Volume 13, Number 15 -- May 21, 2013

Infor Hooks Ming.le Social Platform to S&OP App

Published: May 21, 2013

by Alex Woodie

Infor yesterday announced that users of its Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) application can now utilize Infor's Ming.le social platform to foster collaboration among various stakeholders in an organization.

Infor unveiled a brand new S&OP application more than two years ago to replace the old Mercia S&OP tool that Agilisys (the precursor to Infor) bought nearly a decade ago. The Windows-based software features an OLAP core, and is designed to boost the efficiency of supply chains by providing a framework that ties together people, processes, and software products.

The software pulls data from CRM, financial, and ERP systems to help groups tackle business challenges such as demand planning, sales forecasting, production scheduling, supply and material planning, and inventory optimization. Algorithms kick out recommendations for business decisions (how much product to stock, when to initiate sales discounts, etc.) while dashboards provide access to KPIs.

Infor sees this sort of cross-discipline application as a perfect candidate for socialization, which is why it glued its new Ming.le social collaboration interface on top of the S&OP application. Ming.le is the Twitter-like news feed that lives in the new SoHo Web interface, which Infor unveiled last month at Inforum 2013.

To recap, Ming.le uses Twitter concepts, such as giving users the capability to subscribe to other users identified with the @ symbol and to things (such as products, assets, reports, etc.) using the # hash tag, and to receive alerts about them in a news feed. It all relies on Infor's ION middleware, which provides connectivity to Infor's various enterprise products, including core ERP and the various "ems," such as CRM, HCM, EAM, PLM, and SCM.

The idea with the new Social S&OP Model (not a product, but a model) is to utilize the Ming.le news feed concept to bolster togetherness and "harness the collective intelligence" of S&OP users, Infor says.

Infor envisions Social S&OP Model users following, sharing, and commenting on things such as sales orders, promotions, clients, brands, production jobs, or other events. Users will get information about events in real time, which Infor says will help them make more accurate decisions. Ming.le will provide links to various Infor applications (ERP, etc.), and automatically keep a history of the discussion and how decisions were ultimately made.

John Bermudez, vice president of product management at Infor, says the new social model will help boost decision making and, ultimately, profits at companies that adopt it. "Infor has transformed S&OP by embedding Infor Ming.le social collaboration so that issues are immediately visible to the whole management team, empowering them to develop resolutions interactively in real-time," he says in a press release.


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Editor: Alex Woodie
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