Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor, today highlighted the ugly look and feel associated with most enterprise applications, teasing the efforts of his firm's competitors."

"This screen is SAP," Phillips said as a screenshot came up behind him during his opening keynote speech at the Inforum 2013 conference. "It's taking a foreign order form, and looks like it was designed in the 'eighties. To us, it hasn't changed much in a long time, and yet it's the most popular enterprise software in the world."

Phillips then ran through examples from other vendors. Oracle's efforts look like MS-DOS, he said, while "everything from Microsoft looks like an Excel spreadsheet".

"The bottom line is enterprise software sucks," Phillips insisted. "It does. It's not fun to use, and it's ugly."

Infor hopes to differentiate itself through the look and feel of its products, Phillips said, calling the idea "creating experiences that people love". The firm has been so serious about the idea that it has even set up its own in-house design agency called Hook and Loop. Made up of advertising experts, movie effects buffs and app developers, the agency takes what Infor has and consumerises it to make the user experience more enjoyable.

Good-looking software was not the only thing on the agenda at the Inforum 2013 keynote, however. Plenty of focus was put on the firm's new 10x suite of applications. Phillips also showed of the Ming.le application, which combines business intelligence with social collaboration.

Inforum 2013 continues until Tuesday afternoon. The firm has promised a number of product launches throughout the two-day event.