Six months after making a $25 million investment in retail analytics specialist Predictix, Infor today announced it has bought out the company's other investors to take full control. The Predictix software will be folded into Infor's forthcoming suite of cloud-based enterprise applications designed for the retail industry, currently under development in close collaboration with grocery chain Whole Foods Market.
Explaining the move, Infor CEO Charles Phillips said in a prepared statement:
The synergies between Infor and Predictix were greater than we could have hoped, and we’ve come to appreciate a great cultural alignment where both teams have passionate people who work hard and want to make a difference in retail and beyond.
Buying out the other Predictix investors makes sense to bring the teams together and provide the scale and resources needed to accelerate the retail revolution.
As we reported in January at the time of Infor's prior investment:
Predictix helps retailers solve complex problems in demand forecasting, merchandising and assortment management. It does this by applying sophisticated data science and big data analytics running in the cloud.
Predictix claimed 40% SaaS subscription in 2015 and it said today growth has accelerated to 60% since the Infor investment in January. There was no change however in the $60bn total in weekly forecasts that it says its retail industry customers manage through the platform.
As we noted at the time of the initial $25m investment, Whole Foods is a longstanding customer of Predictix and its technology is a core part of the retail solution that Whole Foods is helping Infor to develop. As diginomica reported earlier this week, Whole Foods CIO Jason Buechel recently spoke about that solution and, although he didn't call out Predictix by name, he emphasized the key role that data analytics plays in it.
For us this is going to be about how we host our product information, how we give ordering, receiving, it’s going to add a lot of new capabilities for us like replenishment, allocation, forecasting.
It’s also going to support our purchasing evolution as we adjust the way that we purchase goods, select our assortment, price our goods and put them on promotion this will be our common system to allow our global team members, our regional team members and store team members to interact together.
We’re leveraging new advancements in machine learning, Big Data and we’re doing it in an architecture that allows us to put all this in the cloud. Gets us away from batch jobs, things that are very much 1990s architecture.
Today's news comes just two weeks before Infor's annual user conference, which takes place this year in New York. With this acquisition under its belt, Inforum may choose to launch its retail solution at the show. diginomica's Derek DuPreez and Jon Reed will be at Inforum to bring you in-depth reporting and insight.
In separate news, Infor also signaled today that it is stepping up its sales drive in Europe, with the appointment of Jason Berry as vice president of Infor Retail in EMEA. With more than 15 years experience in the industry, Berry was previously responsible for business development and account management within Oracle's Retail Global Business Unit and was a consultant in the retail space at CACI Ltd.