Intuit vs. Infor: Contrasting the SMB Financial and ERP Software Companies
At first glance, Intuit and Infor may seem to occupy distinct technology spheres. However, a deeper look reveals some interesting strategic contrasts between these two longstanding software companies.
Intuit is a major provider of financial, accounting and tax software aimed at consumers and small businesses. Infor, on the other hand, offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for medium to large organizations.
While not direct competitors, comparing Intuit and Infor can illustrate how business software leaders tailor their approach to vastly different market segments. Let’s examine the key dimensions that set Intuit and Infor apart based on their target customers, product design, partnerships, company culture and more.
The most pronounced difference between Intuit and Infor is their core customer targets which shape product and go-to-market strategies.
Intuit serves a mass market comprised of individual consumers and small businesses. Its products cater to personal and SMB needs around DIY taxes, managing personal finances, running small business accounting and payroll, marketing services and more.
Infor, in contrast, sells ERP software optimized for medium to large enterprises across major industries like manufacturing, healthcare, public sector and more. It pursues large-scale, integrated software deployments at sizable corporations and public entities.
While Intuit targets millions of small-scale customers, Infor focuses on complex engagements with thousands of large institutional clients. This key divergence cascades across commercial and product decisions.
Within their distinct markets, Intuit and Infor have different flagship products aligned to customer needs.
Intuit is known for mass-market software like TurboTax for DIY tax filing, QuickBooks for small business accounting and payroll, Mint for personal finance budgeting, and Credit Karma for access to credit scores and monitoring.
Infor develops industry-specific ERP solutions like Infor CloudSuite for automotive companies, Infor Nexus for supply chain operations, Infor Healthcare for hospital systems, and Infor Public Sector for government entities. Products are tailored to large industry verticals.
The products’ scope and complexity match Intuit’s and Infor’s differing customer scales. Intuit emphasizes broad accessibility, while Infor pursues deep industry configuration.
Related to its large enterprise customer base, Infor focuses heavily on on-premise installations of its customized ERP solutions integrated directly into clients’ legacy IT systems. Multi-year deployments are common.
Intuit, on the other hand, shifted primarily to cloud-based delivery of its products like QuickBooks Online and TurboTax. This allows rapid onboarding of millions of small-scale subscribers across consumer and SMB segments.
Both models align to customer needs – flexible SaaS for smaller users versus highly tailored enterprise deployments. Intuit values rapid cloud delivery, while Infor provides customized on-premise ERP.
Given the contrasting customer targets and complexity, Intuit’s and Infor’s product design processes also diverge.
Intuit uses extensive consumer research and usability testing to deeply understand customer needs and simplify complex financial tasks into accessible, user-friendly software targeting mass adoption.
Infor employs value engineering and works closely with clients to map its ERP solutions directly to large organizations’ specific business processes, data structures, reporting needs, and system requirements.
Again, Intuit’s consumer focus leads it toward broadly understandable software, while Infor co-engineers solutions tailored to each client’s unique environment and objectives.
Pricing strategies are unsurprisingly different as well between Intuit and Infor given their vastly different customer markets.
Intuit offers tiered monthly or annual subscription plans for its software scaled for affordability by millions of small businesses and individual filers. This facilitates self-service sign up.
Infor sells large perpetual licenses for six and seven figure deals along with ongoing maintenance fees given the enormous complexity and customization involved. Infor positions its ERP solutions as long-term investments.
Once again, Intuit’s mass market presence drives more affordable volume pricing, while Infor sells high-investment customized deployments to large enterprises.
Intuit and Infor have understandably formed technology partnerships with very separate strategies as well.
Intuit cultivates an ecosystem of third-party fintech partners that integrate with its products like QuickBooks to expand capabilities for small businesses in areas like payments, payroll, e-commerce and more.
Infor seeks systems integration partners to facilitate connectively with clients’ legacy IT infrastructure and customize deployments. It also allies with key resellers and service partners to land deals and implement solutions.
These partnerships align with go-to-market needs – Intuit’s platform connections versus Infor’s systems integration assistance for large clients.
Given the vastly different product and deployment models, Intuit and Infor also exhibit distinct organizational cultures.
Intuit emphasizes rapid innovation cycles, customer research, user experience design and accessible consumer-focused software. Employees pride themselves on simplifying complex financial tasks for ordinary users.
Infor cultivates an engineering-focused culture adept at managing enormously complex projects and systems integrations. Employees take pride in customizing ERP to optimize enterprise needs and processes.
While both are innovative, Intuit is guided by consumer focus while Infor relies on technical problem solving and execution. These strengths align with respective markets.
While Intuit and Infor may seem thoroughly dissimilar, comparing them illustrates how business software leaders tailor strategy to align with their target customer segments.
Key dimensions like product design, deployment models, pricing, partnerships and culture stem from the core customer value proposition. Intuit excels at consumer accessibility while Infor drives major enterprise integrations.
Despite little market overlap, these software pioneers exemplify strategic alignment between capabilities and customer needs leading to sustained leadership in very separate domains. Their success demonstrates the importance of focus for business technology providers even across distinct sectors.