The Future of Infor LN
Infor LN is an ERP product offered by Infor both on-premises and in the cloud to meet discrete manufacturers' visibility and functionality needs. Infor LN is the core ERP at the heart of several Infor industry CloudSuites: CloudSuite Automotive, CloudSuite Aerospace & Defense, CloudSuite Engineer & Construction, and CloudSuite Industrial Enterprise. Infor continues to develop last-mile capabilities for these cloud environments delivered as a multi-tenant cloud solution on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The future of Infor LN on-premises is of concern to legacy users who will need to evaluate the viability of their on-premises legacy solution due to current support policies. Migration to the current on-premises version (LN 10.8) or to an Industry CloudSuite is not necessarily an obvious choice for all legacy customers, so Infor LN customers may find themselves vetting other comparable products in the market.
History of Infor LN
Originally developed by Baan Corporation as Baan ERP, Infor LN has gone through multiple variations. Baan Corporation’s founders aimed to provide financial and administrative consulting and developed their first software package. The Baan IV version was released back in 1996. Invensys, a UK automation, controls, and process solutions group, purchased Baan Corporation in June 2000 and added it to its Software and Services division.
In June 2003, Invensys sold its Bann Unit to SSA Global Technologies, which rebranded Baan ERP to SSA ERP LN and released SSA ERP LN 6.1 in August 2005. Ultimately in May 2006, Infor Global Solutions acquired SSA Global Technologies and Infor changed the product to Infor LN. Then, in 2014, Infor released their first industry CloudSuite based on Infor LN, CloudSuite Automotive, with the other industry CloudSuites soon to follow, with industry-specific capabilities for each including analytics, business processes, and implementation accelerators.
The Roadmap for Infor LN
Every on-premises product offered by Infor falls under the General Product Lifecycle Policy, which outlines the tiers of support and maintenance. On-premises products always fall under Mainstream Maintenance, Extended Maintenance, or Sustaining Maintenance (for a full guide to Infor’s maintenance policy, click here).
On June 30, 2021, Infor ended Extended Maintenance for specific versions of LN and Baan ERP (those versions 10+ years old - released in 2012 or older) and announced Sustaining Maintenance would continue for a currently undetermined period of time. Some instances of Extended or Sustaining Maintenance for older versions in the Infor LN family of solutions may require additional fees and this support will not provide hotfixes for emerging issues, only pre-existing fixes at the Sustaining level.
Infor LN 10.2.1 and older versions of the application reached the end of Extended Maintenance on June 30, 2021. For now, newer versions of Infor LN still receive Extended Maintenance. As of 2021, Infor had encouraged users to upgrade to Infor LN 10.7 on-premises or one of the industry CloudSuites to take advantage of new capabilities and the latest technologies.
While Infor LN and the CloudSuites still receive regular updates to meet certain industry requirements and compliance (Infor released the latest on-premises version 10.8 in March 2023 and the CloudSuites have feature releases every 6 months and bug fixes monthly), some customers cannot complete these upgrades in an over-customized environment, so Infor is pushing clients to adopt its new cloud application. Many times, legacy products were implemented when the company was vastly different and implementation consultants regularly altered core code making easy and smooth upgrades near impossible. Customizations, bolt-ons, and manual workarounds may not work in the new cloud version, leaving the customer with the need to rebuild and integrate other solutions that may or may not work with the new product or take a look at implementing the best practices built into the latest versions of Infor’s industry CloudSuites. At ERP Advisors Group, we help companies assess whether the software publisher’s upgrade path is the best path forward or not.
The Future of Infor LN & Options Moving Forward
Infor has put its products on a cloud adoption trajectory and is encouraging customers to move to their go-forward industry CloudSuites based on Infor LN in the discrete manufacturing market. Clients on Infor LN can look to upgrade to Infor LN 10.8, migrate to an industry CloudSuite from Infor, evaluate other Infor or competitive applications, or continue to use older/legacy solutions such as unsupported versions of LN (although, this is highly discouraged).
Remaining stagnant on an outdated legacy application leaves your company open to significant risk, especially when you are unable to receive upgrades to meet industry standards or financial and operational compliance. Legacy technology limits growth as well as an organization’s ability to protect information from cybersecurity attacks. Our expert consultants at ERP Advisors Group meet with clients daily who are on legacy applications that inhibit their company’s growth opportunities. We highly encourage legacy application customers to reevaluate their organizational requirements to determine the right path forward. If your organization is confronting the need for an ERP upgrade or change, contact ERP Advisors Group for a free consultation.
*Infor industry CloudSuites are built on Infor LN and utilize the Infor OS Cloud Operating Platform and include Infor ION, allowing easy integration with other Infor and third-party systems. These benefits mitigate the risks and difficulties associated with migrating from on-premises to the cloud. This is a great option for users who are happy with their Infor applications and would like to upgrade to the most modern version of their current system; however, we do recommend evaluating your needs before making this decision.