(IBM) International Business Machines Partners with Infor

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) in partnership with Infor, a provider of business software and services, has developed a second set of integrated hardware and software solutions that would likely improve profitability and responsiveness for manufacturers.

The new integrated solution is based on IBM’s POWER7 systems and run on IBM i operating systems that combine Infor’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) LX, ERP XA and ERP System21 software. The system is easy to install and efficiently runs the manufacturing processes through automated planning, scheduling and fulfillment. Moreover, the system generates relevant data that would accelerate the process of decision making and reduce administrative costs.

Earlier, IBM had partnered with Infor to develop industry specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software that was used by Puerto Rico Supplied Group, one of the largest distribution companies in Puerto Rico. The installed system improved gross revenue by 10% on-time/in-full deliveries by 23%. Additionally, there was a 44% increase in the productivity of warehouse workers in the packaging of refrigerated products (measured in cases per hour) and 85% for dry products.

The industry specific innovations and initiatives taken by IBM would have a positive impact on the company as clients are looking to streamline their work process, simplify the IT environment and reduce operational as well as administrative costs.

Additionally, we believe IBM’s growing initiatives in the smarter planet, business analytics and cloud computing will drive long-term growth. IBM remains a heavyweight in the cloud computing market and its strong cash balance enables the company to acquire targets with high intellectual property (IP), which will drive further growth.

However, increasing competition from Oracle Corp. (ORCL), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and EMC Corp. (EMC) will likely be a headwind going forward.

We have a long-term (6-12 months) Neutral recommendation on IBM. Currently, IBM has a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.

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