Infor puts AI to wide range of uses in software

Economy August 12, 2017 01:00

By NOPHAKHUN LIMSAMARNPHUN
THE NATION

WITH MORE THAN 700 customers in Thailand and many more around the world, US-based business software firm Infor recently unveiled a range of products in New York that highlighted its latest innovations.



One is Coleman, an enterprise-grade, industry-specific artificial intelligence (AI) platform.

Company executives said Coleman AI can learn by itself when a huge amount of data is available.

As a result of networked intelligence, it is now possible for AI to help deliver a better experience for e-banking, e-healthcare and e-shopping services since huge data can now be made available at the right place and at the right time.

For transport and logistics, AI makes it possible to have real-time shipment visibility. If there are typhoons, for example, approaching a shipment’s destination, rerouting is possible to avoid shipment delays.

Infor executives said supply chain collaboration is also enhanced by the latest software in which small suppliers can now get cheaper credit using their multinational clients’ creditworthiness.

In the garment business, new software also makes tailor-made garments on demand feasible. 

For example, Adidas has a e-commerce and manufacturing network that can produce customised shoes in Asia for individual customers in the US for delivery within two weeks.

Due to the cheaper price of computing power, AI is also becoming like electricity on the cloud network. 

It is now possible for machines to hold conversations like chats as well as do voice and image recognition in real time.

In the field of financial services, AI can do repetitive accounting work and give financial advice to humans just like what Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, is capable of doing.

Coleman AI can also do inventory and pricing optimisation as well as predict consumer demand.

Care.com, a US-based platform for care services, is an example in which AI is designed to match care finders with care providers based on a dataset designed for machine-learning algorithms.

The algorithms can do the ranking of families for care providers to choose while customer feedback can also be provided to care finders for better decision-making.

The Care.com AI can also be applied to healthcare, retail and other industries.

Cas Brentjens, director of Infor’s solution consulting for Asia-Pacific and Japan, said virtually all industries will be disrupted by digital technology from 2020 onwards.

In the 1990’s, music, photography and video rental were already disrupted. In the 2000s, print media, TV and travel were already disrupted.

Now, the automobile, telecom, transport, fashion and retail industries are facing the same disruptive force.

The remaining industries and businesses are next.

In the age of digital transformation, automation and differentiation are keys to staying competitive.

Automation makes business processes and customer experiences more effective and impactful in the connected-business age.

Regarding differentiation, it is made possible by rethinking the business model and by creating new data-driven ways to deliver a higher level of experience, service or product.

For corporations, the digital age means business models are shifting from enterprise-centric to network-centric, from products to services, from mass production to hyper-personalisation, from physical to digital and from horizontal/vertical strategies to functional integration.

A good example is Nike, which is apparently shifting from the world’s top sports fashion producer to the owner of the world’s largest running club.

In 2006, Nike started the process by launching its app and website, after which its market share jumped from 47 per cent to 56 per cent. 

Now, the brand has branched into coaching, workout and other related services via its apps.

This differentiated customer experience has unlocked new revenue streams for the brand.