Infor Case Study
Enterprise ERP Company, Infor, Models Customer Engagement in Their B2B User Community
Infor, the world’s third largest provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is growing, expanding, and managing their complex array of user groups, sub-communities, and advisory boards with the Socious platform.
Infor needed a way to host 14 industry council boards, 7-8 user groups, and 29 product groups under a single community umbrella.
With Socious’s online community software Infor can create multiple community segments to service different audiences, and provide an array of customer participation opportunities.
Infor has increased customer engagement, improved products through customer innovation, added value, and increased cross-promotion of their products.
“I couldn’t really promote things, I couldn’t help customers do event management, which is a big thing for them. Socious checked all those boxes for me, plus the customers could share documents.”Toni Kennedy
About the Organization
Infor is the world’s third largest provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. This is the software that companies use to manage employees, suppliers, and customers, as well as pay bills and collect funds from their customers all in one system.
Infor was founded in 2002. Over the years, the company grown through acquisitions of smaller companies. This steady growth has resulted in numerous product lines. They have strong customer bases for these product lines around the world—serving major industries including manufacturing, health care, fashion, and retail.
Companies of all sizes use Infor ERP software to run the back offices of their business.
The vision for Infor’s products argues against a one software for all approach. Instead, Infor is out to build software with a user-centric approach. The people behind these solutions striving to make Infor’s platforms look good and function in a way that is intuitive. Infor prides themselves on having quality solutions that support business objectives across numerous micro-verticals.
Due to rapid company acquisition, Infor had numerous and diverse product lines. Having multiple user communities under one parent company umbrella created confusion amongst multiple user groups.
Each product line and user group was an individual community. Thus, there was no way to promote products and promotes across the entire Infor community.
The customer portal didn’t support the dynamic needs of user groups. For example, the system had only a static calendar that could not be updated often and in a timely manner. Infor was unable to provide customers with updated information and give all users in their communities visibility to that information.
Having acquired so many companies with diverse customers, Infor couldn’t identify and manage their numerous online communities and user groups across the company. Infor hosts over fourteen industry council boards, seven or eight user group advisory boards, and 29 product groups represented.
How has Socious helped?
Managing Multiple Communities
Infor continues to grow and expand their company through acquisition, resulting in diversified product offerings and audiences. The Socious platform offers a solution that manages their complex array of user groups, sub-communities, and advisory boards.
Dynamic Customer Engagement
In addition to offering customers a shared calendar, they also offer file sharing, user group discussions, and product feedback tools to their user group communities. Infor leverages the Socious platform to survey their customers and keep an eye on the health of their customer communities. With the Socious user community platform, Infor can now both engage their most active customer advocates, as well as provide that tool to empower and grow each individual user group.
Product Innovation Through Collaboration
Infor has five product lines using Socious’s built-in product enhancement tools to collect feature requests and crowdsource new product ideas. By entering all the enhancement requests in one system, as well as allowing customers to vote, “like,” and comment on them, Infor is able to bring innovations to market faster and validate product ideas with the customers more easily.
Infor’s product management teams can analyze that valuable market data, ask additional questions, and see what product ideas are most essential to their customer base. This customer feedback helps Infor’s product teams prioritize their product road map and align their solutions with their market’s challenges with more accuracy.
Adding Value to the Product
Offering customers access to active user groups gives Infor a competitive advantage. The online community enables customers to connect with their peers, get support, and exchange best practices. Infor sees positive responses, both the executive team and Infor users appreciate the new engagement opportunities that they didn’t have before.
Cross Promotion of Products
The Socious online community platform allows Infor to cross promote all their different products and services to specific customer communities. Most customers weren’t aware that Infor has 29 different product groups with active user groups supporting them. Having all of these customer groups in one online community platform enables Infor to create additional revenue opportunities by helping users to discover new solutions.