In contrast to the earlier Horizontal SaaS that serves a single function for a variety of industries, Vertical SaaS focuses on serving the distinct needs of a single industry. As a new-age alternative to traditional SaaS products, it may be designed for a single business need or a suite of functions.
Infor, a global software company that builds SMB and Enterprise ERP software cloud products for industries including Manufacturing, Healthcare, Retail, Hospitality, and Services, has targeted ANZ to be its growth channel in delivering its new Vertical Saas Products to both new and existing customers.
The ERP software company has around a dozen partners in ANZ, with the three largest currently being Sydney-based ComActivity, Christchurch-based EMDA and Melbourne’s Invictus Partners as stated by the Senior Director of partners in Asia Pacific, Liam Ryan, to Reseller News.
According to Ryan, with about 30% of Infor’s total sales coming from the ANZ channel sales, the global company intends to increase it to around 40% over the next three years.
At Infor’s Inforum conference in New Orleans late September, he said:
“I think there are great opportunities for our current partners and moving forward with our recruitment of new partners.”
Reseller partners deliver sales and support and “everything in between”.
“I see a lot of strength both in the direct and the partner businesses with our industry cloud suites. The industry focus and the development we’ve put into our industry cloud suites is where we see significant growth in the markets,” Ryan further explained.
Since 2002, the New York-headquartered Infor has rolled up over 40 significant ERP and other enterprise software providers. Now with over 68,000 customers globally, many customers are still using its legacy products. Infor has also acquired Baan, Lawson, GEAC and supply chain specialist GT Nexus.
As opposed to SAP’s 2025 migration deadline, Infor CEO Kevin Samuelson insisted support for those products would continue as Infor without forcing the customers to shift to the cloud.
SAP has announced that it will continue to support its ERP software until 2025; the deadline for businesses that want support from SAP will need to migrate to S/4HANA, its flagship ERP software.
Samuelson said that its satisfied customers are rather concerned with stability and support than innovation. This is where Infor’s new cloud-based, industry vertical products come in.
Ryan said that aside from the opportunities to move legacy on-premise customers to the cloud, Infor is also eyeing several net new businesses with its vertical cloud suites. He explained:
“We certainly want to look to do enablement with our current partners to grow the footprint to deliver more to both current and new markets but there are certain industries where we will recruit as well, where we need additional coverage.”
He stressed that the strategy is not about recruiting many partners but a handful of industry experts as partners instead.
Ryan cited Infor’s partners, Grant Thronton and Deloitte, as examples of businesses that are very industry-focused. Infor is working with Grant Thornton, a global accounting firm, to develop ANZ’s go-to-market for the healthcare vertical. Deloitte is another global partner of Infor with a big footprint in both Australia and New Zealand.
“There’s somebody that owns that industry. It does become a commercial discussion about how we are going to help that person grow the business and how we can partner to move forward,” Ryan emphasized.