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Inforum 2017: Infor adds Coleman to the Alexa, Siri, Watson & Einstein AI gang

Will Infor's Coleman be able to eclipse other well-known names in the enterprise AI space?

By Tom Ball

There are many names, characters and voices associated with artificial intelligence (AI), including Siri, Alexa, Einstein and Watson. At the Inforum 2017 event, Infor have announced their own contribution, Coleman.

Coleman is set to harness the power of the vast quantities of data that Infor has access to, as a cloud based, industry focussed AI platform.

The name of the new platform bears great meaning, as it is named after Katherine Coleman Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who famously worked on aeronautics and space programs in the United States.

Coleman was highly influential because of her formidable mind, and she has also become a significant figure as boundaries based on gender and race have been dismantled. Members of her family attended the Inforum 2017 event, receiving a standing ovation.

Inforum 2017: AI is the new steam engine

Duncan Angove, President, Infor

President of Infor, Duncan Angove, introduced the new AI platform, he said: “Compute power has become cheap and powerful, the internet happened, and knowledge has moved online, and we kept producing more. Mobile happened, we developed better algorithms, better AI, and now we can train it with vast amounts of data, and do it on the supercomputer that is the cloud.”

“AI is the new steam engine, the new electricity, and it will change everything. Society is changing, one learning algorithm at a time.”

“Coleman is our cloud based AI platform, with a collection of industry specific AI services that harness our vast data set and industry knowledge, and its wired into Infor’s CloudSuites to make it infinitely faster and smarter.”

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Infor CloudSuites are sets of products integrated together, such as customer relationship management (CRM) tools, marketing, e-commerce, financing, and analytics. These platforms are also acutely industry specific, purpose built to focus on areas such as finance.

Angove emphasised the fast growing presence and capabilities of the cutting edge technology in the lives of ordinary people, noting an instance in which Amazon’s Alexa called the emergency services after detecting a domestic dispute.

The technology is set to be highly disruptive within all major industries, many of which are a long way from being paperless, and still require humans to take on arduous, endless, and meaningless tasks.

Inforum 2017: AI is the new steam engine

“Studies have shown that 40 percent or more of the tasks of the finance department could be replaced by AI or bots by 2020. Coleman will be able to execute these low complexity high volume tasks by invoice matching, expense report reconciliation, and creating consolidated reports,” said Angove at Inforum 2017.

One of the central benefits of CloudSuites is the organisation-wide visibility that is gained by being able to govern and monitor multiple areas from a central console. Microsoft are also targeting the streamlining of processes within the enterprise through heightened visibility with Dynamics 365.

READ MORE: Putting AI into action – A practical guide to move beyond the hype

Angove said: “It is conversational, it makes your interaction with the application more efficient and natural, it automates, it frees you up to focus on valuable work, and it advises. Our CloudSuites can now chat, hear, talk and see. For chat and voice we are just leveraging the same technology that sits behind Amazon’s Alexa, and other AI frameworks out there, we are also leveraging open source AI for image recognition, trained on millions and millions and millions of images, your camera becomes a search box into your CloudSuite.”

Angove also explained how machines can be connected to Coleman using the internet of things (IoT); customers of Infor include the likes of Travis Perkins, a firm yielding vast amounts of data pertaining to vehicles and other machines that could be harnessed by the new platform.

“Coleman will just keep getting smarter and smarter on the business, on the supply chain, and on your customers, it will bring prediction, recommendation, optimisation, and power to every area of your business, and do it with deep industry focus,” said the Infor President.



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