The Supply Chain Matters blog reintroduces our This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech column, a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news that has occurred over the past two weeks.  Supply Chain Matters blog


Amazon Invests in Warehouse Robotics Firm

Reuters reports that Amazon will take an announced seven-year stake in French based Balyo, which provides a navigation system that turns forklifts or material handling equipment into self-driving vehicles. The company’s software provides an autonomous driving capability for Hyster Yale Group’s material handling or other popular material handling vehicles.

Under the terms of the deal, Amazon will receive free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of Balyo’s capital which the online retailer can exercise depending on the amount of orders od the company’s products, reportedly noted as orders up to 300 million euros ($346 million).

This is somewhat typical of Amazon’s investments in planned strategic capabilities.

The report notes that Amazon currently leverages pick and pack robotics technology developed by Kiva Systems, acquired in 2012.


Announced Alliance Among Kinaxis and Ernst & Young LLP

Ernst & Young LLP and supply chain technology provider Kinaxis, Inc. announced that they are forming an alliance to modernize their common clients’ end-to-end supply chain capabilities and drive broader digital transformation.

Under the alliance, EY UK and Kinaxis will help clients achieve considerable supply chain efficiencies by adopting a concurrent planning approach that connects people, process and data to offer faster and better decision-making. This alliance combines the extensive EY experience in supply chain and operations consulting, digital transformation and intelligent automation with the industry-leading Kinaxis supply chain planning platform, including augmented intelligence and machine learning capabilities.


JDA Software and InContext Solutions partner in Retail Merchandising and Category Management Platform

Supply chain planning technology provider JDA Software and InContext Solutions, a provider of in mixed reality (virtual and augmented reality) technology for retailers and manufacturers, announced a partnership to bring together the technology platforms of both companies. The combination will offer virtual reality-based visualization and category management capabilities for retailers to virtually walk through the store, changing planograms and assortments on the fly.

Initially, the companies will link JDA Category Knowledge Base, from the JDA® Category Management portfolio, with InContext’s ShopperMXVR SaaS platform to allow immersive collaboration, visualization and testing of category strategies. Longer term, the partnership synergies will enable more agile design, analytics and deployment of total store shopper experiences for brick-and-mortar retailers, further optimizing the supply chain and store operations.


Oracle Acquires Naming Rights to Giants Stadium

The San Jose Mercury Times reports that Oracle Corp. has acquired the naming rights to the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium for between $200 million and $350 million. The Giants are expected to officially announce the name change from AT&T Park at a news conference.

The agreement gives the tech giant 20 years of naming rights, according to news reports.

This is the third time the Giants have renamed their home stadium since they moved from Candlestick Park for the start of the 2000 season.


Flytrex Raises $7.5 Million to Expand On-Demand Drone Delivery Across the U.S.

Drone technology company Flytrex announced that it has raised $7.5 million in Series B funding, bringing the company’s total to $11 million. The round is led by Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) with additional investment from btov. The funds will be used to scale-up Flytrex’s operations and technology, improving existing drone delivery services in Iceland and North Dakota, and prepare for the company’s 2019 North Carolina launch as part of the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program.

Since launching the world’s first fully autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik in 2017 and the first fully operational golf course drone delivery system in the U.S. in North Dakota last year, Flytrex has continued to help the industry reach new heights. The company’s patented “InAir” wire-drop system, for example, employs a tethered cord that gently lowers the package to the ground after the customer confirms on Flytrex’s phone app that they are in position nearby – maximizing safety and drastically lowering noise-pollution.


Magnitude Software Acquires SAP Innovator Z Option

Magnitude Software, Inc., a provider in delivering unified application data management to global organizations, announced the acquisition of Z Option Inc., Magnitude’s fourth acquisition in little over a year and eighth in total. One of Magnitude’s most recent acquisitions, that of Every Angle Software, was highlighted on Supply Chain Matters.

Z Option, a provider of cost effective, ready-to-use software that significantly reduces the cost of using and implementing SAP, broadens and deepens Magnitude’s leadership presence in the SAP ecosystem, providing even greater value to the Office of Finance.

The combination of Magnitude and Z Option is targeted toward providing faster, more accurate data management, reporting and analytics across SAP customers’ fragmented application environments from the convenience of Excel. Z Option’s GLSU and Budget Loader solutions complement Magnitude’s growing SAP Application Data Management solution set, which includes agile SAP data management and analytics from Magnitude’s Innowera, Every Angle and SourceConnect solutions.



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