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 29, 2019, which we believe woulSupply Chain Technologyd be of interest to our readers.

Included in this week’s highlights are noteworthy announcements from NEXT Trucking, Hailo, Kinaxis and Microsoft.


Freight-Matching Start-up NEXT Trucking Secures $97 Million in Additional Funding

Freight-matching applications provider NEXT Trucking secured a reported $97 million in Series C funding.

This developer has had a primary focus on applications development assisting truck drivers and shippers to have broader visibility and more efficient cargo movements within the largest port facilities in the United States, that being the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The purpose of the technology is help alleviate extensive bottleneck delays caused in periods of high port congestion.

A two-tier sequencing process coordinates truck pick-ups at the port, for delivery to a nearby container holding yard with real-time information. A separate contingent of drivers, coordinated by the NEXT application, transport the designated identified containers to actual destinations. The process is designed to improve efficiency and turnaround of actual container pick-ups and drop-offs, while other drivers are not forced to spend added idle time waiting in large traffic queues to pick-up and then direct deliver such containers.

According to the announcement, the latest funding round is being led by Brookfield Asset Management, together with Sequoia Capital and logistics property developer GLP, along with other backers. According to reporting by The Wall Street Journal, Brookfield owns 37 seaport facilities globally. Proceeds from the latest investment reportedly be utilized for additional software development while expanding the technology to other ports.


Start-Up Hailo Expands Series A Funding and Launches Fast-Track Development Program

Israeli start-up Hailo, developers of a microprocessor based on proprietary technology for deep learning applications targeted to deliver data center performance to Edge devices, announced expansion of Series A funding to $21 million.

Chinese venture capital firm, Glory Ventures, led the investment-round expansion and was joined by existing and other new investors. The investment reportedly will enable the company to expand its target markets into China and Hong Kong, complementing its existing markets in Europe, North America, Japan and Korea.

Beyond this start-ups strategic focus on the automotive sector, the provider’s processor technology serves deep learning applications in a wide range of other markets including surveillance, smart home, IoT and industrial, as well as robotics,  AR/VR platforms and wearables.

The announcement indicates that registration is open for the Hailo-8 Fast Track program to select customers to evaluate the initial samples of the company’s high-performance, low-power deep-learning microprocessor.


Kinaxis Selected by Novartis TechOps Organization

Supply chain concurrent and response planning provider Kinaxis announce this week that Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Novartis has selected the providers RapidResponse technology for the supply chain planning system for the global TechOps organization as part of a wider supply chain transformation initiative.

According to the announcement, once fully implemented, the technology will help Novartis to drive standardization of planning  across all divisions and utilize analytics to help manage the complexity of business planning.


Microsoft Sings-Up  Another Major Retail Cloud Customer

Microsoft announced a three-year agreement with U.S. supermarket retailer Albertsons, the parent of Safeway and Vons supermarkets to make Microsoft Azure the preferred public Cloud adoption platform. The deal represents another in a series of recent deals involving major retailers, including drugstore chain Walgreens and Kroeger supermarkets.

Business media has been quick to note that these announcements reinforce a theme from certain retailers to tend to shun a technology relationship with Cloud platform provider Amazon Web Services (AWS), the division of online retailer Amazon. In a published report from global Business Network CNBC, the CIO of Albertsons indicated the choice of Microsoft was due to the tech provider’s existing experience with large retailers, strong technical capabilities and because it is not an industry competitor.


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

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