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Inforum 2016: Retail’s Digital Transformation

Retail, as we know it, is changing and Infor is offering brands major digital solutions.

At the business application company’s annual conference last week, Inforum, attendees came together to discuss data and technology innovations for different industries, including retail. Among the sessions, Infor hosted a Q&A with chief operating officer Marc Scibelli, debuted its H&L Digital service and discussed how retailers can overcome logistics challenges.

One highlight of Inforum 2016 was a discussion about the digital disruption that interferes with Infor’s retail clients. “We spend a lot of time worrying about this middle layer, this connective layer,” said Scibelli at his digital transformations deep dive Q&A.

Scibelli discussed how digital transformation is necessary for customers to improve product integration and maximize infrastructure optimization. The “connective layer” Scibelli referred to involves the process of transitioning from digital disruption to a fully emerged digital business. This includes revamping brand strategy and establishing cloud suites, which are customized industry solutions and technology platforms for customers.

“We are working with a lot of customers that have legacy systems. It goes back to the connective tissue. You need a team that could create web products based on those systems and we should integrate systems into new solutions,” Scibelli said. “If it’s not leveraging a digital future, it should not be running.”

Scibelli also leads another important Infor milestone, the establishment of H&L Digital, a new division that provides end-to-end digital cloud solutions. H&L digital provides Infor customers with solutions that drive new capabilities, create differentiated IP, generate new revenue streams and ultimately establish better business operations. Scibelli is the head of H&L Digital and a lead digital strategist for this new service.

“The rise of powerful digital platforms and networks has sparked significant changes in the way we all work, communicate, and sell,” said Scibelli. “H&L Digital will help Infor customers create new cloud solutions to differentiate their businesses and retain their customers in a strong digital ecosystem.”

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Infor Digital as a Service includes four elements, service, design, assemble and run. Building on interactive workshop insights, H&L Digital creates a digital strategy for both brands and businesses that identifies “quick wins” to prototype first. To finalize strategies, H&L Digital’s development team works with customer IT teams to create implementation roadmaps. H&L Digital also uses design-first thinking to create intuitive experiences for end-users, so companies can customize industry interactions. Assembling disparate products and services allows H&L Digital to accelerate companies’ projects. Lastly, H&L digital runs SaaS services with customized company technology solutions.

“H&L Digital is the next evolution of Infor’s strategic investment in digital and user experience as competitive differentiators,” said industry analyst and CxO Talk founder Michael Krigsman. “Because Infor already advises its software customers on digital strategy, this new group represents a further commitment to digital transformation. H&L Digital deepens Infor’s ability to leverage the company’s platform to execute customer engagements.”

For companies seeking better warehouse management system, Infor presented its SCE product at the conference. The product contains core warehouse management modules, outbound transport integrations and retail micro verticals. SCE assists greatly with the logistics process by enabling dock scheduling, facilitating the order fulfillment process and configuring complex functions involving warehouse operations. In the process, companies reduce costs by increasing productivity and optimizing warehouse space, inventory, freight and labor costs.