Major takeaways from Inforum 2016
July 15, 2016
Inforum 2016 played host to a raft of announcements affecting customers in virtually all markets it serves. Here are synopses of three major ones.
Ahead of the tsunami – Infor IoT
By 2020, there will be an estimated 200 billion devices comprising the so-called Internet of Things or IoT — sensors and everyday objects interconnected via the Internet. The market size of solutions and services by then will be somewhere between $600 billion and $10 trillion. Why the gigantic disparity in guesstimates? Because the entire scope and reach of IoT-related activities is really anyone’s guess. The only real consensus is that it will be huge, touching every single enterprise organization in the world — profoundly.
Thus at Inforum 2016, Infor COO Pam Murphy announced Infor IoT, “an initiative to move into the age of collected intelligence,” as she put it.
With the heretofore unheard of volumes of real-time data that IoT will generate endlessly, Murphy maintains IoT will significantly change the way enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other business applications work. Thus Infor IoT will have two initial objectives: First, to deliver on connected intelligence as a means of unlocking new business value and opportunities. And second, to offer customers a scalable and consistent platform rather than a set of individual applications and components that may or may not work seamlessly together, as they must.
“We are taking an end-to-end view of IoT, which is unique,” Murphy said, emphasizing that structured and unstructured data must flawlessly co-mingle on the same platform.
Infor will focus initially on a handful of use cases, such as offering equipment manufacturers greater visibility into supply chain issues. Manufacturing equipment is laden with high numbers of sensors, the data from which if properly analyzed can signal production bottlenecks and shipping delays long before they surface.
Starmount to enter the Infor fold
With customers like Burlington Coat Factory, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Perry Ellis, Starmount has earned its stripes as a premier provider of point-of-sale, mobile shopping assistant, and store inventory management products. In addition, Starmount has been at the vanguard of providing a data-rich commerce hub to engage shoppers, streamline operations, and support consistent cross-channel customer interactions.
Now Starmount has agreed to be acquired by Infor in a deal expected to be consummated before the end of summer. The deal will allow Infor to accelerate delivery of Infor CloudSuite Retail – its fresh, modern suite of enterprise cloud applications for today’s hyper-competitive retail market.
Starmount now joins a list of seasoned, respected businesses that have either partnered with Infor or been acquired, the goal of which is to build the most effective, ready-to-use, modification-free platform to support retail activities. Partners include Whole Foods Market, while other acquisitions included GT Nexus for the underlying network; and Predictix for demand management.
Serving the world’s biggest user organization
The US federal government will spend about $90 billion on IT in FY 2016. Most categories of IT spending will be cut or, at best, remain the same. The one exception is cloud spending, which was increased for the year to the point where it represents nearly 9% of all federal IT spending.
To better serve this enormous, increasingly cloud-centric user, Infor announced Infor CloudSuite Federal, a suite of SaaS applications customized for federal agencies. The new offering builds upon successes realized by Infor CloudSuite Public Sector serving nonfederal government users.
Being tailored for the federal government, the new suite is compliance focused, helping meet core standards such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) and Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).
Noted Wayne Bobby, Infor Federal VP, “Helping federal organizations modernize and shift to the cloud can be a real game-changer, one that creates a significant value proposition for workers and taxpayers alike.”
More big news
A lot of other exciting news came out of Inforum 2016, too.
Here’s the news in press releases issued during Inforum.