Infor seeks to strengthen cloud footing with $675M GT Nexus buy

Its efforts in the retail supply chain could get an especially significant boost

Infor made a $675 million bid to bolster its cloud and supply-chain management capabilities Tuesday with the announcement that it will acquire global order-management platform provider GT Nexus.

The deal, said to be the second largest in Infor's history, is expected to close within 45 days.

Because GT Nexus is a fully cloud-based supply-chain platform, it will help Infor to accelerate its shift from on-premises software to true multitenant cloud, said Paul Hamerman, a Forrester Research analyst. "It also aligns well with Infor's focus on manufacturing industries."

GT Nexus' global trade and logistics software is designed to let companies in industries like retail, fashion and manufacturing to collaborate with global suppliers and optimize shipments to customers, distribution centers and retailers.

Founded in 1998 and based in California, GT Nexus has a network that integrates directly into buyers' and suppliers' order-management systems and allows buyers to transmit order information through GT Nexus to their suppliers, financial institutions, freight carriers and logistics providers.

Some 25,000 businesses use the technology to manage more than $100 billion in goods each year. GT Nexus customers include Adidas, Caterpillar, Columbia Sportswear, DHL, Home Depot, Levi Strauss, Maersk, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble and UPS.

The union of the two companies will let Infor offer customers a global commerce cloud that gives them "end to end" control and visibility for the production of direct goods, according to Infor.

In that sense, it will give Infor stronger footing in its bid to compete in the cloud with the likes of Oracle and SAP.

The acquisition will open up new opportunities for Infor customers, said Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst with Constellation Research.

That's particularly true in the retail industry, which has been a key focus of the company's recent efforts, he noted.

"This focus on the retail supply chain is an important piece of the Infor puzzle," he said. "This is an area that Infor has expressed a strong desire to become a major player in. With this news, it might just achieve that goal."

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Tags business issuesapplicationsenterprise resource planningInforsoftwarecloud computingindustry verticalsinternetMergers and acquisitionssupply chain managementretailGT Nexus

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Katherine Noyes

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