Senthil Kumar is the Manager of Infor M3 Technical Services for the Infor Line of Business at Velocity. Senthil has over 17 years of experience in the Infor Lawson M3 Space.
 
ION stands for “Intelligent Open Network”. It’s a middleware developed by Infor which can be used with Infor and non-Infor products. This purpose-built middleware solution provides a simple but powerful and scalable framework, allowing you to eliminate operational silos, improve exception management, and achieve greater end-to-end process efficiency.  
 
There are a number of middleware products that exist in the software arena. Here are some ways ION is different and how it can help you.
 
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI):
ERP applications, CRM applications, BI applications etc. typically cannot communicate with one another to share data or business rules. Not only does the application landscape require a middleware solution to communicate, but two similar applications from different vendors can’t effectively communicate without a middleware. EAI is the unrestricted sharing of data and business processes among any connected applications or data sources in the enterprise.
 
Infor developed ION to facilitate Enterprise Application Integration. Following is a summary of several capabilities of ION and some of its best features. 
 
ION Pulse:
ION Pulse manages and tracks information. It has adapted a social platform for real-time data operation and alerts. This part of ION creates a data feed, similar to Twitter™, that lets your applications “tweet” business documents to one another and subscribe to whichever kinds of documents are relevant. You can monitor these messages yourself so that you can keep tabs on your entire business as easily as you’d monitor a Twitter feed. Pulse also enhances that data feed with contextual intelligence to help you make better decisions, faster.
 
Best Features:
ION Pulse has a sleek, user-friendly interface.
 
All the traversed data is sent through a secure business vault without compromising data security. In an enterprise, data security should always be given priority, and Infor Pulse is highly secured.
 
ION Desk:
ION Desk is a client for ION Pulse. This functionality is primarily meant for Infor end users.  It enables you to view the ION Pulse feed and interact with workflows generated by others. For example, ION Desk allows the user to modify and inspect any ION Workflow and ION Event Management task. 
 
Best Feature:
ION Desk can be viewed over mobile devices or through secure URLs, which allows you to stay updated no matter where you are.
 
ION Workflow: 
ION Workflow enables automated document routing and approvals across multiple applications. This is similar to Lawson Process Automation (LPA).  Enablement of Infor Workflow does not replace the Process Flow Integrator or Lawson Process Automation: both are enabled to operate in combination with Infor Workflow. 
 
Best Feature: 
ION Workflow works across Infor and non-Infor applications. 
 
ION Event Management: 
ION Event Management is an automated task monitor that will proactively alert the user of any workflow exceptions. ION Workflow & ION Event Management work together to detect events that should have happened, but didn't; for example, a shipment to an important customer that missed its due date. 
 
Best features:
The right people are immediately alerted so they can address important business issues promptly.  Alerts can be sent to distribution lists/groups, and alerted recipients can be changed by adding and removing group members without deactivating the monitor. 
 
Exception monitor definitions can be imported / exported to an XML file that can be used in other ION installations.
 
ION Connect 
ION Connect is used for communication and secure sharing of data across on premise and cloud applications. ION Connect enables each application to transmit and receive small XML documents, called Business Object Documents (BODs), into the ION Connect framework. Each application can “subscribe” to the relevant BODs and ignore all others. That way every application gets access to business-critical information without being slowed down by information that is irrelevant to the functions the application is performing. 
 
Best Features:
ION Connect Business Object Documents (BODs) can be subscribed by others application which makes easier to integrate application. 
 
ION Connect Web Services Connector can be used to integrate applications that cannot be subscribed to ION BODs.
 
In summary, why should organizations adopt ION?
 
  • Get alerts and exception notices to stay updated no matter where you are
  • Have the ability to subscribe to secure data feeds with contextual intelligence in order to help you make better decisions, faster
  • Facilitate creation of a fault resilient architecture with ION at the center to manage all the required infrastructure components.
  • Easily create workflow events so you can monitor any exception events 
  • Smoothly integrate with other applications either through ION BODs or ION Web services connectors