Charles Phillips was once the President of Oracle. Here, he used his time to learn about what the issues are that are facing business enterprise software and apps. He discovered that what people look for is high quality interfaces, agility, and mobility. However, it also seems that IT departments have yet to come on board.
Today, Phillips has a new job, being CEO of Infor. Here, he has continued with the strategies he implemented at Oracle, mainly to make large scale acquisitions to further his business goals. Charles Phillips CEO of Info instantly acquired Lawson Software, a competitor, for $2 billion in 2011, just months after taking up position. Since, he has made many more acquisitions to enhance the enterprise software that Infor can offer.
The latest push the company has made is through the UpgradeX path, which is enabling Infor to migrate their customers to the cloud, for which they use Amazon Web Services. They also created Rhythm, which is an ecommerce service that runs exclusively on the cloud, enabling customers to create beautiful, intuitive store fronts.
The questions are, however, what enterprise app customers really want. To figure this out, Phillips has started to delve deeply into who decides which apps get purchase in a company, and how they get deployed. In so doing, he has been able to completely redevelop Infor, even moving its headquarters from Georgia to New York.
The Move to New York
Moving to New York came as quite a surprise to many industry veterans. They expect that, if such a move is made, it goes to San Francisco or Silicon Valley. In fact, Infor’s board of directors is based in California. However, Phillips felt that New York is the best place to be when it comes to having direct contact with customers. Furthermore, the environment is far more diverse, which means creativity can be fostered in a better way. Phillips wanted his people to not just be around tech people, but around real people, the actual customer.
He also added that he has a strong focus on design, which is another reason why the company decided to move to New York. One of the biggest elements of the company’s overall strategy is interface design and user experience. According to Phillips, people who truly care about the way things look, and who have a real understanding of beautiful design, can be found in New York. The fashion houses and design schools found in New York are fully on board with technological advancements, and a lot of people who come to New York in order to become involved in some sort of design focus specifically on tech. Infor, for instance, is already home to a designer who previously worked for Kenneth Cole. Another one of their new designers was responsible for the digital arts element of The Avengers blockbuster hit. These people did not start their career designing software for enterprises, but they are the best at what they do.