By SW Staff
Enterprise professionals across a range of industries recently headed to Manhattan to connect, interact, and engage with customers, partners, and employees of Infor. Held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, NY from July 10 to 12, 2017, the event celebrated customers and demonstrated how the company is reimagining its portfolio to compete in an evolving world.
The conference kicked off with remarks from Charles Phillips, CEO, and members of the Infor executive leadership team discussing the company’s strategic roadmap.
Infor supports 90,000 customers with more than 16,000 employees and over 1,750 partners.
This year’s event attracted approximately 7,000 visitors.
One of the most exciting moments from the conference was the formal introduction of Coleman, the company’s new artificial intelligence (AI) platform. The technology is named after renowned NASA mathematician, Katherine Coleman Johnson.
Coleman is positioned by Infor as an enterprise grade, industry-specific AI platform for Infor CloudSuite applications. Operating below an application’s surface, Coleman mines data and uses machine learning to improve processes in areas from inventory management to transportation routing and predictive maintenance.
“Infor spent many years automating processes that followed clear rules, such as accounting and manufacturing processes. We are now leveraging machine learning and our access to large amounts of data to assist users with less structured processes such as complex decisions, conversations, and predictions,” says Phillips.
In terms of pricing for Coleman, the company’s approach is that it should be part of the overall experience and not an add-on in most use cases. “In some areas, it’s the same app with AI built on it. For others, like inventory operation, machine learning is a core application set. As innovation appears it starts as a point system and integrates,” explains Duncan Angove, president, Infor, at the event’s Executive Q&A Panel.
The best barometer for success is customer feedback. Many of the company’s customers took various stages throughout the event to discuss their reinvention with Infor products.
In session on machine learning and data science, Infor customer, Care.com, highlighted how working with historical data allowed it to identify patterns that would better match care seekers with care providers.
In another session, Mary Trick, chief customer officer, Infor, moderated a panel with two customers, Travis Perkins and Pilot Flying J. Representatives from each company discussed the transformation and innovation they have experienced, and what they expect as new areas of Infor products are integrated into their respective businesses.
Travis Perkins is a large distributor of building materials in the U.K., operating more than 20 businesses spanning the trade, construction, and home improvement markets. Last year the company announced its decision to embark on a significant technology investment of Infor CloudSuite. Norman Bell, group strategy director, Travis Perkins, says security concerns as well as the dedication at the senior level from Infor were two major factors in its selection.
For Travis Perkins, part of the drive for moving to Infor’s cloud-based ERP is to eliminate the issue of technical debt.
Pilot Flying J is also in the midst of a CloudSuite implementation, selecting Cloudsuite HCM to better engage its members and Infor CloudSuite Financials & Supply Management and Infor EAM as a cloud implementation to run its business. The company is expanding its relationship with Infor after being a Lawson client for its general ledger.
Pilot Flying J is a large operator of travel centers for professional drivers and motorists in North America. It owns and operates more than 550 travel centers. Often located along interstates, Pilot Flying J’s travel centers are a major seller of over-the-road diesel fuel.
Michael Rodgers, SVP, chief strategy and information officer, Pilot Flying J, explains that connecting team members has been an ongoing challenge, especially since some of them are in the middle of nowhere. “Around the fringe they have a big turnover, and Infor HCM is meant to drive this down.”
Rodgers says they are excited about the prospect of AI and what it can mean for Pilot Flying J in the future, especially in terms of predictive maintenance on their pumps.
These are just a few of the client examples offered at Inforum 2017. Also notable was the discussion by shoe company, DSW and car reservation and rental company, Hertz.
Trending Turns Reality
Infor presented the idea that the future is now. As the challenges and resistance to the cloud become obsolete in even the most sensitive industries, it opens the door to connectivity beyond omnichannel to what the company calls the converged commerce.
With all systems in place, technology allows for a smart future, where IoT brings speed, accuracy, and better service to companies that properly utilize data and technology in a connected and integrated manner.
We look forward to seeing how the introduction of Coleman will provide real-word examples of AI over the next few years, bringing the prospect of the future of business to the here and now.
August2017, Software Magazine