Thursday, 13 July 2017 03:24

Infor connects ERP to extended supply chain

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Infor is using functionality from its GT Nexus acquisition to extend the reach of its CloudSuite industry suites into global supply chains.

Infor acquired GT Nexus in 2015. The platform co-ordinates commerce across partners, allowing companies to collaborate with their suppliers to manage and optimise shipments by sharing information with suppliers, financial institutions, freight carriers, and logistics providers.

The idea behind Networked CloudSuites is to "infuse that data back into the applications", said Infor chief executive Charles Phillips. This would provide the visibility that was lost when companies discarded vertical integration in favour of extensive outsourcing.

"The days when a single company was responsible for all aspects of its products, from sourcing to manufacturing and shipping to point-of-sale, are long gone; commerce today requires an extended network of suppliers, production, 3PLS, and financiers, yet the software that companies rely on has not adapted to this business model," said Phillips.

"Leveraging the power of the GT Nexus commerce network, Infor is able to offer true multi-tenant, multi-organisation public cloud solutions that provide a single instance of the truth, making an enterprise more agile, responsive, and competitive."

The development provides CloudSuites with functionality for logistics (live shipment tracking, ocean booking, 3PL services, and ocean container tracking), suppliers (order issue and acknowledge, advanced shipping notices, and invoicing), finance (receivables financing, payables financing) and community benchmarks and collaborative issue management.

Seven of the top 10 logistics providers, 95% of ocean shipping capacity and 70% of truck and air capacity is already on the network, according to Infor executive vice-president of R&D Soma Somasundaram (pictured, right).

Tens of thousands of factories and suppliers are part of the network, along with banks (most recently HSBC) and other financial institutions, said GT Nexus president Kurt Cavano (pictured, left).

Infor expects to begin delivering Networked CloudSuites during the second half of 2017.

Disclosure: The writer attended Inforum 2017 as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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