Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fast retail: The only way to travel in fashion

Apparel manufacturing has outdone itself through new techniques such as flash warehousing and global trend reporting. Nowhere are these more evident than the highstreet, where relatively upmarket brands finish off seasons with crowd-pleasing supplies and blitz turnovers. A handful of apparel brands have broken into this segment offering comparable substitutes to designer fantasy fashion, with their global approaches to retail snapping up the most eager markets.

Image source: oregonstate.edu
Fast retail in fashion is under pressure to touch off trends and respond to fickle consumer tastes at the drop of a hat. The method still keeps a sensitive eye to quality --- clothes never go stale but they could be menaced by shoddiness down the production line without material and workmanship uniformity. This is an industry where information exchange between processes maintains designs and motifs.

The IT connectivity of fashion is one of remarkable data interchange. Global retailers gather their factories and warehouses in a single information environment that, although unimaginable in a highly creative industry, clearly dictates production standards down to the stitch.

Image source: univision.com
Before coming into its own as an industry that could practice economies of scale, apparel manufacturing was either small-scale or big in name, but painstakingly bespoke. Retailers invented customizable uniformity channeled through ERPs ready for global implementation. Larger and newer markets dictated more efficient communication platforms across business processes, culminating in specialized business application software for fashion.

Image source: interiordesign.net
The enterprise software industry started with generalized products, but it is aggressively branching out into industry-specific platforms as manufacturing technologies diverge among businesses. In its more primitive days of earthier operations, fashion could afford standard business applications. More specialized versions such as Infor Fashion, a suite of applications that covers the entire range of apparel manufacturing at varying scales, attest to the diverse directions of business in the fashion industry. 

Image source: clothesshowlive.com

Infor is the third largest provider of enterprise software globally. Its growth, headed by CEO Charles Phillips, is heralded by its invaluable presence in key industries such as aerospace, automotive, food, and healthcare, among others. Visit Infor.com for a background of its increasingly popular ERP in the fashion industry.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Infor Customer Support bags Confirmit ACE award for the fifth time

Image Source: infor.com


Infor’s commitment to outstanding customer support has been validated for the fifth time by the Confirmit ACE (Achievement in Customer Excellence) Award. The award recognizes customer-focused companies that demonstrate exceptional use of feedback processes to improve operations, client experience, and revenue growth.

Forty-five organizations have earned Confirmit’s recognition and Charles Phillips’ Infor rises from the roster as one of the multi-year winners of the ACE award. For five consecutive years, Infor has proven not only its effectiveness in the application of feedback processes to generate positive results, but also the level of importance it places on providing customers with highly customized and proactive services and products.

Image Source: marketresearchbulletin.com

Henning Hansen, president and CEO of Confirmit, describes Infor as a customer excellence leader that clearly understands the criticality of customer feedback in helping businesses in competitive industries satisfy and retain customers and in enforcing business change.

Infor is able to live out such image through the Xtreme Support program, which functions as a hard-working dynamic hub connecting the company to its customers. Born out of Charles Phillips’ commitment to software excellence, the program leverages its four key characteristics—specialized, personalized, proactive, and accountable—to go further beyond reactive problem resolution and software upgrades.

Image Source: infor.com

Infor understands that speed and quality of information are of the essence in resolving issues. Xtreme Support is built to promptly respond to customers’ issues with information based from Infor’s proven industry knowledge and expertise.

Infor delivers proactive incident support and resolution to its customers 24 hours, seven days a week. Visit this website to learn more about Xtreme Support.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In fashion: How Infor’s business software applications are helping the fashion industry

Trends come and go, especially when it comes to fashion. Last year, perspex shoes and peplum skirts made waves; this year, fancy boat shoes and chambray shirts are flocking boutiques. Clothing and footwear manufacturers are trying to catch up with the constantly changing market demands, and to aid them in creating and getting their products to the market is Infor Fashion.

Image Source: acpwc.com

It may seem like a world of glitz and glamor, but fashion is serious business that involves a very complex supply chain. A suite of software products specifically designed for companies producing style-based products, Infor Fashion helps fashion houses manufacture more products and deliver them to the market quicker than their competitors. Created by professionals with decades of experience in the industry of apparel-making, Infor’s business apps streamline all aspects of the supply chain – from designing and developing clothes to sourcing, producing, and distributing them. Brand owners, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers all benefit from this software suite.

Image Source: fashionbi.com

 With the help of Infor Fashion, business processes become:

Organized. Through role-based dashboards, companies can do business on a single screen – there’s only one place to go to for all information needed.

Mobile. Business processes continue even outside the office with the help of Infor’s mobile apps for tablets and smartphones.

Connected. Because of Infor’s ION technology, connectivity between all the existing applications is simplified.

Reliable. Infor Fashion offers powerful role-based reports and fashion-specific business intelligence from a single, reliable source.

Social. Equipped with social collaboration capabilities, Infor Fashion lets a company’s employees work in a community of shared interests, allowing them to collaborate more effectively.

Image Source: mauren.terra.com

Over 1,100 apparel and footwear companies are enjoying the benefits of using Infor’s products. With Infor Fashion, creating trendy fashion pieces has never been easier and faster.

Under the leadership of Charles Phillips, Infor’s CEO, the company continues to provide various industries, including the world of fashion, with business applications designed to unify their processes. Learn more about the Infor Fashion advantage here.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Infor announces agreement to buy learning technologies provider CERTPOINT

Infor, the world’s third largest provider of enterprise technologies and services, and CERTPOINT Systems Inc., a global leader in learning technologies, come together to set the bar on innovating Human Capital Management (HCM) technologies.

Image Source: infor.com
Image Source: certpointsystems.com

Appearing to be an amalgamation like no other, the agreement allows Infor to leverage the power of learning management systems as a major component of its HCM suite. With the newly integrated HCM solution, companies can educate and train their employees, partners, and customers using innovative educational platforms. The learning management solutions were engineered by the UAE-based Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT) and Vuepoint, which joined together in 2007 to create CERTPOINT, a global enterprise dedicated to helping employees “manage their own personal learning and development using both formal and informal learning.”

Ara Ohanian, CERTPOINT’s chief executive officer, is optimistic of the sell-out, implying that the companies’ combined strengths and culture of innovation and business impact make for a solid foundation for crafting top-of-the-line HCM technology that helps companies transform knowledge into tangible business outcomes and reach breakthrough performance.

Image Source: infor.com

The acquisition of CERTPOINT is a provocation that Infor intends to be “atop the leaderboard of SaaS Enterprise HCM solution providers” under the leadership of software maker extraordinaire Charles Phillips.

HCM growth is foremost on Charles Phillips’s agenda as Infor’s CEO. Visit this Facebook page to know how HCM technologies can improve companies’ operational capabilities.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

REPOST: Drowning in data? The solution is simple: use more technology

Data boon could be a bane to businesses, unless companies learn to sift through it via the classic needs vs. wants assessment. What is the lesson in this chaos? Chuck Joiner answers, and Rory Carroll documents for The Guardian.

Image Source: Rory Carroll for the Guardian

If you're suffering information overload from email, news feeds, social media and other electronic chatter, you could turn it all off, hide under the duvet and yearn for return to a simpler, quieter time. Technology geeks, however, are advocating a different solution: embrace software as an ally, not an enemy, and use it to filter out the noise.

The Macworld/iWorld show in San Francisco this week displayed services and products for smartphones, tablets and laptops to tame the overload they create, a case of supply creating its own, burgeoning demand.

"Everyone is clamouring for your attention, and the flow of data is just huge," said Chuck Joiner, a producer and host with the the MacVoices Group, a community of Apple experts and enthusiasts.

In a workshop on how not to drown in data, Joiner said the key was to distinguish between what you wanted and needed, and prioritise the latter. Then you could use technology to impose order on chaos.

For email, he recommended junking addresses with dated domains such aol or timewarner and buying ones with your own domain from companies such hover.com, which sells addresses like you@yourname.com you@yourname.net or you@yourname.me.

Such addresses could remain yours for life, obviating disruptive changes, said Joiner. For particular events – such as a conference, or a part of your business or life that could be compartmentalised – he recommended setting up additional email addresses, with variants of firstname@yourname.com or firstandlastname@yourname.com or middlename@yourname.com.

This way you could funnel email to dedicated addresses and avoid sharing your principal address with people of fleeting or marginal importance. If such an address became redundant, for instance after a conference, you could delete it. You could further categorise email with addresses such as junk@yourname.com, marketing@yourname.com, bills@yourname.com. "It works really well. I created an email just for this show."

Joiner praised Gmail as an excellent way to aggregate all your addresses so that, if necessary, you could view all messages in one place. "It's unified, everything in one inbox."

Gmail let you organise email into different categories and had an "amazingly" good search function and spam filter which made it easy to track and archive data.

The key to social media was clarifying objectives. "It can suck you in, it's a little frightening. You need to think about what you want to get out of it. Do you want to keep in touch with high school friends, or people important to you now."

Whatever was extraneous needed to be "cut mercilessly". Facebook protocol was tricky. "If I friend you, you have to friend me even if I'm a complete idiot and have nothing useful to say."

Twitter, in contrast, was nimbler and more controllable. Joiner suggested capping the number of people you follow at 400 and using the Tweetbot app – there is a different one for macs and ipads – to organise it.

Trimming the glut of newspapers, blogs, podcasts and other news formats meant differentiating want from need, and using two "weapons".

The first, RSS, let you subscribe and filter. "Not enough people use it because it's still a little bit geeky, but it's wonderful." The other was Google Reader, which included apps such as NetNewsWire and Mr Reeder. They compiled news that was most important to you in easy to read menus.

Joiner said a third weapon, FlipBoard, let you organise social media and news feeds on an ipad in an attractive magazine-type format. "It's the only way I'll do anything on Facebook."

He also recommended Instapaper, a tool which saves web pages for reading later and strips adverts and clutter. "So you're looking at clean information."

Joiner said many people underused voice command apps such as Siri, Google Search and Dragon Dictation. "You'd be amazed by how much you could get done just with talking. But you have to practice."

Exhibition booths at the four-day conference, which ends on Saturday, peddled a range of other apps and services such as Dropbox, BusyCal, Evernote and ScanSnap, all promising to simplify and manage information.

The catch was that each plied you with extra information demanding time and concentration, especially for non-geeks. "Technology-oriented people are at a distinct advantage," said Joiner.

Infor, the third largest ERP provider on the market, is always on the lookout for workable methods amid the madness of the technological evolution. Speed necessitates organization, and vice versa-- it understands. CEO Charles Phillips makes sure of that. Get indoctrinated in this rising culture of precision and organization here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Speed Sessions as Inforum 2013's pulse

Think tanks will flock to Florida for the yearly Inforum, the official meeting of minds for Infor and its partners. But the event’s heart is The Hub, a series of learning stations, clustered by industry, pulsing social enterprise solutions that will not lay four days a waste.

Image source: inforum2013.com

Coming in “quick, interactive bursts of knowledge,” Speed Sessions comprise the novel offering of this year’s event. Organizers would have engineered only a design that emphasizes speed, of course, because it’s been heard the world over how Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, takes that vision seriously.

Spanning brief 20 minutes, this educational streaming through a certain product, module, or industry comes in hundreds, matching the 700 plus of 2012’s. The audience: thousands of executives, employees, and collaborators. This bold architectural approach is the crisscrossing of information in its subatomic variations, propelling participants to get more in-depth, open, and strategic in their hunting and gathering. Innovative facts bound to come more specialized in the forum with the Infor senior management team, face times with industry and product experts, and hands-on activities with partners.

Image source: inforum2013.com
If interested parties visit now the session catalog, they can access the session scheduler to customize their conference agenda. Perusing through the programme also helps narrow down the choices. The merging of agenda points to suit one’s need is the rationale for speed after all. The 87% that both attended and recommended Inforum 2012 to colleagues are the first to know that. The city of Orlando will be abuzz—for the right technological reasons—in April.

Image source: inforum2013.com

Log on to the Inforum 2013 site to register.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cyber warfare from the point of view of sophisticated software engineering

Apparently, not all software engineers are preoccupied with the creation of value-enhancing and globally competitive software. Programming sophistication could be commuted to more nefarious ends, and it has become an international phenomenon with large-scale repercussions.

Image credit: gov.aol.com

An investigative report from The Economist describes how cyber-warfare has reached the annals of mainstream politics, not just in the United States but in states with which it is in loggerheads. Since 9/11, cyberterrorism has been a concern in countries with sophisticated intelligence units, and it is no secret that their defense programs have tactically migrated both defensive and offensive measures online.

Image credit: detroit.cbslocal.com

The scale of cyber-attacks and warfare is massive, or at least, imagined to be. The dark side of the billion-dollar software industry profits from veritable information theft, sometimes for business and sometimes for state use. Classified data from intelligence units are used to deploy traumatizing attacks with real casualties. Big businesses are hacked for their R&D secrets. And a very real and yet virtual trade in information exists over the Web, one that requires an insider’s knowledge of the labyrinth of programming language that gets the profitable goods.

Image credit: kashifali.ca

Accusations on the role of software engineers in spreading worldwide terror mostly issue from Western countries. China and Russia are depicted with armies of computer-savvy havoc-wreakers threatening apocalypse by the mouse click. But any country used as a home base for producing some of the most sophisticated software in the world should know whether such scenarios are hysteria or not.

Enterprise software solutions are part of the growing industry of software engineered for business purposes. Get acquainted with Infor, one of the leading providers of enterprise software. Headed by CEO Charles Phillips, it boasts one of the fastest growths in the sector.