Enterprise software firm Infor has launched a digital consultancy arm of its business that will offer ‘digital-as-a-service’, it announced today.
H&L Digital will provide end-to-end digital cloud solutions that help Infor’s customers drive new capabilities, generate new revenue streams and create differentiated IP, the company said at its Inforum event in New York.
The new offering will be headed up by Infor’s chief creative officer Marc Scibelli, who previously led the creation of Hook & Loop, the company’s in-house application design agency that seeks to boost user experience.
Originally an unpopular segment of the company when it launched in 2012 – Infor CEO Charles Phillips made product teams get sign off from the division before taking anything to market – Hook & Loop is now a core selling point for the software firm.
H&L Digital is a client-facing extension of Hook & Loop, using many of the same approaches, including digital workshops and hackathons, to deliver differentiated experiences for Infor customers’ customers.
Infor favours the approach of building standalone in-house departments when it is eager to embrace an emerging trend or instill a new culture across its business, having also established Infor Dynamic Science Labs as its big data arm in 2014.
“Many consulting firms and design agencies claim to help deliver digital transformation to help clients meet the challenges of digital disruption, but because they lack the underpinning technology to effect real change, their customers’ projects often languish, stall or fail to meet expectations,” said Phillips at Infor’s annual customer event in New York, Inforum.
“With the creation of H&L Digital, Infor can deliver all the components of an end-to-end solution as a service: cloud-based industry applications, dynamic data-driven insights, cutting-edge user experience design, and a connected supply chain network.”
Infor has taken a three-pillared approach to digital transformation, starting with software and platforms. It says a company’s core cloud applications – ERP, EAM, HCM, SCM etc. – should be at the core of any transformation programme.
Then, layered on top of the core applications are API management, insights from Infor Dynamic Science Labs, and the elastic supercomputing power of Amazon Web Services (AWS), which Infor partners with on its cloud solutions.
H&L Digital completes the strategy, helping customers rethink the way their business works and drives data-driven decisions.
Building on insights from interactive workshops, H&L Digital will create a digital strategy for customers.
The process starts by defining a digital ecosystem and identifying “quick wins” to prototype first. The development team collaborates with customer IT teams to identify gaps in current architecture and create implementation roadmaps.
Then, H&L Digital will leverage disparate products and services, as well as existing technologies, to power elements of the digital ecosystem, and perform a gap analysis to understand the components required for integration and potential development to accelerate the project.
By linking with Hook & Loop, H&L Digital will also help companies create intuitive user experience for both their employees and customers.
Finally, H&L Digital will manage SaaS services with company-specific technology solutions, and provide services for continued evolution, support and maintenance.
“The rise of powerful digital platforms and networks has sparked significant changes in the way we all work, communicate and sell,” said Scibelli. “H&L Digital will help Infor customers create new cloud solutions to differentiate their businesses and retain their customers in a strong digital ecosystem.”
Michael Krigsman, industry analyst and founder of CxO Talk, said H&L Digital is the “next evolution” of Infor’s investment in digital and user experience as competitive differentiators.
“Because Infor already advises its software customers on digital strategy,” he said, “this new group represents a further commitment to digital transformation. H&L Digital deepens Infor’s ability to leverage the company’s platform to execute customer engagements.”