The company that bills itself as the world's third-largest ERP vendor behind SAP and Oracle has enlarged the "channel-only zone" of end-user accounts off limits to its direct sales force.
Infor, which made a spate of acquisitions in the late noughties, unified its 13 siloed partner programmes under the Infor Partner Network banner last June and was in London today to talk up its channel progress.
Jeff Abbott, vice president of global alliances and channels, told ChannelWeb Infor's channel revenue is up 28 per cent year on year and that the average number of products its partners sell has more than doubled from three to seven.
The vendor has responded to this by widening the number of accounts its partners can attack under its account segmentation scheme, introduced a year ago.
In EMEA, Infor has hoisted the ceiling of the channel-only zone to include firms with a turnover of up to $100m (£62m). The limit previously varied across the region but was $80m in the UK.
Similarly, the ceiling of the "co-exist zone" – which is open to both partners and Infor's direct sales reps – has been raised to $500m, up from $300m in the UK. The "direct zone" now encompasses only firms with a turnover of more than $500m.
"This is a recognition of partners' rapid growth and of the doubling of the number of products they are carrying," Abbot said.
Abbott said partners traditionally sold only one or two of its core products, such as its M3, LN and SyteLine ERP offering or SunSystems accounting software, as well as its reporting package.
"Now they are adding our strategic applications such as enterprise asset management, supply chain management and performance management, as well as our ION middleware," he added.
In line with how Infor now presents its direct sales force, the vendor wants partners to align themselves by micro-vertical, in return for which they will net extra market development funds.
Abbott said Infor is on course to reach its goal of doubling channel sales over three years, with the direct-indirect split currently standing at 75-25.
"Gross margins on the channel business are higher than direct," he explained.
Abbott claimed the direct-versus-indirect account segmentation strategy would be respected due to three measures the vendor has introduced.
First, all leads generated by Infor are distributed strictly in line with the segmentation model, with those in the $100m-$500m co-exist zone handed to either a partner or direct account manager based on who is the "best athlete in the field".
Second, all the rules of engagement and segmentation maps are freely available on Infor's partner portal and third, the vendor conducts a quarterly audit which sees "any misbehaviour corrected".
"I have not made a lot of friends on the direct sales side. But our senior sales executives now recognise that we are nurturing a professionally managed channel model," said Abbott.
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