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November 11, 2014

Infor attacks NetSuite over customisation strategy

Enterprise software vendors adopt different tactics for targeting verticals.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Software vendor Infor has criticised rival NetSuite for focusing on customisation in the enterprise software market.

Speaking at the Inforum conference in London, Infor president Stephan Scholl rebuffed NetSuite’s insistence that customers should be able to drastically alter the enterprise resource planning (ERP) programs being sold to them.

"That’s what companies that aren’t focused on micro-verticals say," he said. "And look at the functionality they provide versus what we have."

Scholl added that at the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona this week, NetSuite had given a presentation which he believed showed the limited scope of their products.

"When you think of the functionality across human capital management (HCM), supply chain, PLM (product lifecycle management), expense management, asset management – look at the richness of functionality and they’re just over here in the corner.

"And when we’re talking CloudSuite we’re talking that entire breadth of functionality."

Unlike other vendors in the software market, Infor has a highly selective vertical industry strategy, with separate software packages available for the hospitality, healthcare and financial industries.

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In contrast, the customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Salesforce has just launched the customisation tool Lightning, with the aim of encouraging customers to experiment with software development.

Scholl said that the history of enterprise software further demonstrated the flaws in NetSuite’s strategy, adding that extensive customisation could lead to firms being trapped with old technology.

Zach Nelson, chief executive of NetSuite, replied to requests to comment with two words: "Who’s Infor?"

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