Yet another year at the MAKE UK (previously EEF) conference Infor was a sponsor. What an event that was, with talks on Brexit, the future of manufacturing and a rebrand. Speaking with Andrew Dalziel he explained the importance of the conference for Infor to have a presence in order to innovate and invest. “The past year we have seen a lot of investment made as we have grown, and we just aim to continue with this.”
Infor is an innovative company especially at a technology level, as within the last year the company has invested a lot of time, resources and money into business intelligence analytics.
One of the focuses of the MAKE UK conference was closing the skills gap and getting young people back into the industry. Infor is tackling that head one with its Education Alliances programme, which works with universities to get Infor access to young talent. Related to that Infor has graduate recruitment programmes to get new people into the business, and it also conducts training out of its facilities to encourage young people all across the UK.
Dalziel explained: “Working closely with universities we often give students internships, and then offer them jobs afterwards so we are playing an active part in closing the skills gap.”
Talking about what Infor brings to the manufacturing industry Dalziel said Infor has the solutions. “We are a leading player of the cloud, so in terms of getting customers to the cloud we lead in that field. To combine that for manufacturers we have the heritage and the experience in industry and we’ve built out what we call ‘last-mile functionality’ we’ve provided industry with this deep functionality.”
Because of Infor’s thorough and detailed depth throughout industries it has allowed them to develop what it calls an Industry Cloud Suite, which has functionally for the industry but also the depth down to the micro-vertical level. “We believe we can enable very specialised capabilities in the industry. The fact that we can do all this in the cloud is a big thing.”
It’s all about reducing costs and the cloud can help to do that. The cloud works for all sizes of companies as it can offer so much. Infor continues to work in the cloud and continues to be innovative. “We don’t necessarily believe everything is in the enterprise anymore and companies are starting to work in global supply chains, and when 80% of the data is outside the organisation, we have our GT Nexus platform. This can go outside an organisation and track manufacturers goods from suppliers, and tell you exactly where they are and when they will be there.”
Customers often have to update their cloud software every few years which takes a lot of planning in terms of time and budget, but Dalziel said Infor’s multi-tenant cloud solutions are like music to people’s ears when they can do it in more bite-sized chunks – it makes life a lot easier.
Catherine Coleman Johnson was the inspiration for Infor’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, Infor Coleman. “We named it after Catherine Coleman Johnson from the film Hidden Figures who was a physicist and mathematician who helped NASA land on the moon, her family allowed her name to be associated with it.”
With this platform Infor is using AI to deliver certain qualities and maximise human potential. Infor is using this AI and machine learning to help customers become smarter. Infor Coleman is a powerful AI robot which is designed with business users in mind based on a foundation of data specific to the industry. It is able to help with tasks, recommend offers and predict maintenance issues.
“We have seen AI increasing over the past year or so, and now it has an established place in the economy. I think we will be seeing more of this. With AI comes a lot of opportunity but sometimes a lot of fear as well.” Dalziel added people are often unsure of the unknown so as more work is done with AI people will become more comfortable with it.