Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Infor AI suits inventory management and transport routing

Steve Rogerson
July 18, 2017
An enterprise-grade artificial intelligence platform from New York-based Infor mines data and uses machine learning to improve processes such as inventory management, transportation routing and predictive maintenance.
Called Coleman after physicist and mathematician Katherine Coleman Johnson, the platform operates below an application's surface and provides AI-driven recommendations and advice to help users make smarter business decisions.
In addition, it acts as a smart AI partner, augmenting the user's work. Coleman uses natural language processing and image recognition to chat, hear, talk and recognise images to help people use technology more efficiently. 
Coleman develops a conversational relationship with the user which can be rendered in Infor Ming.le, a social collaboration platform, or a synthetic conversational user interface. User efficiency is increased as studies show humans are able to speak and hear three to four times as many words per minute as they can type.
Processing the vast data in Infor CloudSuite, Coleman automates search and gather functions, which can take up 20 per cent of a user's work week, significantly increasing productivity.
"Infor spent many years automating processes that followed clear rules, such as accounting and manufacturing processes," said Charles Phillips, CEO of Infor. “We are now leveraging machine learning and our access to large amounts of data to assist users with less structured processes such as complex decisions, conversations and predictions.”
Coleman can manage low value repetitive tasks to enable the user to focus on more valuable work. It provides intelligent insights to help the user make decisions.
"Coleman is so powerful because it takes the mission-critical business data from Infor CloudSuite, coupled with the supplier, logistics and finance data from the GT Nexus Commerce Network, and analyses it with the computing power of a hyper scale public cloud," said Duncan Angove, president of Infor.
Elements of Coleman are available today, such as predictive inventory management for healthcare, price optimisation management for hospitality, and forecasting, assortment planning and promotion management for retail. Over the next year Infor is expected to introduce Coleman to Infor CloudSuite industry suites.
The name Coleman was chosen to honour Katherine Coleman Johnson, a physicist and mathematician whose critical calculations helped humans reach the moon. Johnson excelled at maths and science from a young age, overcoming the obstacles of segregation to become an essential figure in the US space programme.