The Supply Chain Matters blog features our This Week in Supply Chain Management Tech column, a brief synopsis of noteworthy supply chain management focused technology news that occurred during the week of January 14, 2019. Included in this week’s highlights are noteworthy announcements from Infor, Microsoft, E2open, JDA Software, Elemica and Walmart. Supply Chain Technology


Infor Announces a $1.5 Billion Supplemental Investment Ahead of Potential IPO

ERP and business cloud software provider Infor announced a supplemental $1.5 billion investment from shareholders Koch Equity Development LLC and Golden Gate Capital. The investment supplements a prior $2.5 billion investment in 2017 utilized in product design and development. According to the announcement, the investment: “represents an important milestone as Infor considers a potential IPO in 2019 or 2020, subject to market conditions.”

The announcement further notes that over the last five years, Infor has consistently gained market share in Cloud applications, and 70 percent of its software license revenue is now derived from Cloud applications. Revenues were noted as in excess of $3 billion in fiscal year 2018.


Microsoft Signs a Significant Deal with Walgreens

Microsoft announced the signing of a multiyear deal with customer Walgreens Boots Alliance. The announcement indicates that both companies have joined forces to develop new health care delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of health care. The companies will combine the power of Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s cloud and AI platform, health care investments, and new retail solutions with WBA’s customer reach, convenient locations, outpatient health care services and industry expertise to make health care delivery more personal, affordable and accessible for people around the world. Further indicated is that the companies will deliver innovative platforms that enable next-generation health networks, integrated digital-physical experiences and care management solutions.

Additionally, the companies will work to build a seamless ecosystem of participating organizations to better connect consumers, providers — including Walgreens and Boots pharmacists — pharmaceutical manufacturers and payors. Microsoft and WBA will leverage each other’s market research and identify the right partners to develop solutions.”

In addition to retail pharmacies and drug outlets. Walgreens Boot Alliance serves as a noteworthy distributor for pharmaceutical and drug supply networks, operating more than 400 distribution centers delivering to health care providers.

Added Note: Supply Chain Matters will feature a future follow-on commentary regarding the implications of Amazon, Microsoft’s and other enterprise technology providers entering pharmaceutical and drug supply network and customer fulfillment processes.


Ocean Container Line Maersk to Offer Container Triangulation Services in the United States and Canada Utilizing Avantida

Avantida, an E2open company providing an online platform that facilitates services offered by ocean shipping lines and logistics companies, announced that one the largest global shipping lines, Maersk, has begun to offer street turn services in the U.S. and Canada utilizing the company’s platform.

Street turns are essentially truck moves of empty containers to the ports, which can be expensive and time consuming because of manual scheduling and tie-up of equipment. Container Triangulation is the interchange of a container outside of the port terminal  or yard. In an automated request process, dispatchers requesting street turns can obtain a more accurate, reliable response in a matter of minutes as to the availability of an empty container chassis. Today, this platform is available in 14 separate countries and now adds the U.S. and Canada.


Blockchain Technology Provider Inxeption Announces Investment from UPS Enterprise Fund

Inxeption Corporation, a blockchain for business technology provider announced that UPS Strategic Enterprise fund has made an equity investment in the company.

Financial investment was not disclosed. The company was founded in 2017 by two former Oracle technical and marketing management employees before co-founding another tech company, Niku Corporation.

According to the announcement, the company has designed a blockchain-based B2B E-commerce platform that changes the way industries promote, sell and manage products and services online. UPS and Inxeption will reportedly work together to develop and bring to market new applications in this area.


JDA Software and Panasonic Partner to Co-Innovate Integrated Digital Supply Chain Applications.

Supply chain planning technology provider JDA Software and consumer electronics and high-tech provider Panasonic Corporation announced a joint partnership to co-develop integrating applications leveraging JDA Luminate© and Panasonic’s technologies for supporting manufacturing, logistics and retail industries. The applications were demonstrated at this week’s NRF 2019 conference held in New York City.

The joint applications are being targeted to enhance production plans, supply and demand prediction, lead times, and store inventory management. Both companies reportedly will utilize the strengths of their respective customer bases in each home country to expand into new markets and promote business globally. It will further strengthen JDA’s presence in Japan.

Four joint applications are included in the announcement.


Elemica and crossinx Deliver Blockchain Pilot for Global Chemical Manufacturers

Process manufacturing digital supply network platform provider Elemica  announced the completion of a successful blockchain pilot project involving unnamed global chemical manufacturers. In this pilot, Elemica and crossinx, a network for financial business collaboration processes, exist as nodes on a public blockchain to enable multi-tier payments. Reportedly, two large global chemical companies facilitate document and data transfer of invoices, purchase orders, delivery tenders and proof-of-delivery posts. The pilot tested the ability to use blockchain in support of a many-to-many architecture, transmitting data to all trading partners regardless of the network they are connected to.


Walmart to Add 2000 New Tech Hires This Year

Global retailer Walmart has plans to hire an additional 2,00 technology experts this year to support the retailer’s retail store and online technology deployment efforts, as well as its race to compete with other global online shopping providers.

The retailer currently has a staff of 7500 employees under the leadership of chief technology officer Jeremy King. The augmented staff of data scientists, software engineers, designers and other technical roles will be positioned across nine worldwide development centers.


Note to Readers- Supply Chain Matters will feature our This Week in Supply Chain Tech series as announcement warrant.

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