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Infor Takes Fashion PLM to the Cloud to Serve Digitally Native Workers

Fashion’s moving faster than ever, and Infor’s industry-focused product lifecycle management software can better keep up with the times, thanks to a newly announced cloud version.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer one of the first of its kind cloud-native, multi-tenant PLM for large fashion enterprises,” Corey Tollefson, Infor Retail senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement announcing the news.

With demand for new collections accelerating, apparel companies are expected to execute quickly and need software platforms capable of facilitating that need for speed. Legacy on-premise PLM investments often aren’t suited for the way fashion operates today. As companies have gotten over their fear of trusting the cloud with their most critical systems, they’ve shifted more of their business off premise to take advantage of the lower cost of ownership and easy upgrades that are among the key benefits of opting for the cloud.

Infor said Fashion PLM Cloud, available through subscription pricing, can quickly scale along with growing companies. The software is designed to serve as the backbone that supports digital innovation in product ideation and development. “We are working to create innovative solutions that make doing business smarter and easier for our customers,” Tollefson noted. “Adding PLM to our CloudSuite offerings allows Infor to deliver a highly efficient, scalable environment to our customers that can help give them the ability to work anywhere, any time, on any device, including Apple’s latest macOS.”

With Fashion PLM Cloud, Infor is better designing systems for how people want to work, especially the millennials—and Gen Z behind them—whose digitally native habits spill over from their personal lives into the office.

Sustainability and transparency, movements also being shepherded in large part by millennials, are becoming a bigger focus for many apparel enterprises, and Doug Tiffan, Infor’s head merchant, said the software maker has tools in place to help brands gain critical visibility into their supply chains and manufacturing operations. For example, factory inspectors armed with iPads immediately can upload their audits to Infor’s Commerce Network, enabling stateside stakeholders to access those findings and know when that facility passed its last inspection, he said.

“I think there’s still more room to grow,” Tiffan said, adding that he hopes to “meet with more brands and hear what they need beyond more recording tools.”

When it comes down to the consumer level, many fashion brands are deeply concerned with ensuring that what they report is actually verifiable, so that shoppers can know with certainty that, say, an organic shirt really was made from raw material grown in compliance with organic standards. “It’s hard for them to quantify that, so if somebody takes them to task and they get proved wrong, that’s very, very damaging to the brand,” said Tiffan, who spent nearly a decade at Academy Sports + Outdoors.

Continuing significant investments in R&D will go a long way toward building smarter systems that can serve evolving companies—and their evolving customers. Technologies like machine learning will be instrumental in refining Infor’s product offerings in the near term, Tiffan noted.

“Whether it’s in there today or we’re building it in tomorrow, machine learning is an important part of our story,” he said. “Science is what differentiates now. It’s not just about a system that can execute, but about how can you expand and do more.”

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