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Infor Acquires Predictix
The CRM vendor bolsters its CloudSuite Retail platform with machine-learning capabilities.
Posted Jun 28, 2016
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Infor, a provider of cloud-based, industry-specialized business applications, today announced its acquisition of Predictix, a supplier of predictive solutions to retailers. The buyer's plan is to integrate Predictix's data science and Big Data analytics capabilities into its CloudSuite Retail offering. The deal comes six months after Infor announced its initial $25 million investment in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Molham Aref, CEO of Predictix, said in a statement that the acquisition will "accelerate our retail revolution":

"The past six months of collaboration between Infor and Predictix has delivered innovation at a pace never seen before in retail software, which is crucial as the industry battles disruption. Becoming part of Infor will further accelerate our retail revolution by providing scale and integrating two teams that sit at the intersection of cloud, analytics, machine learning, and self-service."

Built native to the cloud, Predictix leverages supercomputer capabilities to solve complex business problems. Its applications incorporate machine learning, as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics, to help retailers to determine what scenarios they can expect and how to respond given that information. One of the vendor's goals is to make its tools accessible to users across retail organizations, by simplifying configuration and the assembly of new models to work with.

In light of the acquisition, Predictix's applications will sync with the Infor cloud, which claims more than 58 million active users. The union allows Infor to enhance its CloudSuite Retail package with modules that support demand forecasting; merchandise financial planning; assortment planning and category management; network flow optimization; and allocations and markdowns.

Among other things, Predictix works to understand customer demand at granular levels and thus improve an organization's sales. It uses self-learning algorithms to read data and recognize patterns with the goal of becoming more accurate as more data accumulates over time, while facilitating decisions that could lead to heightened profits.

The union of the two vendors' technologies also enables Infor to inject Big Data and machine learning capabilities across Infor's products, including its Sales and Operations Planning and Demand Management offerings. Demand Management and CloudSuite Retail will integrate with Infor's GT Nexus, a global commerce platform, giving retailers increased visibility into their supply chains. Users can tap into this to manage production and keep track of their goods while they are in transit. They can better understand when they will have stock issues, for instance, and not be able to meet customer demands for products.

According to a statement from Greg Girard, program director of omnichannel retail analytics at IDC Retail, "long in the tooth time-series approaches to forecasting and analytics that inform pricing, assortment, promotion, and other demand shaping tactics have run their course." Today's omnichannel retailers require tools that align with the fast-paced subscription, cloud-based environment. This climate calls for "operationalized machine learning, inexpensive data storage," and tools that address increased complexities and a requirement for speed. In the future, "leading retailers will take advantage of these advances for financial benefits, operational efficiencies, and customer loyalty,” Girard said in the statement.

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