Unlocking the potential of Infor Mulit-tenant Cloud with Infor OS

Sep 14 2021

The Multi-tenant Cloud environment is providing untold opportunity for business. Apart from the oft-stated benefits of cost-reduction, flexibility, scalability and security, and no more upgrades, the Infor Multi-tenant Cloud environment offers a powerful platform which can unify your business applications and give deeper functionality. ComActivity have pioneered the unlocking of this potential of this platform with a comprehensive migration of an on-premise implementation of Infor M3 to a multi-tenant environment

This article gives you some insights from Remco Driessen, one of our Infor technical gurus.

But first, Cloud Basics

(Skip this section if you are up with all things cloud)

We asked Remco for some Cloud Basics – “Put very simply, most applications follow three tier architecture – the user interface, the application layer, and the database layer, where all the records are stored. For ERPs in a traditional full on-premise solution, all these elements are stored in close proximity on your own servers.”

“A few years ago, it goes without saying, the world started to transition to cloud.  If your software is on the cloud, you are a “tenant” of that cloud. If your ERP and supporting infrastructure are not shared by any other companies,  you are on a single-tenant or private cloud. Put simply, a single tenant cloud is your on-premise solution hosted in another location.

If your ERP and supporting infrastructure is supporting many companies, but your data is isolated and invisible to those companies, you are on a multi-tenant cloud, and this is where the real benefits, efficiencies, and cost savings of cloud kick in.”

Remco continues “As businesses start moving to cloud, hybrid cloud implementations started to appear, where the interface and the ERP may have been stored in the cloud, but your own inhouse applications were stored on your local servers. The advantages here were that it removed the requirement for major inhouse infrastructure and reporting, however, it didn’t deliver the full benefits of a true cloud implementation because your solution was spread across multiple servers – your own and externally hosted servers. A key issue is latency – the time delay as communication takes place between your local solutions and the cloud solutions.”

A true multi-tenant environment

Remco explains, “Whilst a hybrid cloud architecture may still be suitable for some organisations for various reasons, an ideal ERP cloud situation is where your custom applications that depend on ERP data is co-located in the same cloud environment that hosts your ERP. This removes the requirement for internal infrastructure from those applications, removes latency because it’s all within the same environment, and you can access the ERP data because it’s in the same network. It gives you more flexibility and reduces cost.

Infor has provided just such an environment within their multi-tenant cloud offering which include several extensibility options. These include M3 H5 SDK, Infor Mongoose and the Homepages Widget SDK. Using these tools you can add your own custom-developed applications, widgets and context apps which run inside the same Infor OS Cloud environment.”

What this means for your users

So what does this mean for business users on a day-to-day basis.  “For business users this means that they don’t need to log onto separate applications, they will use a single sign on and switch seamlessly between applications. Data can be processed back and forth between Infor M3 and your custom-developed business applications run under the Infor OS platform.”

Pioneering the Multitenant Capabilities with Infor OS

The tech team has worked hard in this area “ComActivity have been at the forefront of utilising this leading-edge cloud-based platform, and we have been among the first to leverage the opportunities of Infor OS for customers.

Use Case 1 – Integrating the Customer’s Claim Management System

“In 2019, we moved a large distribution customer from an on-premise Infor M3 implementation to one of the first Infor fully multi-tenant solutions in the world. During this migration we achieved some pioneering leveraging of the Mongoose platform.

“Prior to this migration, we had already developed an on-premise claim management system for the customer. This solution already had good connectivity with the Infor document management (IDM), ION workflows and Ming.le collaboration posts. For example, the customer could easily upload a document from their claim management system to the IDM repository, trigger a claim approval workflow and send Ming.le group posts. The challenge was how to achieve like-for-like functionality for the entire application when it moved from an on-premise environment to a multi-tenant cloud environment.

Users were able to sign onto the Infor system home page and navigate seamlessly between Infor applications and their own custom solutions (shown in red below)

We also provided heavy drill-back functionality across applications. For example, users can click through directly from workflow tasks to claims and from claims to associated documents in IDM. Using Infor Mongoose together with the ION APIs, we were able to seamlessly extend these to the new Cloud CMS.”

Use Case 2 – Enhanced Reporting

Remco describes a recent Fashion implementation in the cloud, “There was a requirement for some complex Purchase Order reporting that didn’t sit natively within M3. To provide this solution, we leveraged the M3 H5 SDK in order to build a custom report.

The users can now access more seamless functionality, and a better user experience in the interface – for example: drop down fields and advanced filtering capability over the data . When it comes time to generate the report, the user can view it first on the screen and then export to excel.

Another method of enhanced reporting we used was context apps connected to M3 functions. Users can view more details about M3 transaction currently selected by checking the context app area. ”

Below is a standard M3 function with context app data developed using the Homepages Widget SDK.

Unlocking the potential of Infor’s Multi-tenant Cloud

Remco summarises, “Utilising the latest Infor OS tools in the Infor Multi-tenant cloud environment will give more flexibility, and better experience for your users. Building in your own custom development in this environment will reduce costs.

ComActivity has been one of the pioneers in unlocking the full potential of the Infor OS platform, which is jam-packed with opportunity for businesses who want to take advantage of the multi-tenant cloud environment.”

If you would like to learn more about Infor’s Multi-tenant Cloud we’d love to speak to you – get in touch.

You might also like to read:

4 ways of Gaining Self-sufficiency in the Infor Multi-tenant Cloud

Tech Blog: The Evolution of Extending M3

ComActivity Infor Cloud Solutions

 

We write about Infor technology, ERP & Cloud news plus host the occasional Webinar.

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