NEW YORK — When we last heard from Charles Phillips, he was an embattled Oracle executive who resigned in 2010, entangled in an executive power play.
Today, he’s on the precipice of a comeback story that borders on cool revenge.
On Monday, his enterprise-software company, Infor, rolls out Infor Ming.le software — a social business graph that took two years to design. A re-imagination of stolid spreadsheets, it comes with a Twitter-like look in the guise of clearly labeled areas for sales results, tasks, alerts and activity feed. Workflow is depicted in a Timeline-like graphic. The Web version is available, followed by iPad and iPhone in the summer.
Optimized for use on iPads and iPhones, the software is geared for Generation-Y users accustomed to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. “We understand social (media) and wanted a beautiful user interface,” Phillips, who is company CEO, says from Infor’s highly stylized headquarters in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood. “It’s open, yet elegant.”
In Infor, Phillips has one heck of a comeback vehicle to make life hard for Larry Ellison, Oracle’s CEO and his old boss. The company, based here, is the world’s third-largest provider of business applications and services. With more than 70,000 customers in nearly 200 countries — among them, Ferrari, Boeing and Heineken — and 13,000 employees, Infor rang up $2.8 billion in revenue last year, sometimes at the expense of Oracle and SAP.
Infor is “poised to re-emerge as a legitimate third option to the SAP/Oracle Apps duopoly,” says Cowen & Co. analyst Peter Goldmacher.