI, and analytics.
o Up-to-date data. The Business Vault uses an event-driven model for synchronization, so that data is synchronized as soon as a transaction occurs in the originating system.
o Easier search. Enterprise search is easier, as data resides in one place-so there’s no need for a business to index their transactional systems.
o Better reporting. The Business Vault features a master data reference for better reporting and integrations scenarios.

3. ION Event Management-Allows users to monitor the status of tasks in relation to promised completion or established service level agreements (SLAs), and automatically receive alerts about exceptions and potential non-compliance.
o Make the rules. ION Event Management detects exceptions based on business rules that users define. Notifications and alerts can be triggered by Event Management and directed to the appropriate users with ION Workflow. Also, ION can detect exceptions within a single source system.
o Detect non-events. Event Management can also detect non-events-things that should have happened, but didn’t-for example, a shipment to an important customer that missed its due date or time. Sales or Operations Management can be immediately alerted, so they can address the business issue.
o Provide better service. Event Management can also be used to monitor SLAs, so businesses can meet their performance levels and maintain good customer service.

4. ION Workflow-Allows for directing work activities, events, and business documents to any user so that business processes can be executed quickly and accurately.
o Create quickly. Workflow modeling is graphical and based on Business Process Management Notation (BPMN 2.0) standard. This makes it easy to create even complex workflows, and know that they’ll work across applications.
o Automate approvals. Allows for creation of simple to more sophisticated workflows to automate document routing and approvals across departments and office locations worldwide.
o Manage centrally. All tasks and alerts generated by Event Management and Workflow are managed through the Tasklist, which features an Activity Stream-based UI. And because ION Tasklist can run stand-alone or in a portal, users can work the way they want to work. Infor will be adding support for mobile and tablet devices at a later time to enhance flexibility.

The Infor10 release also provides flexible deployment options, including the Infor10 CloudSuite platform (formerly Infor24), to increase business speed and agility. Customers can run their entire solution on Infor10 CloudSuite or can keep core enterprise systems on premises, while running other applications or services in the cloud. The Infor10 CloudSuite platform features a unified user experience and security, and enables two-tiered, hybrid cloud and on-premises deployments. Whether customers access functionality from a software-as-a-service (SaaS; cloud) model or on-premises deployment, they should get the same functionality and look and feel. The only difference is in how users connect to core applications. Customers can even move from one deployment model to another, as the same application code is used for all deployment models.

The Infor10 Motion Platform
For the cloud and mobility, Infor recently launched Infor10 Motion applications to provide fast and reliable connections to back-office systems, regardless of location, through smartphones and tablets, such as the Apple iPhone and iPad. The idea is to accelerate productivity and help users work smarter and faster. Infor10 Motion is built with a loosely coupled architecture on the Infor10 ION framework, meaning that Infor10 Motion applications can plug into different back-office systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), expense management, and supply chain management(SCM).

Unlike the tightly packaged solutions on the market today, which often require customers to buy more products in the hopes of extending solutions, Infor10 Motion provides native rich applications that leverage the data that already exists in enterprise deployments. Security is built into Infor10 Motion to help address the threat of theft and data loss, allowing customers to retain control over critical business data.

Infor10 Motion applications take into account differences between devices, such as tablets versus smartphones. Because it is core product independent, Infor10 Motion is able to adopt a consistent user experience across back-office applications. Infor10 Motion applications are further differentiated by being “app aware,” which means that they enhance the user experience by detecting when another app on the device could provide additional functionality, including consumer apps that would work in the context of the enterprise. An example of this is the Infor10 Road Warrior app, which incorporates Skype and FaceTime within a customer’s contact record so salespeople can more seamlessly access consumer collaboration tools.

Infor10 Motion is cloud based, and the Infor10 Motion App Manager (IMAM) provides a single location for companies to deploy Infor10 Motion applications quickly within their existing IT infrastructure. In contrast, many other mobile platforms require an add-on solution to centralize the effort of multiple deployments. Once a company has gained access to IMAM, it is ready to begin using Infor10 Motion applications. IMAM also allows managers to determine which users have access to specific information and to be able to change those settings at any point.

Infor has immediately made available two applications-one is Infor10 Road Warrior, a mobile CRM application with embedded BI. Infor10 Road Warrior empowers sales productivity by sending mobile alerts, approvals, and tasks-allowing users to make decisions faster and turn what was previously considered downtime into a tool to outpace the competition. This connectivity is coupled with embedded BI to provide an overview of data-heavy screens, helping users make sense of data more rapidly, highlight problems at a glance, and compare current and historical order volume-reducing the amount of time spent searching for information (including voice recognition).

The other application is Infor10 ION ActivityDeck, which helps solve critical problems that arise when users are on the road and have no visibility into pressing issues going on in the office. ION ActivityDeck provides users with the ability to remain connected to the back office so they are able to respond to important tasks, receive real-time alerts, and approve pending requests-keeping the business in motion. Similar in function to Twitter, ION ActivityDeck provides the ability to define filters based on almost anything, helping users address questions before they become issues.

Infor10 Road Warrior and Infor10 ION ActivityDeck are available for secure installation through the Apple iTunes Store. Additional Infor10 Motion applications are expected this year and will serve a variety of critical office functions, such as creating orders or quotes, approving expense reports, and reviewing key business metrics from anywhere.

The Infor10 Motion mobility platform, which is based on Java and some open-source tools, could be used by even Infor’s ancient ERP solutions, as those apps are already available in the cloud. In contrast, the Infor10 Workspace UI cannot be deployed until the old ERP system is Web enabled. Workspace is a shell, aiming to unite Infor’s multiple products into a solution using their existing UI. Motion is about creating consistent UIs that draw from style and technology for a consistent (solution) approach. For more intricate mobility tasks in the field service and asset intensive industries, Infor has established relationships with Blue Dotand ClickSoftware.

It’s About Industry Focus, After All
ION software also makes it possible to connect the rich functionality of leading ERP and best-of-breed solutions from Infor and affiliate Lawson Software for specific industries. Infor10 suites are targeted for aerospace and defense; automotive; chemicals and life sciences; distribution; equipment; fashion; food and beverage; health care; high tech; hospitality; industrial manufacturing; and the public sector.

Infor10 is nothing like a converged (single-code) uber-suite of applications, as seen with OFA or Epicor 9. Namely, all major Infor ERP products remain on their tracks and codes, and are just rebranded, e.g., Infor ERP LN is now Infor10 ERP Enterprise,SyteLine is Infor10 ERP Business, VISUAL is Infor10 ERP Express, Adage is Infor10 ERP Process Business, and so on and so forth. As LN, VISUAL, SyteLine, and Adage still have large install base and development teams, and most of the heads of development or technology are from these platforms, these products have been selected as horizontal discrete or process ERP platforms, depending on the customer size. Lawson and other industry-specific ERP products in Infor’s arsenal will be deployed within Infor10 industry solutions.

Through its acquisition of SSA Global in 2006, Infor acquired the PLM8 solutions for discrete manufacturing (which came from the former Baan ERP system). On the process manufacturing side, Infor acquired Formation Systems in 2005, which became the company’s Optiva PLM process solution set. Today, within Infor10, both discrete and process product lifecycle management(PLM) solutions have become Infor10 PLM Discrete and Infor10 PLM Process, respectively. Via acquisitions of former Geacand Lawson, Infor also gained fashion and apparel PLM solutions (a future TEC article will zoom in on all of the Infor PLM products). The Infor10 enterprise suite also includes industry-specific enterprise asset management (EAM) solutions (from former Datastream) and SCM solutions (from multiple acquisitions).

With Infor10 as the strategy, all these products on diverse technologies will be able to leverage ION, CloudSuite apps (as they become available), and Workspace for new user experience. Workspace has also borrowed some enhancements from Lawson Smart Office (i.e., mashups), and it looks modern, with all the social (Infor10 ION Pulse is a Tweetdeck-like application for alerts and feeds), mobile, open (in terms of interconnectivity) themes, etc. Companies need to be on the latest two versions of Infor ERP and/or EAM products to be eligible for free downloads and for Infor10 compatibility. Companies with older product instances can get these pieces for a fee, as well as their maintenance contracts reinstated.

Stellar 2011 Results
After the first full year with new strategy and management team and major investments in industry-specific business applications, Infor was able to report accelerated growth in licenses, subscriptions, support, margins, innovation, and customers. In early January 2012, Infor reported 17 percent license growth for the 12 months ended November 2011. The company also reported 16 percent organic license growth for its second fiscal quarter, which ended November 2011. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) margins improved to 27 percent, and new customer additions and support subscriptions accelerated. Growth in Infor’s core ERP business in the second fiscal quarter was up 25 percent over the previous year.

Infor (including Lawson, especially in its health care stronghold) added more than 2,500 new customers in 2011 and expanded its relationship with more than 12,000 existing customers. Infor also saw growth in support and consulting, with more than 500 customers re-engaged with Infor for support. New or existing customers that made significant investments in Infor products in 2011 include Ferrari, BAE Systems Military Air and Information, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc., Grief, and Liberty Mutual.

The EAM business continues to grow at a healthy rate, as many of the aforementioned large customers are still rolling out additional plants. Many legacy ERP customers on System i are continuing to add (implement) modules or roll out implementations to other plants. PLM was another product line with stellar growth in 2011. A great portion of new sales came via the reinvigorated channel, Infor Partner Network (IPN), which saw many new deals for SyteLine, SunSystems, and VISUAL. Infor ERP LN continues to lead in terms of existing install base and also does well with new license revenues, albeit outside the United States (where negative sentiments dating back to 15 years ago [and former Baan Company’s wrongdoings] still linger).

Getting Cozy with salesforce.com
While Microsoft and IBM remain solid technology partners for obvious reasons, in 2011 Infor partnered with salesforce.com, a leader in enterprise cloud computing, to offer three new Inforce applications. These Force.com-based solutions by Infor bring the power of the back office to the front office, and throughout the social enterprise-to help customers collaborate and drive growth. In addition, salesforce.com made a multi-million dollar investment in Infor as part of the agreement (and Infor’s endorsement of Force.com).

The three new Infor-salesforce apps, dubbed Inforce apps, have a strong focus on collaboration. The first one, Inforce Everywhere, brings ERP data into Salesforce solutions and offers a 360-view of invoice, contacts, quotes, shipments receivables, orders, and return merchandise authorizations (RMAs). The application offers
• a way for salesforce.com users to view orders from Infor ERP applications,
• access to customer information and transactions from the Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud,
• connection to ION, Infor’s standard integration platform, and
• integration to Salesforce Chatter to make data more social.

Inforce Everywhere also gives Infor’s current 600 channel partners the ability to resell bundled Salesforce CRM products. Meanwhile, Inforce Order Management will offer a comprehensive quote, order, and proposal management application built on Force.com, and will integrate with Salesforce CRM to give Sales Cloud and Service Cloud users a view of pricing and availability. Finally, Inforce Marketing will leverage the Infor10 CRM Enterprise (Epiphany) recommendation engine for global marketing automation technology that includes inbound and outbound campaign management and lead maturation.

Given that Epiphany is a CRM solution for large customers, Infor now has a plausible CRM solution strategy for small to medium businesses (SMBs)-i.e., start with an outstanding, proven, well-respected CRM solution for SMBs and develop functionality and integration for Infor customers. This should make Infor more competitive in new deals, while filling a big functional gap would eliminate the need to replace an existing Infor ERP system. This partnership is badly needed by both Infor and salesforce.com in their fight against SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft.

As in the case for Infor10 Motion apps, many more applications on Force.com are on the horizon. For example, Inforce Marketing will be a new application designed to offer optional integration to Epiphany for inbound marketing execution for those customers for whom it makes sense and for those who desire that level of advanced marketing. As the Inforce solutions will be inherently cloud based, they will ultimately be part of Infor10 CloudSuite.

Looking Behind the Numbers
In conclusion, it is difficult to dispute Phillips’ statement:
As we look to the future, 2012 will be just as exciting for Infor. We have a strong, motivated team, a market looking for new alternatives, and a customer-centric strategy that is working well and generating growth.

In the past, Infor’s strategy appeared to focus on managing the acquisitions as “cash cows” for profitable service and maintenance revenues, with only the necessary investments in product development. Now, with new management and a product strategy that includes several common utilities that allow the multiple acquisitions to function as a more coherent solution, Infor has become vibrant. In addition, its applications focus on specific vertical industry solutions with services and support.
Without trying to rain on Infor’s parade, we might want to note here that, during their best days, combined “Old” Infor, SSA Global, and Lawson Software revenues were much larger than current “New” Infor’s revenues, which still indicates a loss of market share to SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics. Also, maintenance and services still remain the biggest revenue sources, but growth for new licenses is nonetheless encouraging and refreshing.

If SAP is moving to in-memory databases (SAP HANA), analytics (BusinessObjects), and mobility (Sybase), Microsoft Dynamics leverages its parent’s ubiquitous technology, and Oracle is a one-stop-shop from hardware to applications, what then is Infor known for? Even though Infor’s new strategy is indisputably better than the old one, is it a game changer?

Well, Infor is talking industry-specific software that is deeper and yet cheaper to roll out. By focusing on standards-based integration, ION is easier and cheaper than Oracle Fusion Middleware (OFM) or SAP NetWeaver. At a large enterprise, SAP or Oracle might still win out the new deals owing to their brand recognition, but at a SMB prospect or existing Infor customer, Infor has a good shot owing to deep industry-specific solutions that are easy to demo and implement and/or not that easy to replace with another solution. The Syteline, LN, LX, SX.e, Adage, as well as Lawson S3 and M3 ERP solutions have vertical depth or the ability to have division-specific configurations that roll up into a corporate umbrella. SAP still struggles with this requirement, while Oracle is not universally focused on manufacturing industries.

As the cost of migration is high, few companies that buy into ERP system standardization companywide will achieve an ROI with SAP or Oracle. In fact, some of the biggest SAP shops may use SAP financials centrally, but plants or divisions still run on Infor ERP. SAP HANA is a cool concept, but at this stage it is unclear as to how many enterprises, especially midsized ones, really need HANA. Infor can counter with deeper functions such as in Infor10 Advanced Planning and Infor10 Advanced Schedulingfor process industries.

Trust but Verify
While, in general, the Infor10 “upgrade, integrate, and sell more modules” strategy is sound and compelling, the “trust but verify” attitude is needed when treating ION as some universal integration and messaging panacea. In one press release, Soma Somasundaram, Infor’s head of global product development said:
We say ION is unbreakable architecture because extensions don’t break during upgrades.

Well, the question is: Does ION work out of the box for most Infor products and most customers? (An estimated 60-70 percent of current Infor ERP users are on obsolete or unsupported releases.) If it does work for a particular advanced Infor ERP product (say, LN or SyteLine), will it allow it to integrate with all of Infor’s products (let alone to non-Infor legacy products)? If ION still requires users to configure each solution set and support multiple underlying infrastructures (Oracle, Microsoft Windows, IBM System i, Progress OpenEdge, even the arcane Ingress OpenRoad), one should be a bit more cautious about using strong sounding words such as “unbreakable.”

We have repeatedly heard of how hard it is to integrate ERP systems with other enterprise solutions. With service-oriented architecture (SOA), we really started to see the issues come up with MDM, SOA governance (transaction integrity), and overlapping or conflicting application rules. For example, inventory allocations in ERP, warehouse management system (WMS), and SCM typically have different logic, and one has to use the least common denominator approach (i.e., with the lowest overlap). Namely, to deal with likely application conflicts in the industry packs in the following case of allocations:
• Infor10 Advanced Planning does inventory cost-based and some key attribute-based optimization as soft allocations across all orders and lots.
• Infor10 Advanced Scheduling does soft allocations to optimized throughput (by schedule conflict) as soft allocations.
• Infor10 ERP Process Business (Adage) does hard allocations by First In, First Out (FIFO) to the sub-lot level (this does not change-no matter what the other apps do).
• Infor10 Supply Chain Execution offers the following:
o Transportation management and warehouse management combined into a single solution on a single database
o Powerful tools to help you achieve advanced supply chain collaboration
o Built-in best-practice management to improve supply chain performance

Not only does each system have some overlapping features, but also their logic is not consistent. How can one turn on/off features as required? For some companies, Advanced Planning is the best place for allocations, while for others it’s Adage, etc. As a response, Infor says that Infor10 Workspace is aware of all of the applications that are installed and operational. The system can be used to prevent users from running overlapping planning applications (or any other kind of overlapping application). This is really no different than what Infor does today when a customer decides to run an advanced planning and scheduling (APS) application instead of the built-in planning function of the ERP Software system – except that this has now become built-in capability rather than an implementation decision.

Help! My Son is Turning Homosexual and I’ve Got to Stop It!

These are the basics of some things, a client brought up in our Dad’s group a short while ago. I didn’t copy it down word for word but I have included many exact quotations and have tried to capture, without exaggeration, the feeling of what he was trying to convey.
His words:
“The other day I found my 6 year old son in the bathroom trying on make-up. I told my son that he’s not to play with that make-up stuff any more and that goes for the Barbie dolls too! Guys don’t wear makeup and they don’t play with dolls. That’s the difference between guys and girls.
Now I have nothing against homo’s as long as they stay away from me. If my son comes to me when he’s a teenager and says he likes guys better, I’m going to tell him that he’s got to try chicks first. I want him to go out with chicks to see the normal side of things before he goes Homo on me.
If he’s gotta do that , he’s not doing it in my house. It’s not normal. There wouldn’t be any human race if everyone were homos. Don’t tell me that is just part of some peoples nature. Something has turned them into a homo and you can turn them back again.”

Is this man is wrong and people are born with a tendency to be gay or, is he’s right and something in the way he has raised his son may cause the son to be gay?

Let’s say he is right and his environment caused him to be gay. What could have caused that? Could it be that Dad was so hard and demanding that he retreated into a softer more feminine place. A place where people are gentle with each other; where people are not threatening, but supportive; a place where you can hold and caress your friends when you, or they, need comfort?
Perhaps, the outside world is not one he wants to face. Perhaps the men’s violence in the media and the aggressiveness of many of his friends in the school yard is just something he is fearful of facing. Putting on makeup and playing make believe with Barbie Dolls is a much less threatening.

Perhaps a male friend of his, is kind, soft and supportive of him, always friendly, never harsh, while the girls he has met are taunting, teasing and mean.
Perhaps his Father is aggressive, unsympathetic and yells at his mother who he sees as his protector. He decides to choose the more agreeable of his two parents as his roll model. He decides he would like to be more like his mother than like his father.
All the stuff mentioned above is Possible but if that sort of thing Caused people to be gay. Then half the people in the world would be Gay and that’s not the case.
The personality of your Mother or Father, the behavior of the people around you, the media and your own self-esteem can all contribute to how you interpret your own sexuality. As a woman, you might feel pressured to behave in the same way that the women around you behave. As a man, you might feel pressured to behave like the men around you behave. Yet that behavior might feel uncomfortable to you.
Every one of us has found ourselves in a situation where the behaviors or the expectations of the people around us have made us feel uncomfortable. That is the case with a certain proportion of people in our society who feel more comfortable relating sexually and/or emotionally with others of their own sex.
They often feel they have to hide it so they won’t be discriminated against. The sad truth is that merely because they are having a loving relationship with someone of their own sex, they may be denied employment, rejected from their religion or from participation in a club or organization. They may be ridiculed as less of a person. Is this a sad statement on our society?

Just as in every segment of society, there are Gay people who flaunt their sexuality in public as a sort of an ‘In your face’ protest of the bigotry against them. There are others who, just like in the heterosexual community, have sex with multiple partners with flagrant disregard for hygiene, and disease transmission. No one, regardless of his or her beliefs, respects that sort of behaviour. That is not what Homosexuality is about any more than the “Swingers” society represents what Heterosexuality means.
You, or Society, does not have to fear women who cut their hair short and wear pants. You needn’t fear men who wear colourful ties, speak in overly expressive voices or compliment you on your attractive head of hair. These people may not even be Gay! Frankly, unless they wish to discuss it with you it’s none of your business.
Two men, or two women, who live their lives together, who hold hands in public and who give each other a parting kiss also may not be gay and they may or may not have a private sexual relationship. Unless they wish to discuss it with you . . IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
If you feel uncomfortable when you see people who look or dress or act differently from you, do you need to ask yourself why you are uncomfortable? Do you believe, perhaps, that you have the right to tell other people how they should look or act?
How did you come to believe that?
Is their behaviour disrespectful of you?
Does it really have anything at all to do with you?
If these people work for you, will their behavior and attitudes make them incapable of doing their jobs?
If they sit beside you at the theatre and their leg happens to touch yours, does that make you fearful? And why?
If your son or daughter grow up and decide to take a partner of the same sex, does that reflect on who you are?
Would your friends or the members of your church think less of you because your son is Gay?
If that is the case does that reflect on you and your son or does it reflect on them?
The whole point here is that we’re all individuals. We are tall or short, we are young or old, we are white or black, we are out-going or inward turned. We prefer people of our own sex or of both sexes or of the opposite sex. In any given group of people, we have many similarities and always a few differences.
Here are some questions to consider:
If your differences don’t injure other people, should you be forced to change your differences and conform to be just like everyone else?
If your differences, DO injure other people, should your behavior change and
Who should be responsible for changing your behavior?
If your differences, DO injure other people and you refuse to change, what should happen next?
Do you feel you have the right to dictate how others in the group should look or should be?
If a few people in the group try to control the whole group, what are some of the things that may happen?
When a few people succeed in controlling or dominating the whole group or excluding certain people from their group, what has, through-out all of history, always been the long term result?
If either a man or woman acts aggressively towards you in a way that makes you fearful, you have the right to tell them you are uncomfortable and to ask them to stop. Being fearful, and saying stop doesn’t make you any less of a man. It only makes you a person who knows the level of personal interaction that you are prepared to allow. There may, somewhere, be aggressive, homosexual predators who wait to find unsuspecting men to sexually approach. These men are rare in our society, especially in proportion to the heterosexual predators who are prepared to make advances to unwilling or unprepared women.

Is your fear that you will be embarrassed by an encounter with a gay man who will touch your arm and ask you if you would like to have sex?
Is your fear that your son will be openly gay or even worse, do you fear that he might act in an effeminate way?
Are you afraid that if your son is effeminate that it reflects on your own manhood?
Are you afraid that if Gay people attend your church and vow to spend their lives together, that it will reflect somehow on your own religious beliefs?
Are you threatened by the fact that men are losing some of the privilege they once held over women?
Do you fear that gay or effeminate men are the thin edge of the wedge which will mark the end of a male dominated society?
WORSE, Do you fear that, unconfronted, these people will take over the earth, make everyone Gay and end society as we know it?
If your answer to all the above questions is NO, why do you feel so upset and negative maybe even violent towards this portion of our society? These people have always existed in our society. They existed in the past,they exist today, and they will exist in the future. If your answer to all the questions posed above is NO, then how could you relieve some of your upset, tension and concern. If your going to be able to live with yourself, your answer must be wise, fair and respectful. Good luck, coming to terms with this.

Top Three Reasons Why Logos Are Effective

Let’s talk about Logos! Whether you’re a sole proprietor or a large corporation, a logo gives your business credibility and makes you easy to remember. Logos are a small business owner’s best friend in terms of making everything from websites to inexpensive marketing materials look more professional. Presented Here are our Top Three Reason Why Logos are Effective:

1. Human Attention Span

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but our ability to process advertising and marketing messages online is less than the attention span of a goldfish according to a recent BBC News article. We have to nail down our message and be able to package it and share it so someone can digest it now in less than 8 seconds. What are your chances of successfully capturing their attention without an easy-to-remember logo that represents your company brand.

2. The Psychology of Color

So, now that you know that you have less than 8 seconds to capture someone’s attention, now you can use color to communication feeling and perception. If you’re just typing your name out in black and white, then you’re missing out on a chance to say more. Here’s a quick list of color psychological clues:

  • Black: seriousness, distinctiveness, boldness, power, sophistication, tradition
  • Blue: authority, dignity, security, faithfulness, heritage, corporate stability, trust
  • Brown/gold: history, utility, earthiness, richness, tradition, conservative
  • Gray/silver: somberness, authority, practicality, corporate mentality, trust
  • Green: tranquility, health, freshness, stability, appetite
  • Orange: fun, cheeriness, warm exuberance, appetite, speed
  • Pink: femininity, innocence, softness, health, youth
  • Purple: sophistication, spirituality, wealth, royalty, youth, mystery
  • Red: aggressiveness, passion, strength, vitality, fear, speed, appetite
  • White/silver: purity, truthfulness, faith, contemporary, refined, wealth
  • Yellow: youth, positive feelings, sunshine, cowardice, refinement, caution, appetite. Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/5/mccarthy4.asp#ixzz2sIMCr466

3. Stand Out in a Crowd

Worried Jack and Jane won’t be able to differentiate your from your competitors? A unique and recognizable logo can help you stand out. The more places you find to place your logo, the easier it’ll be for your small business to start building traction in your community/market. Whether it’s online in your social media and online marketing or through yard signs if you’re a contractor working on homes, a logo will solidify your business in the mind of your potential customer.

If you still doubt that you need a logo, look at the stories of small business’s turned into huge success stories. Their stories are rooted in good branding and well-designed logos: Starbucks, Jimmy John’s, Nike… They all started as small businesses once.