Hidden Figures no more; Infor names AI platform for NASA mathematics pioneer

Coleman platform announced at Inforum event in New York

By Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE Media July 11, 2017

The debut of Infor’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform is as notable for the legacy of its name as it is for its functionality.

At its annual Inforum event in New York City, Infor introduced Coleman, the industry-specific AI platform. It is named in honor of Katherine Coleman Johnson, a physicist and mathematician for NASA whose story was part of the popular 2016 movie "Hidden Figures," about three African-American mathematicians whose work was critical to the U.S. space program in the 1960s.

Katherine Coleman Johnson’s family was recognized during Inforum’s opening ceremony Monday, July 11, at the Javits Center in New York. In a statement, her family said, "We are excited and honored that Infor would choose our matriarch to help them represent innovation, analytical might, and a continued push for excellence. She symbolizes for many a beacon of resilience, a source of courage, and a promise of what’s possible. For Katherine Coleman Johnson, the value is in knowledge shared, not in what is known."

Infor officials discussed the changing landscape of data management in manufacturing, supply chain, and other industries throughout the opening ceremonies, and capped the presentation with the debut of the Coleman AI platform.

"Infor spent many years automating processes that followed clear rules, such as accounting and manufacturing processes," said Infor CEO Charles Phillips in a statement. "We are now leveraging machine learning and our access to large amounts of data to assist users with less structured processes, such as complex decisions, conversations, and predictions."

Company officials said the Coleman platform would help drive faster data-driven analytics and recommended decisions throughout the company’s existing CloudSuite enterprise platform."Coleman is so powerful because it takes the mission-critical business data from Infor CloudSuite, coupled with the supplier, logistics, and finance data from the GT Nexus Commerce Network, and analyzes it with the computing power of a hyper-scale public cloud," said infor president Duncan Angove in a statement.

Bob Vavra, content manager, Plant Engineering, CFE Media, bvavra@cfemedia.com.