Enterprise applications developer Infor is hoping to encourage some of its 70,000 customers onto a new application integrator middleware platform, ION, by offering heavy discounts to programmes and starter bundles that aim to aid migration.
ION, which stands for an intelligent open network, was released in June last year and underpins Infor's core strategy going forward. It operates as an open standards middleware platform that aims to make integrating disparate Infor and third party applications easy for enterprises.
Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor, explained the importance of ION at the company's main customer conference in Denver this week.
“ION is a simplified integration platform for enterprise applications based on Extensible Markup Language (XML),” said Phillips.
“XML is basically a document standard, and the Open Applications Group has defined business transactions in it. So XML is standards based and there is a document for inventory, for customer, for invoice etc. We have adopted all of these and that's the basis for our integration standard,” he added.
Phillips went on to explain that this made the middleware product, ION, “lightweight” compared to previous platforms that were available. This is because middleware previously took transactions in their native format and undertook a complicated transformation, it had to understand every application, every protocol and every format.
Whereas, with ION, companies are now able to integrate applications by simply exchanging XML documents.
However, Phillips admits that Infor only has a few hundred customers using ION at the moment and was not willing to estimate how many customers he expects to migrate to the new platform over the next few years.