What to expect from Inforum 2018

It’s not every be company that gets to call its annual conference and user symposium after itself.

IBMference doesn’t work, Dellevent is silly and Oraclefest sounds too much like a German bierhaus party… even VMworld and Dreamforce are somewhat ‘forced extensions’ of the original vendor name.

Happily for Infor, none of those issues arise and Inforum is (arguably) the most logically and comfortably labelled tech event on the circuit.

With Inforum 2018 slated for this September 2018, what can we expect?

Let’s just remind ourselves who and what Infor is first.

Infor is a New York-headquartered vendor of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), supply chain, customer relationship, data analytics and enterprise management software that has a definite and direct focus on the cloud computing model of service-based IT delivery.

The company has acquired over forty other software companies since its 2002 founding with names including: Birst, Accentia, Merit Consulting Group, PeopleAnswers, EasyRMS, Lawson Software, Starmount and Predictix.

Infor is known for its software offerings in industry sectors such as food and beverage, process manufacturing, distribution and healthcare. Indeed, the company describes itself as a “provider of industry-specific cloud applications” in those exact terms.

Themes & AI dreams

When it comes to its flagship customer event, Infor loves a theme.

The 2016 Inforum was all about being ‘Designed for Progress’ and had COO Pam Murphy arrive on stage on a Triumph motorcycle. Then 2017 was focussed on Networked Intelligence and saw Katherine Coleman Johnson receive a standing ovation as the Infor AI was named in her honour.

For 2018 Inforum will focus on the theme of Human Potential and ‘explore the limitless possibility of human achievement’. This will be personified by attendances from NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, best-selling author Van Jones and Pullitzer-winning Jared Diamond.

Diamond’s session in particular is billed as follows: Jared Diamond’s session will take the audience on a journey through some of the most profound evolutionary questions of our time: why do some societies prosper while others die? … and what can we learn from the collective history of every human society?

Big up the AI

We expect Infor to major heavily once again on AI.

In 2017 we saw Infor president Duncan Angove call AI ‘the new steam engine’ and he talked up the potential to change the way humans think, act, feel, work and play by allowing a person or group to do more.  In the real world, that translates to productivity and efficiency gains and we are hopeful for customer references to bear out the hype.

Infor also promises Nearly 1,000 sessions focused on specific products and key industries to learn from experts, connect with peers and share knowledge and experience.

Infor’s complete product sets spans: Customer Experience Management, Enterprise Asset Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Configure Price Quote, Product Lifecycle Management, Service Management & Supply Chain Management.

Products include Infor ION purpose-built middleware, Infor Ming.le business collaboration software, Infor Analytics for business intelligence, Infor CloudSuite a software deployment platform and Infor Mongoose for application development.

The company has put on Lenny Kravitz as the celebration night too, so Mr Cab DriverAre You Gonna Go Infor’s Way?

The event hashtag is #inforum2018

Image: Infor

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