Survival of the Fastest - Manufacturing Challenge

Duncan Angove is president of products and support at Infor. Here he gives his views on the importance of speed in business.

Infor says speed is a competitive weapon. Why?

We believe that speed—not just scale—is the new basis for competition. It’s no longer about how big a company is; it’s about how fast you can execute. You may never be able to out-scale a competitor, but you can outrun them. Doing something faster than your competition is one of the most important things you can do to stay ahead of the game.


Our goal is to make sure you can move as quickly as possible. Whether it’s being first to market with a new product or providing the fastest delivery in your industry, speed wins.

How does Infor help companies gain speed?

When you look at it, technology has always been a driver of speed. Technology determines the speed at which decisions get made; how responsive your supply chains are; and the rate you get product to market. Technology has also driven an explosion of information and is now changing what we expect in terms of speed and access to information.

Our strategy is founded on three development principles that allow our customers to gain speed.  

The first is to build enterprise applications that are deeply specialized by industry. Software that’s designed to solve the specific issues in an industry can be deployed faster and with fewer time-sapping modifications.

The second is to build all our applications on an open, standards-based technology platform called Infor ION. Because Infor ION is based on industry standards, you can plug in Infor applications or third-party applications more easily—it makes your software as agile as your business. But it’s not just about integration. The foundation provided by Infor ION includes business process modeling built right into the core, which means you can quickly change your system to mirror a new or more efficient way of working.

Finally, and most importantly, we are delivering a completely new consumer-grade user experience that fundamentally changes the way people work.

What do you mean by a consumer-grade user experience?

If you think about it, the most compelling and innovative technology advances over the last several years have originated in the world of consumer devices. Mobile device apps and social networking are two that jump to mind.   


Internet sites and mobile apps feature rich images and media, intuitive search capabilities, and they’re highly personalized. Online shopping has evolved from order placement and payment processing just a few years ago to a completely different experience, where the applications predict and make recommendations on what you want to buy. The actual process of placing an order has been simplified to a single button-press. And it’s all beautifully designed so that it’s a rewarding experience.

By contrast, business applications have fallen behind. With our latest releases of our applications, we’ve brought these elements from the consumer world to our business applications—beautiful but functional user interfaces; smart and predictive analytics; even core application functionality accessible on a mobile device. Features once reserved for personal use now built for business.

What’s next for increasing the speed of business?

Take a look at our deliveries of native-built mobile apps on the Infor Motion platform and Infor SocialSpace. With SocialSpace, we are building a social collaboration engine right into the application. 

You can share business information in real time, receive instant notifications from anywhere in your enterprise, communicate within communities, and stay in touch even when you’re out on the road.   

Infor Motion apps and SocialSpace are just two more ways in which our solutions change the way work is done, with an emphasis on communication, collaboration, and speed.