On a recent visit to our Baltimore headquarters, we met with Mike Guay, a VP of Customer Success at Infor and former ERP strategist at Gartner, to discuss the current state of the public sector. Mike focuses on improving the customer experience and cloud-based operations, so he was able to provide us with insight onto how the Essentials program fits in to the picture.
Customers often ask us about the Infor Essentials Program and if it something that should be on their radar. The Essentials program was created a while ago as part of the move to the cloud. One of the things that's different about this process is customers have to change their mindset about what ERP means and how they actually use it. This program is geared around standing up a basic component of an ERP system, such as your basic procure to pay, order to cash, HR processes, finance processes, etc. Once these are installed in a cloud environment, the customer can expand that footprint over time. The thought behind this approach is that it will get customers up on the cloud quicker, improving their time to value and giving them the flexibility to expand as they move forward.
From a scope management perspective, this allows your organization the capacity to implement it at a lower risk to the delivery team. One of the challenges is getting customers away from the mindset that existed for decades with on premise ERP, which was the systems were not flexible or not user friendly. Putting them in would take a year of two and then you wouldn't do an upgrade for three or four years, right? When you go to the cloud, you're getting updates from the vendor on a periodic basis and enforced case, in addition to patches and bug fixes every month and twice-yearly functional feature enhancements. It's necessary to get into that mode of being able to consume those frequent updates from the vendor and getting used to that kind of a pattern. When you are constantly having to assimilate to something new, it becomes easier for you need to adopt a vendor delivered functionality. That's really key to using this product successfully.