When Charles Phillips stepped down as President of Oracle, many people thought he would simply enjoy retirement. Instead, it seemed that he promoted himself, taking on a position as CEO of Infor. For Charles Phillips Oracle presented a fantastic opportunity, but he was ready for new ones. Being replaced by Mark Hurd, therefore, was none of his concern.
Infor was previously headed by Jim Schaper, who will continue to be the company’s chairman. Furthermore, Phillips and Schaper have agreed to work together, focusing on strategic plan. For Phillips, Infor has some tremendous growth potential, and he is making sure that potential is realized.
Since taking over at Infor, Phillips has pushed it towards tremendous growth. It now ranks as the third largest company of its kind, after Oracle and SAP. Over the past seven years, it has enjoyed a 59% compound annual growth in revenue. Its margins are higher than eight of the 10 best application companies. This is all due to Phillips’ innovative vision. Phillips got to work and now, just a few years later, Infor has more than 70,000 clients, 8,000 employees, and a presence in 125 companies. Infor, in other words, is the one to watch for many.
One of the things that has set Phillips apart is his fantastic and lengthy management experience. At Oracle, he spearheaded numerous acquisitions, including Siebel Systems, Hyperion, and BEA Systems. This strategy of acquisitions is one that he has already started to implement at Infor as well. Quickly after starting, Phillips took over the launch of Infor ION, which has been prepared by Schaper. Through Infor ION, customers were provided with business process and workflow management and monitoring, both on the cloud and on premise.
Infor, for Phillips, has always been a ‘diamond in the rough’. He created a YouTube video together with Schaper, which is embedded in one of the company’s most read blog posts. Here, Phillips said that Infor was not unlike a top five NBA scorer playing in a small niche area, one that the larger fan base tends to overlook. He felt that his particularly vision could enable change in this respect. In fact, from the word go, he has said that Infor could become the enterprise market’s best company, and he aims to achieve this as well.
Infor has taken a new type of approach. Their focus is specifically on mid-sized company, which is the market’s most dynamic areas. This makes strategic sense, as the majority of larger companies already have ERP solutions that they are happy with and that they are unlikely to change. They know what they want and need, and larger companies will, at best, only upgrade one or two modules. Furthermore, working with big enterprises is a long process, because the approval process has to go through various strategic decision making groups.
Instead, for Infor, the focus is on smaller companies. Here, there is a single owner who is able to make quick decisions. There are many of these types of companies around, and that is Infor’s new focus.