Archives for September 2018

Oracle trolls Infor by sending free Tesla taxis to rival’s software show

By Ben Ames | September 26, 2018 | 11:32 AM

Some good-natured heckling has broken out in the usually staid market for enterprise computing products. Tech firms usually ignore each other when their competitors hold conferences, even taking care to refer to other companies with a passing reference to their headquarters’ home state or to the color of their logo.

So New York-based business software vendor Infor expected the typical ground rules to hold when it opened the doors for its Inforum user conference in Washington, D.C. this week. However, rival enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management (HCM) vendor Oracle Corp. had other ideas.

First, Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle started poking at Infor with Twitter posts proclaiming “Don’t be misINFORmed about #retail.” The message included a link to a pointed Oracle blog post titled “Be Informed About Infor: 6 Reasons Yesterday’s ERP Can’t Deliver for Your Business.”

Next, Oracle marched right up to Infor’s doorstep by sending a fleet of bright red Tesla sedans to the taxi line outside the Inforum convention center. Offering free cab rides to pick up conventioneers exiting the show, Oracle had wrapped the trendy cars with the marketing message “MisINFORmed? Get the cloud facts. Oracle.com/realcloud."

Oracle even launched a social media campaign to promote the stunt, posting a tweet that read “#Inforum2018 attendees, the #OracleFreeRides Tesla X’s are all charged up and ready to take you to the Convention Center or wherever you need in DC. Tweet @OracleFreeRides to book a ride."

To be sure, Infor is not shy about seeking publicity—the company has inked endorsement deals this year with the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, PGA’s Brooks Koepka, tennis player Jack Sock, Ferrari race cars, and Triumph motorcycles, Infor CEO Charles Phillips said in a keynote session at his show. So the marketing feud may benefit both sides. And in case the other ERP and HCM players are feeling left out, don’t worry… Oracle also sent its Teslas to Microsoft Corp.’s Ignite developers’ conference being held this week in Orlando.

Infor user conference features trumpets, tubas, and trombones

By Ben Ames | September 26, 2018 | 10:27 AM

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Attend enough IT trade shows and you’ll quickly become accustomed to the soundtrack of thumping pop songs that preview the arrival of company executives on a keynote stage.

So it was unusual when business software provider Infor strayed from that script at its Inforum user conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday. Even as the standard radio fare piped over large speakers, the crowd was distracted by the sight of a live marching band dressed in full regalia in the cavernous halls of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

A moment later, the group unleashed thundering drums, sizzling brass, and high-stepping dance moves as they marched in full uniform past the array of interlocked chairs and water bubblers. This was the renowned “Showtime Band” from Washington, D.C.-based Howard University, and they are more accustomed to marching at college football halftime shows and presidential inaugurations than at business conferences.

But it turns out that Infor CEO Charles Phillips is a graduate of Hampton University, a rival school located just down the road in nearby Hampton, Va. Having seen Howard’s “Showtime Band” march many times in the past, he decided to invite them to the Inforum show when the conference chose a D.C. location, Phillips said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

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