The new CloudSuite Retail platform from Infor is winning some major new customers including Crate and Barrel. A pre NRF announcement in New York says Crate and Barrel are to help develop the solution. They are also working with Whole Foods Market and DSW Inc, the footwear retailer to develop new features and functionality. Crate and Barrel is a significant win for Infor as it looks to make a noise prior to NRF. They aren’t the only ones though with Oracle announcing Hamleys and Ricardo Eletro as well.
Not completely new for Crate and Barrel
This new relationship with Crate and Barrel goes back to 2013 when it implemented Predictix. This is a company Infor bought last year and integrated its technology into Retail CloudSuite. The announcement reveals that Crate and Barrel will work with Infor to develop the Product Information Management Tools. Mike Relich, Chief Operating Officer, Crate and Barrel commented: “When the opportunity arose to work alongside Infor to create a next generation system built upon 21st century thinking, we were excited. Infor’s end user approach to development will be combined with our knowledge of what goes into unique product offerings to produce a user experience that is not only beautiful but one that allows us to disrupt the industry.”
What is missing?
The announcement does not reveal what CloudSuite modules, beyond Predictix, Crate and Barrel will adopt. There is no mention of replacing the PeopleSoft HR system that they are using. Nor does it appear it will replace some of the other Retail systems such as Moxie Concierge it implemented last year. The inference is that the cooperation will look to improve the analytics around retail data collected from the omni-channel feeds Crate and Barrel has already in place. Reich continued: “Tracking all of our product information became cumbersome and repetitive, and we reached a level where this key component of merchandising needed to be automated. We immediately saw value in partnering with Infor and taking advantage of the great platform they are building.”
Improving Infor CloudSuite Retail
While the extent of the additional implementation at Crate and Barrel is unclear, the is an important announcement for Infor. It sees another major retailer working with Infor to develop is solution. This will help make it a major competitor to other vendors in this space. Capturing the insights and improvements will help Infor develop their software further.
We expect another major announcement in the near future that will further nibble away at the Oracle customer base. Corey Tollefson, Senior Vice President of Infor Retail commented: “Delivering the best customer experience isn’t solely achieved by front-end – every enterprise component must work in concert to achieve the desired results. We are thrilled to be working with some of the best minds in the retail industry, such as those from Crate and Barrel, to develop comprehensive solutions that will truly revolutionize not only the shopping experience, but ultimately the way retail businesses are run.”
The Infor acquisition of Predictix gives the ERP company a significant advantage in the Retail Sector. When we spoke to Tollefson last year he equated it to the acquisition by Oracle of ProfitLogic. The difference is that Predictix is now a cloud-based analytics solution for Retail. This gives Infor an advantage in the market. Retail is at a tipping point. Cloud and omni-channel based are now the go to solutions. Infor is hoping its CloudSuite offering is in the right place at the right time.