Future Opportunities with Infor LX
by Jolene Williamson
Infor LX and its predecessor Business Planning Control System (BPCS), developed by SSA Global Technologies Inc, have been an established name in the world of ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for over 30 years, but where is it going?
History of Infor
Infor Global Solutions, founded in 2002, acquired SSA Global Technologies Inc. in 2006, giving it annual revenues of $1.6B and the muscle to compete with Oracle Corp and SAP AG in the enterprise software sector. What started with only 1,300 customers has now become over 65,000 customers, including 14,000 cloud customers, which Infor began deploying in 2013. It has been centered on ERP and financials but has additional solutions for supply chain management, analytics, human resources, and more.
In 2020, Infor became a wholly owned, standalone subsidiary of Koch Industries, with a commitment to a bright future for the software.
Future opportunities with Infor LX
The latest version of Infor LX has modernized the software for the 2020s. Let’s look at the ways that an Infor LX upgrade is improving business functionality for Infor users now and in the future.
Those who are part of a company’s technology or IT infrastructure departments will enjoy what they will be able to do with the Infor LX upgrade. These updates allow access to a variety of essential services for running a business at its best.
In late 2017, Infor debuted Infor OS, a cloud operating platform. Infor OS was an evolutionary step up from Infor 10x technology. Infor OS comprises Coleman Artificial Intelligence, Infor Data Lake, Infor Birst, Infor ION, and Infor Mongoose. The vast array of capabilities available from these products, such as simplifying the integration of third-party applications, proactively monitoring, and managing workflows, browser-based development, and use of AI to leverage deep domain and industry knowledge, demonstrate that Infor has taken steps to bring their products to the modern age.
The most current releases of Infor LX increasingly open up the full capabilities of Infor OS and other Infor solutions for Infor LX users. In fact, the future possibilities of how businesses can benefit from Infor OS are practically limitless.
Infor ION, IDF and Infor Birst, are some examples of the technologies and solutions that upgrading to Infor LX can provide access to.
As part of the Infor LX upgrade, improvements in the field of business operations continue to impress. These improvements are also solving some of this modern era’s most difficult operations challenges, including globalization and the decentralized workplace.
With an advanced workflow engine, setting an item for multiple levels of approval is possible. Or a workflow can send only the approval piece needed to the individual or department that needs to approve it. Automated workflows combined with more flexible approvals means that engineers in China and purchasers in the U.S. can work with an unprecedented efficiency.
Human Resources and Employee Efficiency
While most of the post-pandemic world has focused on remote work collaboration through remote meeting capabilities, the future of Infor LX includes an increase in the ability to collaborate without the need for time-consuming meetings.
Infor ION’s workflow approval and automation processes are reclaiming time for every member of the workforce. Additionally, with Infor Ming.le ® employees can easily send the link to a PO, order, customer, item, etc. to another person in the company along with a message, and the receiver can view the exact information.
This type of functionality allows some companies to streamline while others deploy their human capital resources to other opportunities. Overall, companies experience increased employee engagement as many mundane tasks are removed.
Data and Business Intelligence
In recent years, Infor has added ways to view your business’s data and create actionable business intelligence. With the upgrade to the current version of Infor LX, businesses will have enhanced capacity to integrate with Infor’s Supply Chain Execution, EAM, CRM, and Supplier Exchange solutions, and access to next-generation Data Lake, document management, and collaboration tools in Infor OS.
Additionally, a new world of business data is accessible for the first time and can be better visualized through a more useful and personalized modern UI. It is widely accepted that the new generation workforce expects this capability at their finger tips and are frustrated with legacy green screen applications that cannot provide the accessibility that they require.
Access to new technologies, improved operations workflows, employee efficiency, and better business intelligence for faster and more accurate decision making. What company wouldn’t benefit from these exciting developments?
Why are people hesitant to upgrade to Infor LX?
While 70% of Infor LX clients either have or are currently considering upgrading to recent releases of Infor LX, many continue to rely on older releases of Infor LX or even BPCS. Infor themselves have done many presentations and demonstrations of Infor LX 8.3.5 or 8.4.1 to show that it provides new functionality, a more modern look and feel to the software and a more effective way to manage a business.
Two primary reasons leave clients reluctant about upgrading to the most current versions of Infor LX: cost and change.
Although it may be less expensive to continue using an older version of the software, businesses will instead be paying in other ways. Significant revenue and cost savings opportunities may be missed that improved software integrations, workflow optimizations, business analytics, and AI to name a few, may create. As industries change, so must the software being used to manage the businesses within these industries, and as such future costs of legacy software and integrations must also be considered.
While costs are easier to quantify, the factors of change are more difficult. Upgrading to a new version of a system can cause morale to suffer as confidence using the upgraded system is low, at least at the beginning. Some users may decide to move on or retire rather than learn the new skills involved with new interfaces and workflows.
We like to look at the flip side, however – it may be that a newer generation of skilled and semi-skilled workers are willing to embrace newer technology, interfaces, and workflows, but may have reservations about joining a company with outdated systems.
When businesses invest in upgrading their ERP systems, that signals a commitment to digital transformation, and lets current and prospective employees, as well as customers, vendors, investors know that they are willing to invest in the company’s future. Additionally, it conveys to the best and brightest prospective employees that the company has a modern approach to sustainable
How do you upgrade while minimizing risks?
VIRTUTEM can help your business upgrade to the latest version of Infor LX with project management skills, technical skills, consulting, industry knowledge, and more. We are here to help walk you through the process so that you feel confident in your new system and can easily increase the operational efficiency of your business.
About Jolene Williamson
Jolene Williamson began working with BPCS while working for SSA New Zealand and SSA Europe in software Development. After many years working for these two subsidiaries she worked for SSA and then Infor in the United States of America as a business consultant assisting clients in implementing BPCS and Infor LX. Seeking to broaden her expertise and knowledge, Jolene branched out into Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain, warehouse management, workforce automation and program/project management. Jolene has worked across the globe including Europe, Asia Pacific, and New Zealand for companies that are household names and market leaders, helping them implement enterprise systems from companies such as Infor, Siebel, and Stirling Commerce. Her three decades of experience in industries ranging from food, pharma, utilities, and general manufacturing has given her a broad base in all facets of program/project leadership: pre-sales, consulting engagement management, strategic planning & tactical execution, large-scale systems implementation, business development, and client relations.
As the ERP Services Manager at VIRTUTEM, Jolene brings clients a global perspective with a track record of high-end results.
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