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Infor releases first in string of tie-in applications for Salesforce.com

Infor Everywhere pulls ERP data into Salesforce.com's CRM system

Infor on Monday launched Inforce Everywhere, the first in a series of planned software products that will tie its ERP (enterprise resource planning) applications to Salesforce.com.

The release stems from a partnership between Salesforce.com and Infor that was announced in September. Everywhere, which is built on top of Salesforce.com's Force.com development platform, pulls data such as invoices and shipments from Infor ERP systems into Salesforce.com's CRM application, synchronizing the information with customer contacts, sales quotes and other associated data points.

Inforce Everywhere is sold via subscription at US$30 per user per month.

Other applications in the works include Inforce Ordering, an order management application that will allow Salesforce.com CRM users to create quotes and orders and then push them into back-end systems.

Overall, the companies' partnership, which also involves an investment in privately held Infor by Salesforce.com, has mutual benefits, according to one observer.

While Infor has its own CRM software in the form of Epiphany, that product is more for marketing campaigns than sales force automation, where Salesforce.com is strong, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.

Infor is also reselling Salesforce.com CRM. "The main thing about this deal is really the fact that Infor realizes they're not going to rebuild sales force automation," Wang said.

Instead, Infor is tying Epiphany into Salesforce.com's Force.com platform and partner ecosystem, providing cross-selling opportunities, Wang said. Epiphany is associated with an upcoming application called Inforce Marketing.

Linking up with Salesforce.com also gives Infor a sense of hipness, given how closely associated Salesforce.com is with cloud computing and newer software categories, Wang added.

Meanwhile, by building a relationship with Infor, Salesforce.com gets its platform integrated with more companies' core transactional systems.

Salesforce.com's investment in Infor notwithstanding, the vendor also has close ties to Workday, maker of cloud-based ERP software. This isn't surprising, Wang said. "They've always wanted to have multiple dance partners for ERP," Wang said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is [email protected]

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