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INFOR PRESIDENT EXPLAINS WHY INFOR HEARTS NEW YORK

July 18, 2013, HBR Blog Network

“When we first decided to move the headquarters of our software company from Atlanta, we didn't think of Silicon Valley. In fact, Silicon Valley wasn't even on our short list. At Infor, we chose New York City.” In a Harvard Business Review blog post dated July 18, Infor President Duncan Angove details how ‘New York City's Culture Will Shape the Next Tech Sector.

“While no one can dispute Silicon Valley embodies the quintessential technology culture, there's another piece of the culture equation that matters just as much for a company like ours: diversity,” he writes.

“When I say diversity, I don't just mean racial and ethnic diversity — San Jose actually has New York beat on that front. But our company makes software that is used across dozens of industry verticals — automotive, health care, hospitality, and the public sector — each with their own specific needs and goals. So when we talk about diversity, we are talking about the diversity of customers, the diversity of job functions, the diversity of backgrounds, the diversity of training. A walk down almost any street in Manhattan is likely to involve brushing shoulders with a huge cross-section of professionals. When you put it all together, you have an environment so rich and varied in skill sets and perspectives that Silicon Valley just can't match it. We believe that when this incredible professional diversity collides with software engineering talent, you have the recipe for breakthrough innovation.”

Some other excerpts:

“Infor has already benefitted by tapping this local talent pool is our in-house creative agency, Hook & Loop, which helps us design software that is intuitive and easy-to-use. Our intention for Hook & Loop was not to hire the best and brightest software developers. Quite the opposite: we wanted to hire ad agency execs, fashion designers, and filmmakers — all people who would bring an outside perspective to business software, helping us create products more powerful and intuitive than we might have ever imagined without their input. …”

“Further, according to the Center for an Urban Future, tech jobs in the city have grown almost 30% in five years, with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The center also reports that between 2008 and the beginning of 2013, New York saw a 24 percent gain in the number of venture capital deals, while Silicon Valley dropped by 21 percent. …”

“Mayor Bloomberg's new "We Are Made In NY" campaign points out that there are currently 900 tech startups hiring for over 3,000 jobs. The campaign highlights the city's burgeoning digital industry and underscores the mayor's commitment to nurturing a thriving tech sector. …”

“Once we did relocate Infor's headquarters to New York last year, we found that we were scheduling up to five times more in-person customer meetings because of the location, which is having a significant impact given that 98% of companies that demo products on-site end up buying our software. That statistic is especially powerful considering the number of C-level executives that routinely visit New York City. It's a tremendous opportunity.”