Infor announced a new partnership with analytics vendor Everstream Analytics to deliver insights and risk analysis to its supply chain platform, Nexus. In some ways, the news is surprising. Infor bought Birst five years ago, and that analytics platform lies at the heart of many Infor solutions. However, there is a space for specialist analytics solutions. Infor also bought Predictix, a specialist analytics company for the retail sector. This time, rather than acquire, Infor has decided to partner with Everstream.
There was almost certainly an option for Infor to at least invest in the Everstream. It has only just completed its Series A funding round. That saw the company raise $24 million from one new investor: Morgan Stanley Investment Management and existing investors Columbia Capital, StepStone Group, and DHL.
This announcement is, therefore, good news for those investors. Infor will integrate the Everstream solution onto the Nexus platform. The partnership may also be something that DHL has helped bring to the table. It already leverages the Infor Nexus platform for its Origin Freight Consolidation & Destination Freight Management Services.
Rick Meyer, head of global sales at Everstream Analytics, said, “Through this partnership, Everstream will provide the risk event intelligence that the Infor Nexus platform can then tie directly to transactions across the supply chain. By applying AI and predictive analytics to our datasets, we can deliver the predictive insights and risk analytics that businesses need for smarter, more autonomous and sustainable supply chains.”
What will Everstream Analytics bring to Nexus?
Everstream provides supply chain risk monitoring and risk assessments. It draws on data from many sources that include weather, labour strikes, port congestion, cybersecurity, ESG (environmental, social, and governance), and partner risks (physical and financial). Its solutions are already used by DHL, DuPont, Bayer, BMW and Schneider electric.
Infor will now embed this solution with the Infor Nexus Control Center. The combination will provide the ability for supply chain managers to identify risks. It will allow them to take action to mitigate the risks highlighted. It enables Infor Nexus users to have a complete view of both the real-time situation of their supply chain and the potential future impacts of global incidents.
Heidi Benko, Infor vice president of product management: “The Infor Nexus network has always connected companies to their supply chain partners and suppliers to provide visibility, collaboration and execution of supply chain processes from source to pay. Partnering with Everstream gives us the predictive insights needed to identify external risks or disruptions that could impact customer supply chains and the ability to deliver.”
This joining of the solutions will enable the organisation to better plan for incidents that may occur before they do so. For example, while weather patterns are unpredictable, long-range forecasting is becoming more accurate. Understanding the likelihood of a hurricane might help reroute shipments if certain ships are at risk.
Another example is Everstream identifying a likely strike amongst dock workers. It would calculate the chance of it occurring, the likely length, and the impact on shipments. It may allow the supply chain manager to reroute shipments to another port. The intelligence goes a step beyond the real-time analytics that is already possible on the Nexus platform to allow for future events based on the probability of their occurrence.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Everstream Analytics provides specialist information that naturally complements the Nexus platform. It is less an analytics company and more a data specialist. Once integrated, it will take supply chain planning to a new level. Will DHL reveal how it is leveraging the combination of platforms for its customer base? If it does, that could provide some interesting insights.
For Infor, it signals a shift from acquiring to partnering under Koch. That does not mean it won’t acquire. However, with DHL as an investor, it may hope to get an early warning if SAP gets acquisitive. For Everstream, this is good news. It will open up its platform to many more customers. Will it look to partner with other ERP vendors, and if so, can it remain independent?