5 ERP Trends in the Retail Industry in 2018

ERP Trends in the Retail Industry

ERP Trends in the Retail Industry

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has helped numerous businesses across multiple industries integrate their day-to-day operations and streamline business management processes. The retail industry is one of the largest users of ERP software globally. As ERP software vendors constantly work to create less complex, more powerful and more affordable ERP solutions for the retail industry, we’re set to see changes in the ERP software market.

What should we expect? Here are our top five trends to watch for in the retail industry in 2018.

Increased Adoption of Cloud-Based ERP Systems

According to a G2 Crowd – ERP software products review, more and more ERP software vendors are shifting their focus towards cloud-based ERP offerings. From Oracle Cloud to SAP S4HANA and Microsoft Dynamics 365, there is no doubt that cloud ERP systems are gaining wider acceptance across the retail industry. Experts estimate that the cloud ERP software market will be worth around $26.5 billion by 2020, indicating an increasing trend in adoption.

While most retailers have over the years been comfortable with on-premise ERP software deployments, the recent growth in the adoption of cloud ERP solutions across almost every business sector today, has resulted in increased adoption across the thriving retail industry. Cloud ERP systems offer the benefits that retailers are looking for including better scalability, enhanced security and increased support.

Growth in the Small Business and Niche Industries

In 2018 and beyond, ERP is going to be about small and mid-sized businesses, as well as niche industries. For too long, ERP software vendors have been focusing on large companies. The software landscape is changing fast with more small and mid-sized businesses shifting to ERP SaaS solutions to ease deployment.

ERP software vendors are incorporating more functions and capabilities that they previously overlooked to meet the needs of small businesses and niche industries like the food and pharmaceutical industries. With increased usability, ERP solutions are now focusing on the growing niche market which is, in turn, driving growth in the segment.

Less Focus on Legacy ERP Systems

Unfortunately, there are still many retail businesses that are using legacy ERP systems that have been in use for many years. As more ERP providers shift to cloud ERP solutions, it’s expected that more vendors will put less focus on legacy ERP systems. In fact, most of them are no longer offering long-term support or introducing new functions to these dated systems.

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Article Credit: Techworm

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Boers & Co see cloud ERP benefits without migration

cloud ERP

cloud ERP

I have often spoken about why manufacturing companies should adopt cloud technology. There are some clear benefits. However, a recent conversation with an Epicor customer demonstrated that while cloud might be the future there are some clear benefits that manufacturers can take advantage of now with their original installation.

Boers & Co group is made up of two metal manufacturing firms. FijnMechanische Industrie is a precision engineering firm and PlaatWerk Industrie a sheet metal manufacturer. It has a proud heritage of more than 120 years. It has also been an Epicor customer for several years. ET spoke to Jos Greeve, IT Manager at Boers & Co FijnMetaal Group about the implementation and the benefits that the company has seen.

History of using the software.

Epicor first came to Boers & Co attention after the acquisition of a company that was using Epicor Vista. At the time Boers & Co were using the Dutch based, niche ERP solution UniSpeqs. They compared the two solutions and decided to consolidate on the latest Epicor release, Epicor 9 in 2013. A year later in 2014, Greeve looked to install Epicor 10 across both of the companies. That project was also a success and led to a case study with Epicor.

It was a project that delivered some impressive improvements for Boers & Co. The company used 12-15% less labour in its operations within a few months. It also reduced its turnaround time for products from 8 weeks to 3 weeks. What has happened since that time?

Greeve is now running a single implementation of Epicor across both companies. The users are spread across two sites. The obvious question for a multisite company is why havn’t they gone cloud yet?

Greeve replied: “At this moment Epicor is running fine on-premises. We have got the infrastructure for running on-premises. And I am not sure whether we are allowed to go to the cloud as we manufacture things where we need to sign documents where everything needs to be in house. I think within 4 years we will be allowed to go in the cloud, but it’s a long way before we are allowed to.”

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 Article Credit: Enterprise Times

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Early Warnings About The Impact Of AI On Jobs And Using Facebook To Spread Fake News

Impact Of AI On Jobs

Impact Of AI On Jobs

A number of this week’s milestones in the history of technology demonstrate society’s reactions to new technologies over the years: A discussion of AI replacing and augmenting human intelligence, a warning about the abundance of misinformation on the internet, and government regulation of a mass communication platform, suppressing free speech in the name of the public interest.

On February 20, 1947Alan Turing gave a talk at the London Mathematical Society in which he declared that “what we want is a machine that can learn from experience.” Anticipating today’s enthusiasm about machine learning and deep learning, Turing declared that “It would be like a pupil who had learnt much from his master, but had added much more by his own work.  When this happens, I feel that one is obliged to regard the machine as showing intelligence.”

Turing also anticipated the debate over the impact of artificial intelligence on jobs: Does it destroy jobs (automation) or does it help humans do their jobs better and do more interesting things (augmentation)? Turing speculated that digital computers will replace some of the calculation work done at the time by human computers. But “the main bulk of the work done by these [digital] computers will however consist of problems which could not have been tackled by hand computing because of the scale of the undertaking.” (Here he was also anticipating today’s most popular word in Silicon Valley: “scale.”)

Advancing (and again, anticipating) the augmentation argument in the debate over AI and jobs, Turing suggested that humans will be needed to assess the accuracy of the calculations done by digital computers. At the same time, he also predicted the automation of high-value jobs (held by what he called “masters” as opposed to the “slaves” operating the computer) and the possible defense mechanisms invented by what today we call “knowledge workers”

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Article Credit: Forbes

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Food manufacturer migrates to Microsoft Dynamics 365 through Sable37

The move to Dynamics 365 comes as the company seeks to utilise a single cloud-based platform

TNA Solutions is replacing legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems with Microsoft Dynamics 365, deployed through specialist provider Sable37.

In operating as a global food processing and packaging equipment manufacturer, the migration aligns with wider digital transformation initiatives across the organisation.

The move to Dynamics 365 comes as the company seeks to utilise a single cloud-based platform with secure, anytime access to information for 600 staff across 30 global locations.

“We’ve never seen business at today’s pace,” TNA Solutions CIO, Pravin Singh, said. “The challenge for us is how do we become more agile and more engaged with our customers to accommodate this new paradigm.

“Our ambitious growth plans were critical to choosing Microsoft Dynamics 365 as our platform for the future. It is the end-to-end, secure, cloud-based platform the business needs to further drive growth in the business.”

According to Singh, the Sydney-headquartered business partnered with Sable37 due to the provider’s “specialist” knowledge aligned to the Dynamics 365 portfolio, alongside “extensive experience” within the food industry.

“Overhauling our ERP system is a significant project for the business,” Singh added. “It was equally critical to have the right platform and the right partner.

“We were not looking for a vendor to come in and replace a system but a company willing to partner with us on the journey to growing our business.

“Sable37 demonstrated their extensive experience with the platform and delivering value to businesses in our industry, and this assured us they were the right partner for us.”

From an installation perspective, Singh said the first phase of the migration will allow the organisation to manage end-to-end manufacturing processes through a single system, allowing executives to receive accurate information in real-time.

“We are excited about providing the business with critical information around cash flow, business processes, targets, all from a single system,” Singh explained.

“Microsoft Dynamics 365 delivers all of this functionality out of the box and that’s going to be such a significant change for the business.”

Citing the reporting capabilities of Power BI, Singh said the solution offers deeper levels of “visibility” to an organisation which currently operates across more than 14,000 installed systems worldwide.

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Home ownership among young people ‘collapsed’, IFS research reveals

Average house prices grew seven times faster than incomes of young adults over last two decades

Home ownership among young people

Home ownership among young people

The true extent to which home ownership among young people has plummeted has been laid bare by new research.

Just 27 per cent of middle-income adults aged between 25 and 34 owned a home in 2016, down from 65 per cent among the same age group in the mid-Nineties, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found.

The independent think tank looked at young adults in the middle 20 per cent of households in terms of earnings – those with an after-tax income of between £22,200 and £30,600 per year.

It found that those born in the late 1980s were much less likely to be homeowners in their late twenties than their immediate predecessors. A quarter of people born in the late 1980s owned their own home by the age of 27, compared to 33 per cent of those born five years earlier and 43 per cent of those born in the late 1970s.

Andrew Hood, senior research economist at the IFS, said: “Home ownership among young adults has collapsed over the past 20 years, particularly for those on middle incomes.”

Home ownership for young adults has fallen in every region and nation, and has decreased the most in the South-east, the IFS said. The proportion of 25 to 34 year olds who own their own home dropped from 64 per cent to 32 per cent in the South-east and by more than 10 percentage points in every other region and nation of Britain.

The fall in home ownership is entirely explained by the fact that young adults’ incomes are now much lower relative to house priceson average, the report concluded.

Over the past 20 years, average house prices have grown around seven times faster than the average incomes of young adults, the IFS said.

The average UK house price was more than two and a half times as high in 2015-16 as in 1995-96 after adjusting for inflation, but the average after-tax family income of 25 to 34 year olds grew by only 22 per cent in real terms over those 20 years, the research found.

For nearly nine in 10 adults aged 25 to 34 year olds, average house prices in their region are more than four times their annual after-tax family income and for nearly 40 per cent house prices are more than 10 times their income.

Twenty years ago, less than half of young adults faced house pricesof more than four times their income, and less than 10 per cent faced house prices of more than 10 times their income.

Young adults from more advantaged backgrounds are significantly more likely to own their own home. Between 2014 and 2017, 30 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds whose parents were in low-skilled occupations owned their own home, compared to 43 per cent of those whose parents were in higher-skilled occupations.

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Article Credit: Independent

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Home ownership among young people ‘collapsed’, IFS research reveals

Average house prices grew seven times faster than incomes of young adults over last two decades

Home ownership among young people

Home ownership among young people

The true extent to which home ownership among young people has plummeted has been laid bare by new research.

Just 27 per cent of middle-income adults aged between 25 and 34 owned a home in 2016, down from 65 per cent among the same age group in the mid-Nineties, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has found.

The independent think tank looked at young adults in the middle 20 per cent of households in terms of earnings – those with an after-tax income of between £22,200 and £30,600 per year.

It found that those born in the late 1980s were much less likely to be homeowners in their late twenties than their immediate predecessors. A quarter of people born in the late 1980s owned their own home by the age of 27, compared to 33 per cent of those born five years earlier and 43 per cent of those born in the late 1970s.

Andrew Hood, senior research economist at the IFS, said: “Home ownership among young adults has collapsed over the past 20 years, particularly for those on middle incomes.”

Home ownership for young adults has fallen in every region and nation, and has decreased the most in the South-east, the IFS said. The proportion of 25 to 34 year olds who own their own home dropped from 64 per cent to 32 per cent in the South-east and by more than 10 percentage points in every other region and nation of Britain.

The fall in home ownership is entirely explained by the fact that young adults’ incomes are now much lower relative to house priceson average, the report concluded.

Over the past 20 years, average house prices have grown around seven times faster than the average incomes of young adults, the IFS said.

The average UK house price was more than two and a half times as high in 2015-16 as in 1995-96 after adjusting for inflation, but the average after-tax family income of 25 to 34 year olds grew by only 22 per cent in real terms over those 20 years, the research found.

For nearly nine in 10 adults aged 25 to 34 year olds, average house prices in their region are more than four times their annual after-tax family income and for nearly 40 per cent house prices are more than 10 times their income.

Twenty years ago, less than half of young adults faced house pricesof more than four times their income, and less than 10 per cent faced house prices of more than 10 times their income.

Young adults from more advantaged backgrounds are significantly more likely to own their own home. Between 2014 and 2017, 30 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds whose parents were in low-skilled occupations owned their own home, compared to 43 per cent of those whose parents were in higher-skilled occupations.

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Article Credit: Independent

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10 Key Takeaways From RightScale State Of The Cloud Report

Takeaways From RightScale State

Takeaways From RightScale State

RightScale, the multi-cloud management company, has published their annual report on the state of the cloud adoption. For the last few years, RightScale has been surveying a large number of cloud users to find patterns related to adoption and usage among enterprises and small and medium businesses. The report has gained credibility primarily due to the representation from large organizations that have been cloud users along with beginners who are still testing the waters.

Here are the key takeaways from the report.

1.Multi-cloud strategy is becoming a reality

Majority of the public cloud customers are spreading their investments across multiple cloud providers. When compared to last year, hybrid usage is shrinking – 51 percent in 2018 vs. 58 percent in 2017. The intent to use various public clouds is increased by three percent.

2.Public cloud continues to grow among enterprises

Though enterprises are still investing in private cloud, the interest is gradually moving towards the public cloud. Public cloud usage has increased by 7 percent when compared to 2017. The plans to build and maintain a private cloud is declining. The move towards public cloud has also impacted the usage of hybrid cloud.

3.Majority of the container workloads are running on AWS

When it comes to containers, AWS customers seem to lead the adoption. Whether it is plain Docker, self-hosted Kubernetes, or managed offerings such as Amazon ECS/EKS, most of the workloads are running on Amazon EC2. Though Azure and Google are increasing their containers as a service (CaaS) revenue, AWS is leading the pack.

4.Kubernetes is the most preferred container orchestration tool among enterprises

When it comes to container orchestration tools, it is Kubernetes that’s winning the market. At least 38 percent of enterprises mentioned that are considering Kubernetes as a container management tool. The other players mostly have a single digit adoption rate.

5.Cost and usage optimization are the critical goals for enterprise IT

Across the board, cloud users are focused on optimizing cost and cloud usage. Cost optimization is the top concern for both SMBs and enterprises. Even among enterprise central IT teams, who typically have the most responsibility for security, there has been a significant decline in security concerns among this group. They are now considering optimization as the key concern.

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Article Credit: Forbes

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Is Splunk Big Data’s Big Solution?

Yes, it’s incredibly powerful – but is it enough?

There’s been a security breach. It’s every CIO and CTO’s nightmare. Your tech team is at a standstill, with no idea what happened, and the clock is ticking. Suddenly, that quiet guy in the corner – yes, the one who wears the same black hoodie every day – has the answer. And how did he find it? Splunk – the Big Data analysis tool that may just be the best software technology a lone IT ranger ever sneaked in the back door of your enterprise.

Founded in 2003, Splunk has seen its success rise in tandem with the rush of organizations undergoing digital transformation. Very simply put, Splunk is a software platform that indexes machine data and turns it into accessible, actionable intelligence. The company’s motto is “any question, any data, one Splunk” – and they mean it. Here are 5 key areas where that “one Splunk” can improve your enterprise through operational intelligence:

  • Applied to IT operations, Splunk can predict service degradation, and measure the impact of a critical service going offline.
  • It can also analyze application performance, uncovering the cause of crashes and comparing the performance of various releases.
  • On the security front, data analyzed by Splunk can detect breaches, and help prevent or stop an attack.
  • Marketing departments love Splunk for its ability to provide insights into user behavior, revenue sources and competitive analysis.
  • And when it comes to the biggest data generator of them all, the Internet of Things, Splunk allows organizations to integrate sensor data with other controls, predict downtime and assess cyber-security threats.

In addition to its breadth of applications, Splunk offers additional benefits. First, it delivers analyses in real time, allowing users to respond instantly to events and insights. It’s also a highly scalable solution – under the right conditions. So what’s the catch? For many organizations, it’s that Splunk becomes a victim of its own success.

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Article Credit: CIO

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How to handle Big Data

How to handle Big Data

How to handle Big Data

he Hollywood film Moneyball (2011) is about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and the attempt by its manager to put together a competitive team on a lean budget using data and computer analytics rather than depending on mere biases to recruit new players. The film stands out for focussing the spotlight on data science by showing that the art of data science is more about asking the right questions than just having the data.

It is difficult to imagine the great volume of data we supply to different agencies in our everyday actions, bit by bit through surfing the Internet, posting on social media, using credit and debit cards, making online purchases, and other things where we share information about our identity. It is believed that social media and networking service companies such as Facebook may already have more data than they are leveraging. There are infinite ways to slice and dice data, which itself is quite daunting as at every step, there is potential to make huge mistakes.

Careful data mining from Big Data might help understand our behaviour in order to facilitate planning. But there are examples of blunders being made with a load of information at one’s fingertips. The problem with so much information is that there is a much larger haystack now in which one has to search for the needle.

The Google project

Here is an example. In 2008, Google was excited about “Big Data hubris” and launched its much-hyped Google Flu Trends (GFT) based on online searches on Google for flu-related information with the aim of “providing almost instant signals” of overall flu prevalence weeks earlier than data out out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the leading national public health institute in the U.S. But much of it went wrong; GFT missed the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and was wrong for 100 out of 108 weeks since August 2011; it even missed the peak of the 2013 flu season by 140%. Google tried to identify “flu” with the search pattern. Usually, about 80-90% of those visiting a doctor for “flu” don’t really have it. The CDC tracks these visits under “influenza-like illness”. Understandably, the Net search history of these people might also be an unreliable source of information. While GFT was promoted as the poster project of Big Data, it eventually became the poster child of the foibles of Big Data. In the end, it focussed on the need for correctly using the limitless potential of Big Data through efficient data mining.

Data blunders often arise out of bias, low-quality data, unreliable sources, technical glitches, an improper understanding of the larger picture, and lack of proper statistical tools and resources to analyse large volumes of data. Moreover, Big Data invariably exhibits fake statistical relationships among different variables, which are technically called “spurious correlations” or “nonsense correlations”. Relying too heavily on a particular model is also a common mistake in Big Data analyses. Therefore, the model should be wisely and carefully chosen according to the situation.

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Article Credit: TH

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Big Data Analytics Field Revolutionizes Military Intelligence

Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics

Big Data Analytics is helping to quantitatively deal with the information overload, as well as to qualitatively improve intelligence assessments by drawing out patterns and insights from data, say intelligence experts. Though reconnaissance and surveillance tasks are carried out by the military prior to mounting any assault, the success of the mission depends on the correct analysis of the available information.

Big Data Analytics has been playing a major role in military intelligence. With armed forces around the world investing in integrated Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) capabilities and a wide array of sensors, information overload is leading to a deluge of data.

Advances in smart and networked combat systems have been pushing military forces to adopt new technologies, including Big Data analytics. French defense giant Thales’ acquisition of the US-based firm GUAVus, a pioneer in big data analytics, in 2017 was a case in point, according to thehindubusinessline.com.

Israel presents an intriguing ecosystem of big data technology innovation and its applications for the commercial and defense markets. Experts from the IDF, the defense industries and the leading big data companies will take part in the coming Big Data for Security and Intelligence Conference and Exhibition. 

The event will be held on February 21st at the Lago Conference Center in Rishon LeZion, with the participation of the leading experts and industries of the big data ecosystem in Israel and abroad.

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Article Credit: IHLS

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