The Infor ERP ION API – Why It Helps

    11/18/20 10:00 AM

    erp-ion-api

    Having interoperability is critical and Infor APIs allow for this

    Infor is somewhat different than other ERP providers in that it tries to provide as complete a solution as possible with Infor supported, developed, and enhanced applications. Other ERP systems often rely on third-party applications using point interfaces or APIs. An API, short for application programming interface, basically allows for different software applications to work together by virtue of pushing and receiving data between each other. The ability to leverage APIs is important because it provides the ability to use other, third-party systems to exchange data and communicate with the host ERP system in order to build out business functionality.

    Oftentimes, those evaluating software do not understand what they are actually seeing during a demonstration because of how ERP providers and resellers can very smoothly show multiple software applications, and make them appear to be a single solution by leveraging the APIs. Those demonstrating these products are well-trained professionals with the primary goal of enticing you to purchase the software they are showing. The cold, hard realities become evident after the sales process and once the implementation begins. It becomes apparent that many assumptions made by the consumer are inaccurate—and then the reality sets in that a significant number of third-party products are needed to have the complete solution they desire.

    We have discussed the dangers of a Frankenstein approach that many ERP providers promote under the guise of an “app network,” which makes it sound like a positive, when its fact it is a weakness. Infor integration abilities should be highly considered when comparing new ERP options.

    Strengths of Infor ION API

    What makes Infor different, especially for the small and mid-market, is its long-term strategy of building a portfolio of business systems. This allows Infor to offer a single source, single supported, integrated ERP solution. The pure Infor solution is viewed quite favorably when considering its differentiators, the value provided by virtue of a lower total cost of ownership, and the mitigation of long-term risk.

    How can Infor be able to provide all these benefits? It is because of Infor’s primary API, known as Infor ION.

    Infor ION (Intelligent Open Network) is the medium Infor provides that includes all of their leading ERP applications, including Infor CloudSuite Industrial/SyteLine and Infor VISUAL ERP. ION gives customers a fully integrated suite that addresses all their primary business needs—from a single provider. This is a smart and safe methodology because for every third-party dependent company and provider you bring into your solution mix, you are creating a point of potential failure. The Infor ION API and Infor strategy provides customers with a single, long-term partner.

    Let’s use the Infor CloudSuite Industrial ION API as an example of how Infor can allow you to have an integrated solution.

    Infor CloudSuite Industrial includes many functions provided with Infor OS and the ION tech stack. Valuable applications provided include Infor Document Management, Infor Birst Analytics, Infor Ming.le business collaboration, and the excellent UX provided with the Infor Ming.le homepages. All of the base functionality provided for Infor Cloud users is tightly integrated due to having the Infor ION API suite.

    Other Infor applications that work seamlessly with Infor CloudSuite Industrial because of Infor ION, include Infor CPQ (Configure Price Quote), plus Infor PLM, Infor CRM, and Infor Expense Management.

    Infor VISUAL ERP leverages ION for integration with Infor CRM, Infor CPQ, and Infor Quality Management, as well.

    Other ERP providers typically require some kind of vendor-provided connection with non- standard interfaces built as a service engagement. With Infor it simply is part of the application ecosystem.

    However, the Infor ION APIs do allow you to communicate with other systems that may make sense, like a parent company on SAP or Oracle. Check out this quick video about Infor ERP integration capabilities.

    Risk Mitigation

    Infor ION makes Infor a safer choice for those looking at ERP applications. It is simple to see that having one source for an ERP system makes more sense than trying to marry different applications together from various providers. An ERP system is no different than buying a car…you don’t buy a car from the dealer and then go to a smaller service shop to put in the air conditioner, and then another place to put in the stereo, and another to put in the exhaust. It simply doesn’t make sense from an engineering, support, or long-term maintenance perspective. And for those who do make after-market mods to their vehicle, it often nullifies the manufacturer warranty, and for good reason. Yet, there are software vendors telling prospective buyers that the multi-supplier solution is better. It is not.

    Summary

    Having the Infor ION API as part of Infor CloudSuite Industrial/Syteline and also VISUAL ERP allows Infor users to have safe and smart choices. To learn more about Infor ERP and also how Infor ION works with Infor applications, we are happy to discuss your questions and needs. If you want guidance or want to exchange ideas on how Infor ION can help, please reach out for a free assessment.

    Topics: ERP selection

    Tim O'Brien

    Written by Tim O'Brien

    Tim has over 20 years of successful experience helping companies improve their processes and operations using enterprise software solutions. Those enterprise solutions include Enterprise Resource Planning for manufacturers, Service Management for service oriented companies, and Enterprise Asset Management in the process manufacturing industry.