Open-source database vendor Ingres Wednesday named Infor Global Solutions as its first ERP (enterprise resource planning) partner since Ingres spun off from CA over a year ago.
Roger Burkhardt, president and chief operating officer at Ingres, positioned the move as signaling "the first step" in what he said will be a burgeoning relationship with Infor. The partnership is not exclusive and he also expects Ingres to strike similar relationships with other enterprise applications players, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of different vertical industries.
Ingres represents an alternative to other databases in the market, including those from proprietary relational players Oracle and Microsoft, which also have their own applications businesses. Open-source vendor Ingres has no intention of buying an ERP company and so doesn't present a competitive threat to potential applications partners, Burkhardt said.
Ingres and Infor are collaborating on developing open-source software to run on the Ingres 2006 open-source database and Ingres Enterprise Access middleware, which is currently a proprietary-source product. Infor is in the process of certifying its Adage ERP software, targeted at process manufacturers to run on both Ingres' database and middleware.
Infor first approached Ingres about the Adage development work in December 2005 shortly after the database vendor's spin-off from CA. Engineering teams from the two companies have been working together closely over the past year. Ingres and Infor signed the final partnership agreement in October.
Ingres has a long-standing relationship with Infor and the previous owner of Adage, SCT, according to Burkhardt. Initially known as Agilisys, Infor came into being in June 2002 when its private equity backer Golden Gate Capital bought SCT's processing manufacturing and distribution division.
In other company news, Ingres is close to releasing its first new product as an independent company.
Currently known as Project Icebreaker, the new product is a combination of the Ingres database with a version of rPath's distribution of the Linux operating system. The software's aim is to decrease the amount of time users have to spend on IT maintenance work by delivering patches and updates for both the database and OS in a single maintenance stream.
"Project Icebreaker is on target," Burkhardt said. "We're getting good feedback from our beta testers." There are currently 11 customers and partners taking part in Project Icebreaker's early adopter program. He expects Project Icebreaker to become generally available early in 2007, he added.
Though still in beta testing, the new offering has already led Ingres into new customer opportunities, Burkhardt said. The vendor's hearing a lot of interest from companies keen to build additional functionality on top of Project Icebreaker and the concept is also getting plenty of play with SAAS (software-as-a-service) providers, he added.
Burkhardt joined Ingres in July from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where he spent six years as chief technology officer. He has welcomed the freedom of working at a privately funded company unfettered by government regulations. By contrast, at the NYSE, "We couldn't even dismantle a product that had failed without a sign-off from Washington," he quipped.