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Infor announces AI assistant Coleman for CloudSuite applications

12 Jul 2017

Enterprise cloud software provider Infor has today announced Coleman, an enterprise-grade, industry-specific AI platform for Infor CloudSuite applications.

A pervasive platform that operates below an application’s surface, Coleman mines data and uses powerful machine learning to improve processes such as inventory management, transportation routing, and predictive maintenance; Coleman also provides AI-driven recommendations and advice to enable users to make smarter business decisions more quickly.

In addition, Coleman 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 3-4 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% 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,” says Infor CEO Charles Phillips.   

“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 helps optimise human work potential in four ways:

  • It’s conversational – interactions are more efficient and natural, and offer a better user experience
  • Augmentation – serves as a partner to amplify one’s work
  • Automation – manages low-value tasks like repetitive tasks to enable the user to focus on more valuable work
  • Advise – 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 hyperscale public cloud,” says Duncan Angove,  Infor President.

Some examples of what a user could ask Coleman:

  • “Coleman, what is the accounts receivable balance for ACME Corp?”
  • “Coleman, what’s the next best offer for this customer?”
  • “Coleman, who is the sales rep on the ABC Labs account?”

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.

“Coleman” honours STEM pioneer

The name “Coleman” was chosen to honour Katherine Coleman Johnson, a physicist and mathematician whose critical calculations helped man reach the moon.

Johnson excelled at math and science from a young age, overcoming the obstacles of segregation to become an essential figure in the United States Space Program.

Johnson, whose story was depicted in the 2016 film Hidden Figures, is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In a statement, the family of Katherine Johnson says, “We are excited and honoured that Infor would choose our matriarch to help them represent innovation, analytical might, and a continued push for excellence.

“She symbolises for many a beacon of resilience, a source of courage, and a promise of what's possible. For Katherine Coleman Johnson, the value is in knowledge shared, not in what is known.” 

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