Acquisition of GT Nexus Underlines Infor’s Focus on Supply Chain

It seems to be just a matter of time before ERP specialist Infor takes over cloud-services giant GT Nexus in an acquisition valued at USD675 million. All that is needed now is regulatory approval. The company now known as Infor has previously completed a whole series of acquisitions, including of Baan, Fygir, Intentia, Lawson, Mapics, Mercia and SSA Global.

The GT Nexus cloud platform is used by approximately 25,000 companies, including six of the top 10 logistics service providers and 30 global financial institutions. The GT Nexus cloud-based business network enables them to manage more than a hundred billion dollars’ worth of goods each year. Customers include Adidas Group, Caterpillar, Columbia Sportswear, Home Depot, Levi Strauss & Co., Procter & Gamble and Pfizer.

Infor is one of the world’s leading suppliers of ERP and supply chain software which helps companies to orchestrate a wide range of processes inside the walls of the enterprise. By acquiring GT Nexus, Infor intends to capitalise on the shift towards outsourcing and contract manufacturing, whereby a single product increasingly involves close collaboration between several different companies. This shift is also moving the shop floor outside of the brand owner’s ERP system. A common cloud facilitates coordination and also increases companies’ supply chain visibility.

Improving customer visibility together

Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor, states that Infor and GT Nexus will together provide customers with more visibility into their supply chains to enable them to manage production and to monitor goods both in transit and at rest. “In a complex, high-velocity supply chain, all partners need to know what was ordered, when it was built, if the order has changed and if it has cleared customs. Specialisation and speed are moving the future of manufacturing into the commerce cloud,” says Phillips.

In an open letter to CEO Charles Phillips,the American supply chain analyst Lora Cecere warns him not to approach the acquisition merely as an extension of ERP infrastructure. GT Nexus should be a “network of networks” of enterprises with a wide variety of ERP systems and with real-time information, also allowing the use of unstructured data types like geospatial maps, weather patterns, digital images, warranty information, call-centre logs, quality reports and contract document information. Cecere writes: “You will destroy the value of GT Nexus if you try to make it the platform to extend Infor.”