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Infor to stop developing CM3 on-prem software for IBM iSeries

ERP vendor had promised containerized options, but looks set to focus on the cloud

Updated ERP vendor Infor is to end development of an on-premises and containerized version of its core product for customers running on IBM iSeries mid-range systems.

Born from a cross-breeding of ERP stalwarts Baan and Lawson, Infor was developing an on-premises containerized version of M3, dubbed CM3, to help ease migration for IBM hardware customers and offer them options other than lifting and shifting to the cloud.

Under the plans, Infor said it would continue to to run the database component on IBM i (Power and I operating system, formerly known as iSeries) while supporting the application component of the product in a Linux or Windows container on Kubernetes.

However, as tech news website IT Jungle first reported, the project has been canceled, citing a product announcement of Infor – also seen by The Reg – which said customers were focusing on the cloud rather than on modernizing their on-prem stack.

"Infor has been working on a pilot project called Containerized M3 (CM3) to bring a snapshot of the cloud version to on-premise customers. However, investment in CM3 on-premise has been put on hold, as the initial feedback from customers was that they were not prepared for a major upgrade investment in CM3 on-premise when many want to subsequently move to the cloud," the announcement said.

Infor added that it was continuing "to invest in the latest M3 on-premise version, M3 13.4" – calling it an "ideal platform for preparing your business for a future move to the cloud."

"In parallel, Infor has seen a huge uptake on cloud conversions and is increasing its investment in cloud capabilities to meet additional customer needs," it said.

In a video from 2018, then CEO Charles Phillips said thousands of Infor customers were running its software on IBM platforms across the globe. He assured them the company was investing in those products "aggressively" with the help of 4,000 application development engineers.

Customers had "been paying support for many years," he said, and Infor wanted to ensure they got some value in return.

"We've invested aggressively in a lot of new features. We've come out with over 100 new products and a lot of them that you can use with your existing platform. We've come up with ways to make it easier to upgrade to build some tools to automate portions of the upgrade, some package services, and lots of partners working with us, and that's an option you can upgrade directly to the cloud if you choose to do that," said Phillips, who was replaced by Kevin Samuelson in 2019. ®

Updated to add on 30 June:

Ole Rasmussen, Infor VP, Product Management, Development, got in touch to say: "It is correct that we have been working with a project called CM3 (Containerized M3) – to offer a new version on-prem for M3. This project is put on hold and instead we will continue to invest in our current on-prem version, M3 13.4, to keep it current and continue to run on, for example, the latest IBM I OS."

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