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NetSuite, Infor prep for next phase of growth

July 24, 2015, 5:21 PM UTC
New man: Infor CEO Charles Phillips, at his New York City headquarters.
Courtesy: Mackenzie Stroh

Oracle talks a good game when it comes to handling enterprise resource planning in the cloud, but NetSuite and Infor are strengthening their offense. Both just made significant changes to their management bench on the heels of respectable growth.

At NetSuite, long-time CEO Zach Nelson is ceding the president title to his long-time colleague, COO Jim McGeever. McGeever, who was NetSuite employee No. 15, was also appointed to the board.

NetSuite just recorded a 35% bump in Q2 revenue to $177.3 million, although it lost $32.3 million for the quarter. Its biggest sales strength: growth for its retail, wholesale trade, and manufacturing software applications.

In his new position, McGeever is explicitly accountable for driving NetSuite’s strategy in this area.

Infor, meanwhile, has a new chief financial officer. Jeff Laborde brings significant Wall Street perspective. His resume includes roles at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse First Boston. Laborde’s predecessor, Nicole Anasenes, is leaving the company for unspecified reasons after barely 18 months on the job.

“After investing heavily in research and development to deliver the first set of industry suites delivered in the cloud, Infor is heading into a period of high growth,” said Infor CEO Charles Phillips in a statement. “Jeff Laborde, with his extensive background in technology finance, is a perfect fit to help guide Infor through this next phase in the evolution of the company.”

Infor, backed by private equity and public debt, recorded a 12% increase in revenue for its latest fiscal year. The company boasts the addition of 2,900 new customers in the past 12 months, including “500 competitive wins against legacy vendors SAP and Oracle.”

One reason Infor is making a dent lies in its sales team structure: geographic regions are downplayed in favor of industry specialists. The cloud software company also differentiates by “co-innovating” with customers to develop features unique to their processes—such as pricing techniques or project management considerations, Phillips told Fortune during an interview in late June.

“We have figured out how to do that efficiently, where we’ll build things that not all customers can use, only customers in that industry. … We can take things that look like they are nuanced by industry, package those application, and turn it into a cloud service,” he said.

In exchange for sharing its ideas, a company might pay less for licensing or for maintenance and support. “Now they have something is modern and exciting and can change their business. It’s that or stay on the old stuff for 30 years,” Phillips said.

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