Infor buying Lawson helpful in Canadian market: analyst
Alpharetta, Ga.-based Infor Global Solutions Inc., the enterprise resource marketing vendor that recently bid $1.8 billion for Lawson Software, has Canadian offices in Vancouver and Toronto. If successful, the bid could help bolster Infor’s presence north of the border, especially considering the toughness of the Canadian market, thinks one analyst.

Michelle Warren, founder and president of Toronto-based MW Research and Consulting, said the Canadian space is a tough enough geography in which to compete, but acquiring the St. Paul, Minn.-based company, versus building organically, will help Infor.


“It’s probably a good thing for the Canadian market,” said Warren.

The Canadian ERP market, specifically, is dominated by big players. And while Infor is pretty large, Warren said it’s not exactly an SAP AG.

That said, not being a tier one company in Canada isn’t exactly a bad thing, considering it’s a market of predominantly small-to-medium businesses where large companies can prove “quite expensive and almost overkill,” said Warren.

George Goodall, senior research analyst with London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group Ltd., said Infor’s culture of acquisition has, over time, resulted in the build-up of a “pretty good” presence for the company, including in Canada.

Many of Infor’s products have good presence among Canadian customers as well, said Goodall. Bell Canada is one customer of Infor’s customer relationship management software.

Infor’s acquisitions in Canada are Geac Computer Corp., a maker of ERP, in 2006 and Workbrain Corp., a maker of workforce management software, in 2007.

But while winning the bid for Lawson Software will be good for Infor, Goodall doesn’t think it will bring about a drastic overall change to the Canadian ERP market. The short list for ERP software already usually includes the heavyweights, Oracle Corp. and SAP, as well as Microsoft Corp. and Infor.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a big shakeup per say,” said Goodall.

Other ERP players in the Canadian market that are doing well include Unit 4, particularly on the West coast, Goodall pointed out.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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