What CloudeSuite Means for SyteLine Users

Date Posted: 11-25-2014
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Hello SyteLine ERP Customers

Some of you may know, or have heard, that the Infor executive team made many announcements about the company and the product portfolio at Inforum 2014 in New Orleans. These announcements created some confusion among the SyteLine user community who attended Inforum, so we are writing with the goal of clarifying the current state of these applications and their future roadmap.

First let’s start with the announcement. At the keynote sessions, Infor Executives announced CloudSuite Business. These products are cloud based solutions hosted in the Amazon Cloud. The key benefits were billed as “a no mod environment” with up to date software with no in house administrative responsibilities required. Infor CloudSuite Industrial (most suited to our industry) is being built using Mongoose and uses features and functions from SyteLine and SunSystems with some influences from VISUAL.

This announcement left many customers wondering what to do next. Am I being pushed to the Cloud with SyteLine? What’s next for SyteLine? Why is Infor merging other applications with SyteLine? After the announcement the SyteLine User Group executives and the CEB had numerous discussions with key Infor employees to get more clarity on this announcement. If you are like us, when we first heard the announcements, there were more questions raised than answers; thus leading to concerns about the future direction of SyteLine. After building some clarify around Infor’s direction we are now excited for the future and strongly believe you will be excited too.

Why is Infor merging SyteLine with other Infor applications?

This is a more complicated answer. Over the years Infor has acquired many companies and as a result of these acquisitions there are overlaps in product lines. A good example of this is in the SMB Manufacturing ERP market. Infor has 3 products: SUN Systems, SyteLine and VISUAL all of which share in this market space. A deeper look into the core functionality of these products shows there’s about an 85% overlap in functionality. If this was your business would you look to merge the products? I think the answer in many cases would be yes and that is what Infor is looking to do, except that they are merging these into a product suite called CloudSuite. To that end Infor are taking the best of all three products and merging them into one product. As customers we will have the opportunity to derive the benefits of SUN System’s superior GL and financial analytical tools, VISUAL’s document life cycle and manufacturing window merged with SyteLine’s technology platform (Mongoose). There are many other features and benefits we just chose to name a few key features here. But this doesn’t mean that SyteLine, Sun Systems or VISUAL development will fall off. For example, keen observers of the SyteLine roadmap will have noticed some of these features are being added to the SyteLine product. Another advantage of combining these products into a CloudSuite is via the consolidation of Infor development, engineering and support resources which in turn will benefit us as customers.

But the burning question from many: Am I being forced to the Cloud?

The short answer is NO. First let’s puts some more clarity around CloudSuite. Infor CloudSuite is the umbrella term that describes all of Infor’s Cloud business. Examples of individual products offered through Infor CloudSuite include Expense Management, CRM, Enterprise Asset Management and more. There are really many CloudSuite products all using the same codebase but with different industry focused menus and highlighted features. As an example CloudSuite Business is for the light industrial market where the customer has some light assembly work but more of a need for financials, procurement and order entry. CloudSuite Automotive is focused on the automotive sector with EDI hooks, quality modules, customer managed inventory, etc. For existing, or new SyteLine customers, you could consider CloudSuite Industrial. The CloudSuite Industrial product is geared to manufacturers who are Engineer to Order, Make to Order, Configure to Order, repetitive, Make to Stock, etc. There are 3 options to run CloudSuite products:

  • Multi-tenant in Amazon Cloud. The first offering is the no mods option Infor spoke of at the keynote session. This option has no access to the server or SQL level. You can still add tables/fields to the database, create personalizations and create IDOs by using the CloudSuite application. You however cannot create stored procedures or touch the SQL layer. Multi-tenant is the no administration for a low cost option. Multi-tenant customers share space on servers with other customers.
  • Single tenant also hosted on the Amazon Cloud. The customer has complete access to the server only on a remote bases. They have access to the server and SQL level just like an on premise installation. This is a higher cost than the multi-tenant but less administration than on premise due to no management of the hardware.
  • On Premise. YES, you can run CloudSuite on premise. Infor currently has no plans to move everyone to the Cloud. Yes, all the Infor marketing will talk about Cloud but the on premise option is still a very viable option. Infor’s strategy is to be a Cloud software company whose software will also run on premise.

What does this mean for SyteLine?

For SyteLine customers there is no change to the core of the product. Infor CloudSuite Industrial is being built using Mongoose, the same platform as SyteLine. As a larger manufacturing community we will see all the best features of SUN Systems, SyteLine and VISUAL.

We hope this article provides some answers to your questions and provides clarity. The future is an extremely bright future for the SyteLine product which is at the top in net new sales and at the core of Infor’s strategy for the future.

As a global SyteLine User Group announcement please reach out to one of the following people in your region:

Ken Kemp (ken.kemp@brentwoodindustries.com) for North America

Jon Hayden (jon.hayden@blatchford.co.uk) for Europe

Michael Plonus (Michael.plonus@dematic.com) for APAC.

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