Infor Aims to Fill a Gap With Saleslogix
08/15/14 4:41 PM PT
Infor, a provider of business application software and cloud services, has agreed to acquire Saleslogix, a CRM application that is currently owned by Swiftpage. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks. Financial details were not disclosed.
For Swiftpage, the reason for the sale is straightforward: It allows it to focus on ACT!, a less-complex CRM application it acquired last year from Sage, in a deal that included Saleslogix.
Swiftpage offers integrated marketing and CRM applications for individuals and small businesses, which makes ACT! a better CRM fit for the company.
An Industry-Specific Approach
As for Infor, it has its own plans for Saleslogix. For starters, it wants the acquisition to fill out missing CRM functionality in its business application suite of products. It also plans to push even deeper and more broadly into the middle market, with Saleslogix as a lead product, said Grant Halloran, Infor's global VP and GM of CRM and marketing software.
For companies of this size and complexity, standard CRM applications built for small-sized companies -- which almost always are generic -- do not work. "These companies are looking for industry-specific functionality," Halloran told CRM Buyer, which enterprise vendors offer but middle-sized companies cannot afford.
Infor has this industry-specific expertise, he said, and it plans to leverage it as it builds out Saleslogix and subsequently markets the rebranded product.
Saleslogix is sophisticated enough and flexible enough for this, Halloran added. "It is a pioneering application in the industry." It offers strong desktop integration and mobile functionality, with a special emphasis on field service operations, which Infor also identified as key attributes.
Infor will be bringing to the table its own range of products, its industry-specific expertise, and its distribution channel and partner network. "It is a marriage made in heaven," Halloran said.
When the deal closes, Saleslogix CRM will become Infor CRM and join Infor CloudSuite, a group of industry-specific application suites available on the Amazon Web Services cloud.
Infor is planning to make further investments in the Saleslogix, including scaling it up and adding industry-specific functionality.
A New User Interface
The first order of business, though, will be creating a new user interface, which Infor plans to roll out at the beginning of 2015. The company will be using its own design group for the job, said Halloran.
Other enhancements will include embedded integration from Infor's existing marketing technologies and its real-time personalized engine, called "Interaction Advisor," he added. It currently is used by large enterprises, but Infor will be making it available to middle-market companies with this release.
An example of how a company might use this enhanced product would be a service agent handling a customer call, Halloran said. The interface would give the rep the next best offer built around the attributes of that particular customer.
Real-time contextuality is one of Interaction Advisor's strengths, he noted.
Marketing resource management functionality will be an added enhancement, said Halloran.
"What we are trying to do for our users is consumerize business software. We are taking the hard parts of technology -- like integration and complex enterprise software -- and providing them with easy-to-use elegant applications."
"What Infor is trying to do with this acquisition is build a comprehensive platform of offerings, and in that respect it will succeed," Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research, told CRM Buyer.
However, for companies seeking leading-edge functionality, their best bets will be to turn to leaders in this space -- companies that are devoted to nothing but CRM, he suggested.
Saleslogix belongs to a previous, more transaction-oriented era of CRM, Pombriant said. "Increasingly I see CRM moving to a more process-centric approach that includes social and mobile."