Infor is one of the world’s largest providers of hospitality software. Its products are in use at almost 20,000 hotel and casino locations worldwide. Infor hospitality solutions include robust capabilities for hotel property management, restaurant management, revenue management, asset and incident management, analytics, and artificial intelligence. Jason Floyd is the vice president and general manager of Infor hospitality solutions. He is responsible for all global operations of the business unit, including sales, services, product management, marketing, support, solution consulting and P&L management.
First the big news. As we reported, Infor received a $1.5 billion dollar investment earlier this year. Congrats! What is the impact of that massive funding round on Infor Hospitality’s plans for the future?
Everyone was super excited about this investment. It was additional investment Infor sought from our board to help better position Infor for a potential IPO. Investments of this size and nature certainly lend aid to Infor’s acquisition strategies, and Infor Hospitality having acquired three companies in the past 9 months definitely was on the receiving end of such benefits this investment provided.
The recent acquisition of ReServe Interactive is a big deal. Can you talk a bit about that? What was the reasoning behind that acquisition? What are the benefits to both your organization as well as to your customers?
A big deal indeed. The acquisition of both Reserve Interactive and Vivonet were extremely strategic for my team and I. Infor has spent the last several years building a world class next generation Hotel Property Management System, for which we are seeing great adoption globally. Sales & Catering, and Point-of-Sale (for which we discuss next) we felt were major gaps in our suite of solutions. There is a lot of demand for fully integrated suites of modules in the Cloud. Infor as a company has the Infor CloudSuite product strategy where we offer customers multiple highly integrated solutions. Challenge Infor had was until now we didn’t have all the cloud solutions to offer in our suite like Sales & Catering that customers wanted. We often would be told that our HMS Property Management System was exactly the new technology a hotel company was seeking but that an integrated Sales & Catering solution in our cloud was also a requirement. Reserve Interactive not only allows us to offer an integrated Sales & Catering system with our Property Management System, but Reserve Interactive also has a full restaurant table reservation and floor management suite that Infor now has to offer our restaurant clients and hotel food & beverage customers.
We also reported on the acquisition of Vivonet. Can you talk a bit about that, as well? What was the reasoning behind that acquisition? What are the benefits to both your organization as well as to your customers?
The acquisition of a point-of-sale company was another strategic initiative of my group for some time. Infor has a well-established Hospitality point-of-sale business in Europe, but that solution was not in the cloud and not one we felt could be lifted to the cloud and taken globally. When Vivonet came along, it really caught our interest. Not only is a cloud-based solution that we felt we could invest in and introduce globally under the Infor banner as Infor POS, but it also allowed Infor to expand Infor Hospitality into Food Service Management. Infor Hospitality now has a strong Food Service Management customer-base thanks to Vivonet that we can offer a multitude of different solutions to. At the same time we now have a fantastic cloud point-of-sale to offer our hotel customers. Can’t get much better than that.
Can we expect that Infor will be buying up additional companies to enhance the hospitality group’s platform capabilities and provide a competitive advantage? If so, over what period of time? Are there any specific plans you can share?
Nothing is currently in our line of sight, and if it were, I couldn’t share it with you anyway – companies like Infor like to try and keep acquisitions a surprise. That being said, if there is a company or solution that complements our go to market strategy, it is a safe assumption that we will review it for a possible fit in our product family.
Tell us a bit about your career trajectory. What led you to your current role at Infor Hospitality? How long have you been in this position?
I have been the General Manager of Infor Hospitality for 9 months. Prior to that I was the Vice President and Chief of Staff for 6 years. I started my career with Kimpton Hotels after earning my degree in Hospitality Management from Kansas State University. I love everything about the Hospitality Industry, but quickly learned early in my career that I was better suited to be a vendor versus remain an operator. I actually could see myself retire as an operator running some small Inn somewhere, someday but I knew long ago that I could do the most good for the industry I love as a vendor. After leaving Kimpton, I started as a PMS installer with National Guest Systems Corporation in the late 90s. Soon National Guest Systems Corporation had evolved into Visual One System and I was promoted to be a Product Manager and one of the chief architects of that solution. My knowledge of Visual One propelled me into sales and before I knew it I was a Vice President of Sales for Visual One. When Agilysys acquired Visual One I continued on in a sales role leading their hotel and resort sales. A few years after the acquisition of Visual One, I felt it was time for a change and wasn’t sure I was still contributing to my industry at the same level as I once did. Stewart Applbaum who I had worked with before had started something great at Infor Hospitality and asked me to come over as Vice President and Chief of Staff and so I did – and 7 years later here I am, running the joint. Infor Hospitality remains one of Stewart’s many businesses of Infor.
What do you do in your job on a day-to-day basis? What do you like most about your work?
Chief cook and bottle washer. My job on a day-to-day basis is all about supporting my vast team. I am responsible for the global sales growth, product development growth, and overall business unit growth of Infor Hospitality. It keeps me extremely busy for sure, but regardless if I am sitting with my sales staff, my development staff, my services staff or any other employee it is my team that keeps me going and that makes Infor Hospitality a true contender in the hospitality technology sector. Working with customers and my team and witnessing the passion I see in team about doing right by our customers is what I love most about my job.
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