Notes from the Infor Innovation Summit 2019: The Platform Continues to Add Capabilities, Particularly the Enablers of Modern Retail
Coresight Research attended the Infor Innovation Summit 2019, held June 3-4 in New York City. The event featured presentations from company leaders and customers.
- Enterprise software company Infor continues to expand the breadth of its solution, scaling its CloudSuites platform and offering multi-tenancy functionality.
- The company’s supply-chain management software uses predictive analytics to prevent issues before they occur, as well as to suggest remedies.
- The capabilities of Infor’s Coleman artificial intelligence platform are being made available on an increasing number of its platforms and packages.
- The company’s customer list includes more than 1,700 global retail and fashion customers, including 10 of the top 12 North American grocers and 48 of the top 50 North American retailers, and its Nexus commerce network manages $1 trillion in goods.
- Infor already offers a broad portfolio of products and functions for retail and announced several new products coming soon.
Coresight Research attended the Infor Innovation Summit 2019, held June 3-4 in New York City. The day-and-a-half-long event featured presentations from company leaders and customers, and a dinner event.
Charles Phillips, CEO
Phillips kicked off the conference with an informal summary of what has happened since last year’s conference, including the following points:
- Scaling CloudSuites.
- The fiscal Q4 ended in April was the highest SaaS quarter in the company’s history.
- Receiving qualification for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP, a government-wide program for security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services), which enables Infor to pursue government business.
- Expanding the company’s ecosystem of integrators, education partners, channels, customer channels and investors.
Soma Somasundaram, Chief Technology Officer
Somasundaram began his remarks with a slide illustrating Infor’s technology strategy, commenting that the technology layers on the left side are constructed to look like they come from one company.
Somasundaram then outlined several strategic investment themes, including:
- Cloud technology.
- Key industry functionality.
- Integration for best in class solutions.
- Increasing solutions global coverage.
- User experience.
- Improvement in extensibility tooling.
- APIs for IoT, data lake and industry content.
Kevin Samuelson, CFO
Samuelson described the two successive investments that Koch Equity Development had made in Infor, totaling $4 billion. A January 2019 press release stated that Infor was considering a potential IPO in 2019 or 2020, subject to market conditions.
His remarks served as an introduction to two Infor customers, Flint Hills and Georgia-Pacific, which are owned by Koch and which had independently selected Infor as its cloud-service provider.
Massimo Capoccia, Senior Vice President Infor OS Technology
Capoccia first outlined the evolution of Infor OS:
- SaaS (software as a service).
- Infor CloudSuite on AWS.
- Platform as a service .
- Creation of an ecosystem Infor OS.
We note that for Infor, OS stands for “operating services,” as compared to the operating systems that run computers.
The top Infor OS innovations in 2019 include:
- The creation of new (smart) apps and data lake.
- Data as a Service.
- Infor governance, risk and compliance (GRC), a new OS Service.
- The Coleman AI platform, with general availability in September, to create machine learning models.
- Coleman robotic process automation.
- Self-service BOTs by industry.
- Cloud d/EPM — multi-tenant performance management.
- Localization platform services – for global customers.
- Mongoose platform as a service (PaaS): to build apps for Infor OS.
- Infor GO (to go live in July) — a portal for mobile, hybrid iOS and HTML 5.
Capoccia’s remarks were followed by a presentation from Nunzio Esposito, VP, Head of Experience Hook & Loop, Infor’s internal experience design team.
The event featured testimonials from the following happy Infor customers in diverse industries:
- Flint Hills Resources (a division of Koch Industries): A producer and marketer of fuels and chemicals.
- Georgia-Pacific (a division of Koch Industries): A manufacturer of pulp and paper.
- Northern Light Health: A healthcare company based in Maine.
- KVH: A manufacturer of electrical and communications equipment for consumer, commercial and military applications.
- Quality Transportation Solutions (QTS): A rail logistics company.
Retail Presentation—David Dorf, VP of Retail Product Strategy
Dorf began his remarks with an overview of the company’s design principles:
Dorf continued with how Infor views the hierarchy of its product offerings for modern retail, which tops the demand-sensing and agile-fulfillment functions with machine learning.
- He continued with Infor’s product footprint for retail, which includes retail-specific products on the left, while the right side has horizonal applications that apply to retail (and many other industries).
Dorf then discussed several new products for retail:
- Loyalty Powered by CrowdTwist: Which features modern loyalty, omnichannel data collection and is integrated with Infor Engage.
- Networked Order Management: Which offers omnichannel order handling that leverages the network to optimize order fulfillment along the supply chain.
- Vivonet (Acquired Sept. 2018): Which offers solutions for point of sale (POS), kiosks, kitchen systems, payments, labor scheduling, food and labor cost management.
Infor products with recent releases and those coming soon for retail include:
- Omni-Channel Planning: Which is powered by Infor’s ML (machine learning) Forecasting 6th Sense, which gives brand owners better visibility into demand and increases flexibility to manage demand across channels.
- Science as a Service: Which includes solutions such as size profile and markdown optimization, consulting services and solutions from partners, wholesalers and retailers.
- CloudSuite PLM for Fashion: Which offers cloud-based product lifecycle management functions including social and partner collaboration (available now).
- CloudSuite CRM (announced at the conference), which offers a sales module featuring household/group, individual and activity management (available now).
Dorf then provided a detailed update to Infor’s retail technology roadmap, including projects in progress for 2019 and the to-do list for 2020.
Sample retailers that recently signed for subscriptions include:
- DXL (big and tall menswear).
- ST Lonia (STL—Sociedad Textil Lonia, parent company of Carolina Herrera).
- A large US retailer, which did not give permission to use its name.