Monday, December 19, 2011

The Oracle years: Charles Phillips’ mistress in the industry

Today, Oracle is one of the largest enterprise software companies in the industry. Much of this milestone was made possible by Charles Phillips, whose mistress had been the company itself for seven years. During his tenure, the company grew by leaps and bounds, eventually challenging the then-sole industry leader SAP for a share of the markets.

From Charles Phillips

Before Charles Phillips, Oracle had been growing steadily but slowly for eight years. The less-than-stellar acquisitions it did make were relatively minor ones, consisting of small-name companies. This all changed when Phillips was named president of the company by CEO Larry Ellison. The company shifted gears for a more aggressive attitude toward acquisitions, beginning with the purchase of PeopleSoft in 2005 for $10.3 billion.

From Charles Phillips

In the seven years that Oracle had been Charles Phillips’ mistress, it had made great strides in terms of growth. The company’s revenues grew up to 300%; profits from sales reached $26.8 billion in 2010. The foundations laid by Phillips in Oracle led to the company’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, by far the pinnacle of its growth in the industry, shortly after he had left.

From Charles Phillips

Currently, Phillips is the CEO of Infor, where he is joined by three other former Oracle executives. He plans to continue his legacy at his new company and aims to make it join Oracle and SAP at the top of the industry.

More information on Charles Phillips and his old mistress Oracle is available on his Facebook page.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Charles Phillips: Committed to excellence

There’s getting the job done, and getting the job done right. To achieve the latter is Charles Phillips’ goal, which he continues to pursue to this day. Phillips’ commitment to the pursuit of excellence has its roots in his days in the military. He owes his management style to his experience as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, which he carried over when he entered the world of business. In addition, he had been described as a “products man,” specializing in selling and improving innovative software products.

From Charles Phillips

Excellence having made the impression as Charles Phillips’ mistress, paved the way for many other things. Phillips was once president of Oracle, now one of the two giants of the enterprise software industry; in his term he had expanded the company through many quick and strategic acquisitions and mergers. This performance is what he hopes to emulate in Infor.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Charles Phillips’ Infor is a company whose main driving force has been innovation. Now at the helm, Phillips hopes to up the ante for the company to attain its current goal: to be the third major player in the industry. He aims to achieve this through innovative tweaks in the company’s products as well as quick and aggressive acquisitions.

Whether it’s through better software applications or effective management, the quest for excellence never rests for Charles Phillips.

From Charles Phillips Photos

More information is available on his Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oracle, SAP, Infor: Three's a crowd

Stamper Published 29 November 2011

Former Oracle president and US Marines captain Charles Phillips has taken
the reins at the third-largest enterprise applications company, Infor. So
what is his strategy for the firm in the era of cloud computing, and would
he share his thoughts on Oracle's moves since he left? Jason Stamper finds

There are not many technology CEOs quite like Charles 'Chuck' Phillips.
Prior to a career on Wall Street that saw him rise to managing director of
Morgan Stanley, Phillips was a captain in the United States Marines Corp.

"One of the advantages of military services early on in life is that you get
a chance to develop a leadership style and understand organisational
dynamics at a young age," Phillips says of the experience.

He's certainly needed that leadership style. From the managing director role
at Morgan Stanley he was plucked by Oracle chief Larry Ellison to become
Oracle president in 2003. It's a position he held for seven years, while in
2009 the was appointed as a member to the President's Economic Recovery
Advisory Board to provide President Barack Obama and his administration with
advice and counsel regarding the economy, in such high esteem was he held.

In October last year
he took the CEO role at the ERP, CRM
and SCM applications firm, Infor.

During his seven years at Oracle he had a dramatic impact. In the eight
years before he joined, Oracle had made only minor acquisitions, small firms
like Steltor, Indicast, NetForce - not exactly household names.

But with Phillips on board it was a different story. In 2005 Oracle bought
PeopleSoft for $10.3bn, followed shortly after by retail apps firm Retek for
$630m. That same year it snapped up banking applications company i-flex for
$900m, and then in 2006 Siebel for just shy of $6bn. The acquisitions kept
on coming: Hyperion, BEA Systems and many more.

Phillips played a key role in these, believing Oracle needed to diversify
rapidly and help to consolidate the market, building an entire 'stack' of
software and hardware that would eventually see it buy Sun Microsystems

shortly after Phillips left.

While he was in the president's seat, Oracle experienced revenue growth of
300%. He and Ellison's strategy certainly seems to have paid off so far: for
fiscal 2010 Oracle enjoyed total sales of $26.8bn, up 15% year-on-year
including the effect of acquisitions.

None of that matters to Phillips now, of course. Asked whether he believes
Oracle was right to buy hosted CRM player RightNow
last month, he says: "I can only speak for Infor, so all I
can say is we will continue to make a few acquisitions ourselves, but
balance that with aggressive internal investment." 'Aggressive' is one of
the words you are likely to hear from Phillips quite a bit. That and

The 'Oracle four'
Infor was founded in 2002 under the name Agilisys, in Alpahretta, Georgia,
and today the new company is the result of around 40 acquisitions. It's
privately held, with the majority shareholder being Golden Gate Capital.

There were four senior executives who joined Infor from Oracle late in 2010
and early this year, including Phillips. Duncan Angove came over as
president of products, marketing and support, Pam Murphy is now COO, and
Stephan Scholl is now EVP global field operations. One Infor insider says:
"It almost felt like an Oracle takeover."

So what was their plan? "We started with a three-month deep-dive, detailed
business reviews," says Angove. "Charles [Phillips] is definitely a product
guy, and he was looking at how we set out a compelling roadmap. We'll be
doing different acquisitions, not buying cash but buying products.

"Right from the first three months there was this whole emphasis on speed.
People have been shocked at how fast we have made decisions. For instance,
when we bought Lawson
we closed it on the Tuesday and on the Wednesday we
approved the hiring of 71 new engineers in that business," he adds.

Phillips picks up the theme: "The main focus is accelerating the roadmaps
and delivering products more quickly, modernising applications and
delivering mobile technology in areas that people didn't expect. In the past
10 months we have shipped more new features than the company had seen in the
past three to four years - that type of acceleration in terms of innovation.

"One of the good things about having a team that's worked together for a
long time that has similar approaches is we make decisions quickly, and we
all believe that the pace of business and decision-making has to be faster.
It's a way we can differentiate ourselves."

In its fourth quarter Infor saw sales of $510m, up 10% year-on-year. It's
still a long way off the numbers one and two in this space - Oracle and SAP
- but Phillips is not satisfied with being the number three. "Everybody
always wants to improve," he says. But he does note that it's a large
market, surely large enough to support at least three big players.

Infor 10, ION
As well as the rapid integration of Lawson into the Infor business, the
other major news on the product front recently was the launch in September
of Infor 10. It wasn't just the improvements to the ERP product that was
newsworthy, but also the news around ION Suite, claimed to be a lightweight
middleware layer built into the software that helps to ease any integration
challenges customers would otherwise face.

What is not said, at least publicly, is that this is also clearly designed
to outmanoeuvre Oracle's Fusion Middleware and SAP's NetWeaver middleware

ION is claimed to connect and integrate Infor and non-Infor applications,
storing information in a common format and repository. "ION creates the
mobile, social and flexible enterprise," says Soma Somasundaram, SVP global
product development at Infor. "Because it's lightweight and built using open
standards, ION installs much faster than heavy middleware, and allows
customers to get up and running quickly and efficiently so they can focus on
their core business."

It's clear why ION will be needed - Infor is the result of around 40
acquisitions, and if these products are to be brought together in a
meaningful way, a robust and flexible middleware layer was vital.

As Angove says, Phillips is a product guy as much as a manager. "We want to
be perceived as a company that builds very beautiful applications. We use
the term 'consumer grade UI' in the sense that we want to bring some of the
social computing concepts and interfaces to the way people consume their
applications," he says.

What about cloud computing - what's Infor's story here? "We have a million
subscribers in the cloud today," Phillips claims. "We have a multi-tenant
application suite, CloudSuite, and customers can use that today. What's
unique about our strategy is that the same CloudSuite applications can be
deployed on premise, so customers can decide - they can deploy in a hybrid
fashion, they can still choose to have some locations where they want

So what do the analysts make of all this talk of speed, integration, better
user interfaces and cloud?

For analyst firm Ovum, the outlook for Infor is generally positive. The
company's analyst Somak Roy notes: "Overall, the outlook is promising and
the most important building blocks are already in place, but success will
now depend on the nuts and bolts of execution." Roy also notes that a recent
partnership with is "a big deal".

Summing up how the firm would like to be perceived, Infor's Angove says: "We
have the mindset of a start-up even though we do over $2.5bn revenues. We
want to move fast at scale. It's like the rugby player Jonah Lomu - big but

Ironically perhaps, Ovum's Roy believes the firm needs to calm things down a
little after the numerous initiatives Phillips and his team have been
getting on with: "Infor's success will be good news for the ERP market but
the company should now settle into a period of stability involving
tactical-level changes only."

Whether one believes it is moving too fast or merely taking the fight to
Oracle and SAP - not forgetting other rivals such as Microsoft Dynamics,
Sage, and cloud ERP, CRM and HR rivals like NetSuite, Workday and SugarCRM -
is open to debate. But with Phillips at the helm there are few signs that
the company will be slowing down any time soon.

Don't miss!
Infor or enterprise applications watchers will want to listen to the entire
audio podcast with Charles Phillips and a longer transcript of this
interview at

Phillips also spoke to CBR about Steve Jobs
, and the impact the last Apple boss had on the world
of technology. You can read his thoughts on that here

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Charles Phillips: Businessman and philanthropist

Charles Phillips is famous for two things: his successful career and his philanthropy. He has been blessed with tremendous success in his career – he is the Chief Executive Officer of Infor Global Solutions, a leading business software provider. Through Infor, he helps make a difference in the lives of over 70,000 customers in 164 countries.

Prior to his appointment as Infor CEO, he served as President of another giant corporation, Oracle. Under his leadership, Oracle Corporation experienced phenomenal growth – the company's revenue growth tripled within a few years. He was also responsible for strengthening the company's acquisition strategy, resulting in successful transactions with key industry players such as BEA Systems, Hyperion Solutions, and Siebel Systems.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Despite his busy schedule and his demanding career, Charles Phillips never forgets his social responsibility. He commits a significant amount of his time and resources in his philanthropic endeavors. Together with his wife Karen, he spearheads Phillips Charitable Organizations, a foundation that aims to link disadvantaged parties with people who have the resources and the willingness to provide them with the aid and attention that they deserve. The organization helps African-American single mothers, as well as disadvantaged students who are interested in pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The organization's micro-charities ensure that these parties receive the aid that they need in a timely manner.

From Charles Phillips Photos

More on Charles Phillips may be found on his Facebook page.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A rundown of Charles Phillips' affairs in the IT and financial services industries

Charles Phillips’ affairs in the IT and financial services industries have been nothing but fruitful. His innate intelligence and aptitude for business and information technology and his military background have proven to be a deadly combination. Under his leadership, Oracle Corporation’s revenue growth tripled. He also played a major role in the firm’s successful acquisition strategy, including transactions with key players in the industry such as BEA Systems, Hyperion Solutions, and Siebel Systems. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and sits on the Board of Directors at Infor Global Solutions. The company is a leading provider of business software, servicing over 70,000 customers in 164 countries.

From Charles Phillips Photos

From Charles Phillips Photos

The success of Charles Phillips’ affairs in both the financial services and information technology industries may be attributed to his military background. Following the example of his father, he entered the United States Air Force Academy, one of the most selective colleges in the country, where he earned an undergraduate degree in computer science. Later on, he joined the United States Marine Corps, eventually achieving the rank of Captain as an information technology officer. His military background proved to be a great advantage to his career, and continues to serve him well in leading giant corporations and its numerous employees, as well as in executing brilliant strategies and in making crucial decisions.

From Charles Phillips Photos

More on Charles Phillips may be found on his Twitter page.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The CEO stint of Charles Phillips: A mistress he could afford his brain power, energy, and extended hours

From Day 1 the notorious hard worker Charles Phillips, whose mistress is the midmarket software solutions firm Infor, has looked into the nook and cranny of the company whose vision and action marry his.

From Charles Phillips Photos

On Day 2, a brief respite from the gains and losses in Q2 of the fiscal year, the chief executive was already dealing with a smorgasbord of obstacles and opportunities from the approaching quarter. Specific resources for each product team had to be mapped out. Sales execution must be optimized. It was all on Mr. Phillips’ shoulders to steer the company upon take-off, towards the new plans that had been laid out even before former CEO Jim Schaper named his successor.

This CEO tenure was the kind of job the man would never back out from; it can be even said of it as Charles Phillips’ mistress.

From Charles Phillips Photos

A hundred days passed. Q3 closed with 17% increase in revenues and 24% in cash operating margins, and the big boss knew he has barely scratched the surface.

Mr. Phillips does not mind spending the 12th or 14th hour, or his absolute brain power, to conceptualize with the software market’s thought leaders—his own team of executives and employees. Some of their concepts already crossed over boardroom boundaries, having been launched into the market this year, such as Infor S&OP version 1.0, Infor WFM Workbrain and Infor CRM Epiphany Shopping Advisor, and Infor ERP.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Follow Charles Phillips on Twitter for more information.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Charles Phillips: Affairs of excellence and innovation

From Charles Phillips

Standing at the helm of Infor Global Solutions is industry expert Charles Phillips, whose affairs and endeavors in the financial services and information technology arena has earned him a remarkable reputation in both industries.

Inspired by his father, who served in the United States Air Force for 20 years, Phillips completed his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the United States Air Force Academy. After completing his training, he served with the United States Marine Corps. He was later promoted to the position of Captain as an IT officer.

From Charles Phillips

After leaving the marines, he entered Wall Street and joined prestigious financial services firm Morgan Stanley. During his stint at Morgan Stanley, Phillips completed his JD degree at the New York Law School. Charles Phillips’ affairs and pursuit for excellence was not to be confined to his profession. To further his knowledge, he completed his Masters in Business Administration at the Hampton University.

Recognizing Phillips’ extensive experience in financial services and his proficiency in information technology, CEO Larry Ellison welcomed Phillips into Oracle Corporation’s executive bandwagon in 2003. Phillips, who was Oracle’s EVP for Strategy, Partnerships, and Business Development then, was immediately promoted as the company’s President the following year.

From Charles Phillips

Employing his expertise in innovating software solutions, Phillips now leads Infor, a purveyor of enterprise resource planning (ERP) services and solutions. Infor currently ranks as the third largest provider of enterprise solutions in the world.

Follow Charles Phillips’ updates at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Charles Phillips underneath the Suit and Tie: The Business Man’s Military Upbringing

InformationWeek dubbed Charles Phillips as Oracle Corporation’s “secret weapon.” In 2003, then Oracle CEO Larry Ellison took Mr. Phillips off Wall Street and appointed him Oracle president. During his seven-year stint at the firm, Mr. Phillips has tripled Oracle’s revenue growth, and played a key role in the firm’s successful acquisition strategy including specific transactions such as BEA Systems, Hyperion Solutions, and Siebel Systems. Today, Mr. Phillips is the Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board of Directors at Infor Global Solutions, a leading provider of business software and services, with over 70,000 customers in 164 countries.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Mr. Phillips’ drive for success stems from a military upbringing. Following in his father’s footsteps who served 20 years in the Air Force, Charles Phillips entered the United States Air Force Academy, one of the most selective colleges in the country. Candidates for admission are judged on their academic achievement, demonstrated leadership, athletics, and character. Mr. Phillips earned an undergraduate degree in computer science at the U.S. Air Force Academy and later on joined the United States Marine Corps. With determination, skills, and wits, he achieved the rank of Captain as an information technology officer.

From Charles Phillips Photos

A military background proved to be a great advantage during Charles Phillips’ Oracle stint. In the first three years that Phillips served as president of the firm, he has emerged on top and constantly fulfilled the dual jobs of acquisition executor and customer advocate. Mr. Phillips’ performance has been spot on – and his discipline and principles as a man from the military is still one of his secret weapons in his current gig as CEO of Infor.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Follow Charles Phillips on Twitter and find him on Facebook.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Charles Phillips on Conquering China’s Economy: A Game Plan

The world has witnessed the further awakening of Asia’s Dragon Economy: China. But Infor CEO Charles Phillips, together with a motley crew of American business leaders, has looked more closely at the state’s economic systems and entrepreneurial methods. Together, they have pledged long-term commitment and accountability to the country, thereby allowing them to penetrate its markets.

From Charles Phillips Photos

In flashback, this string of events caused the convergence of industry leaders in the China-US Business Leaders Forum last April 7, 2011. Business Technology maven Charles Phillips was present to pitch Infor’s game plan into the technology sector’s roundtable discussions.

For over a decade, the mid-market enterprise software vendor has been providing software solutions to over 2,000 enterprises in the region, many of whom have been Infor’s loyal customers. Charles Phillips and the China team have collaborated with the local IBM in launching bundled solution for Infor WMS, ERP for the Auto industry, and SunSystems within IBM x-series.

The firm has also forged a tight alliance with China’s Polytechnic University and Shangdong University Software College to render software solutions for pedagogic purposes.

From Charles Phillips Photos

With the once-sleeping Dragon’s financial state coming to life, Infor Solutions has been wont to leverage its market trends and drivers, including the 12th Five-Year plan passed to the NPC in March 2011. This evolving roadmap has been revamped to focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating “advanced manufacturing” technology in the Mainland and all its territories.

CEO Phillips elaborated on these and other significant points—such as operations, customers, challenges, and keys to success—during his talk at the Forum.

From Charles Phillips Photos

More information about Charles Phillips can be accessed at Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stepping Stones? Charles Phillips and Oracle’s Major Acquisitions

When Oracle had gone on a stunning acquisition spree since 2003, the man who worked at the forefront, or sometimes behind the scenes, was Charles Phillips.

From Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Integrity, top line performance, and Wall Street acclaimed analytical skills construct the man whose name has become a brand in the software industry. Even at the outset of his professional career, the elusive stars were bequeathed unto Mr. Phillips.

Oracle confided to the world upon his arrival that its executives lured the top enterprise software analyst from Morgan Stanley, where his brilliant actions were already making the rounds. The soft-spoken Charles, as his fame already merits recognition by first name, spurred Oracle’s gainful strategy during his second week on the job. This occurred when the world’s leading software company launched a hostile bid for PeopleSoft. Moving forward, Charles Phillips propelled the organization to hit at least a major $BB purchase annually. All in all, Oracle, at the helm of Mr. Phillips being the executive vice president for strategy, partnerships, and business development recorded 60 deals in 7 years.

From Charles Phillips Photos

When Charles stepped out to become the successor of Jim Schaper, CEO of enterprise software vendor Infor, he did not leave his initiative and innovation where he left off. The surprising achievements this fiscal year of the 8-year-old solutions provider are attributed to Mr. Phillips. Members of the industry are expecting that this is just the beginning for the company. The Oracle acquisitions extravaganza may just be stepping stones to Charles. The mid-market firm must expect greater things to come.

From Charles Phillips Photos

Follow Charles Phillips on Facebook and Twitter.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Charles Phillips: Taking Infor Beyond

Freshly minted Infor CEO Charles Phillips is no newcomer to the software market. Before joining the Atlanta-based mid-market enterprise resource planning applications provider last December 2011, Phillips was Chief of Marketing for software giant Oracle from May 2003, and co-President and Director from January 2004 to 2010. His strong execution cemented Oracle’s position as industry leader – his well-planned acquisition spree fielded major buyouts such as Sun Microsystems in August 2009, BEA in January 2008, Hyperion in April 2007, Siebel in January 2006, and PeopleSoft in January 2005; his top line performance helped grow Oracle’s revenue from $9.4B in 2003 to $26.B in 2010. Prior to Oracle, he was Director at Morgan Stanley, and before launching a much-lauded Wall Street career, served as a captain in the United States Marine Corps.

"Charles Phillips is a proven executive who brings Infor the diverse skill set, direct industry experience, and track record of performance necessary to lead the Company to continued growth," says Jim Schaper, former CEO and current Chairman for Infor. "He is a true visionary in the technology industry and has a unique perspective drawn from his experience at one of our leading industry peers, in addition to his years on Wall Street."

Joining Infor at a key inflection point in the company’s trajectory, Phillips is likewise enthused. “The barriers to entry in this business are so incredibly high that I believe it usually takes 10 years to build a viable enterprise-applications company,” Phillips explains. “But in less than 10 years, Infor has achieved all that—they're there. And they got it done by doing things, not by talking about it.”

With Phillips taking his spot alongside fellow new appointees CMO Bruce Richardson and global R&D head Soma Somasundaram, Infor is more than ready to dominate.

Find Charles Phillips on Facebook.