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August 11, 2015

Infor broadens reach with £430m GT Nexus purchase

Software vendor looking ‘super interesting’ as part of greater cloud stack.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Infor agreed to acquire GT Nexus for $675m (£430m) on Tuesday in a major investment into the software market for manufacturing and the supply chain.

The deal, which is expected to close within 45 days pending regulatory approval, will bolster Infor’s existing focus on vertical markets, a point on which it has differentiated itself from rival business software vendors working in enterprise resource planning (ERP).

Charles Phillips, chief executive of Infor, said: "In a complex, high velocity supply chain, all partners need to know what was ordered, when it was built, where it is in transit, if the order has changed, and has it cleared customs.

"Specialisation and speed are moving the future of manufacturing into the commerce cloud."

Infor’s purchase of GT Nexus comes shortly after its executives started to push for customers to move to the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model of software licensing, having previously vacillated on the long-running dilemma of on-premise software versus cloud software.

Focusing on the cloud, GT Nexus claims to serve some 25,000 companies, including a number of high-end logistics firms and global financial groups.

Alan Pelz-Sharpe, research director at 451 research, told CBR that customer appetite for reconfiguring broad ERP packages to their needs was diminishing in favour of the industry-tailored products, such as those Infor offers.

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"We are seeing the emergence of a ‘Dynamic Supply Chain’ that hopes to unite the customer focused end of the process with the back-end operations," he said.

He added that if Infor could optimise all its products for the cloud it could make for "one of the most interesting and valued IPOs [initial public offerings] or even potential acquisition in years", and that Infor would also be a "super interesting SaaS fit for a major cloud stack at a big vendor such as SAP or Amazon Web Services."

Explaining the move from GT Nexus’ point of view, chief executive Sean Feeney highlighted Infor’s "strong manufacturing, retail, and supply chain pedigree."

A release from Infor claimed there were many potential points of integration between its current enterprise resource planning offerings and those of GT Nexus, particularly around merchandising, marketing and data.

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