Monday, July 24, 2017

Industry 4.0: Harnessing the Power of ERP and MES Integration

Yuval Lavi*

By integrating ERP and manufacturing data for more accurate demand forecasts, companies can reduce inventories by avoiding overproduction.


In today’s competitive global markets, having a lean manufacturing process is more important than ever. Sharing information between the manufacturing floor and business systems can enable manufacturers to achieve new levels of efficiency. With the industrial Internet of Things (Iot) revolutionizing manufacturing by leveraging intelligent, connected devices in factories, there are even more opportunities to fine-tune operations with better data and process integration.

In a recent survey by Accenture of more than 1,400 global business leaders, 84% confidently asserted that they could create new income streams from implementing IoT solutions. BI Intelligence expects the installed base of manufacturing IoT devices to swell from 237 million in 2015 to 923 million in 2020. By that year, manufacturers will spend approximately $267 billion on the IoT. 

Indeed, the anticipated efficiency returns from digitization over the next five years across all major industrial sectors are substantial: nearly 3% in additional revenue and 3.6% in reduced costs per year, according to a recent PwC survey. By proactively leading the digitization effort, industrial manufacturers can earn a growing portion of these gains.

Since enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems contain information regarding inventory and customer demand, and manufacturing execution systems (MES) control how to build it, integrating the two worlds could help increase operational efficiency and enable organizations to become more flexible and more responsive to customized and changing demands. In addition, real-time information exchange between the business layer and the production layer could help increase overall equipment efficiency (OEE), reduce cycle times, and provide management with greater visibility for improved decision-making.


Here are six ways integrating ERP with MES can help make manufacturing leaner:


1. Real-time Production Adjustments

Demand changes that are recorded in ERP systems can be fed into manufacturing schedules to ensure quantities of products manufactured are more closely aligned with demand for leaner and more efficient manufacturing. Most shop-floor machinery is now powered by embedded sensors and control mechanisms. Wireless sensor and actuator networks (WSAN) provide servo and motor control via IoT along with traditional computer numerical control (CNC) methods that allow for in-progress production adjustments on the factory floor.

RFID tags, which have been used to help connect partners and move goods from a logistics and supply chain management perspective across organizational boundaries, can also be used on the factory floor in order to track work-in-progress materials, route those materials efficiently, enable parts requirements, handle JIT replenishments, and manage the availability and utilization of assets. When coupled with other data regarding materials as they flow through the factory and eventually to customers, RFID tags and other tracking mechanisms can provide plant operators with insights that enable them to efficiently process raw materials, right through to the finished product.

2. Accurate Demand Forecasts

Underestimating demand means running out of product when customer demand is at its highest, reducing a company’s revenues while hurting customer relationships. Insufficient inventory or stockouts are detrimental to both short- and long-term revenues since delays in delivery schedules can tarnish a company’s perceived reliability and long-term customer relationships.

Overestimating demand means companies have to invest upfront in a lot of extra inventory, which then can’t be quickly turned around into a profit. Excess inventory—whether raw materials, work-in-progress, or finished goods—ties up cash in the business that can be put to better use elsewhere. With inventory typically comprising between 25% and 40% of assets, demand uncertainty is often the single largest influence on stock levels. By integrating ERP and manufacturing data for more accurate demand forecasts, companies can reduce inventories by avoiding overproduction.

3. Just-in-Time Delivery 
Just-in-time (JIT) delivery and the surgical precision it requires have been around for quite some time, but now that supply chains are becoming increasingly intertwined with the Internet of Things, brands have a very large untapped opportunity to use the data. Supply chain managers can track inbound and outbound inventory with incredible detail, and that visibility allows brands to react immediately to changes. ERP schedules can be more realistic by incorporating quicker production times based on the latest improvements on the shop floor.

Wireless sensor networks provide data that impact just-in-time schedules, such as work-in-progress, parts inventory, and more. Likewise, any downtime due to damaged or defective equipment can be reported to the ERP system to push back delivery dates, if necessary. Even in transit, sensors on containers or trucks deliver real-time insights to products across the supply chain.

4. Avoid Rush Orders

By integrating ERP and MES, manufacturers are able to reorder from suppliers before inventory falls below a set level. Satisfying customers by delivering demands at an agreed time can lead to customers’ trust in a company’s competence.

Rush orders are one of the main types of supply chain risks because of their negative impact on the overall performance. Avoiding rush orders not only minimizes the possibility of production delays, it also prevents additional charges incurred by ordering materials at the last minute and by requesting expedited deliveries.

5. Seamless Change Orders

Better system integration supports more efficient execution of change orders. Any product changes requested by customers need to be transferred to production systems as soon as possible to avoid delays in fulfilling orders. Likewise, new manufacturing processes that impact production times and expenses need to be shared immediately with enterprise systems so that any pricing or product delivery information can be updated.

6. IoT Equals Quality

Manufacturing execution systems (MES) help streamline factory-floor operations by managing and monitoring all work-in-progress, including providing real-time visibility, and enabling traceability of both materials and products throughout their lifecycles, facilitating corrective actions for defective products. If there is a quality issue on the floor, real-time notification to the business systems via IoT sensor networks can be made to trigger necessary corrective actions via real-time events and scheduled tasks.

Integrating predictive maintenance data with ERP systems to optimize workflow scheduling can help manufacturers minimize the impact of equipment unavailability by dynamically adjusting the production run. If defective material is detected, it can be removed from inventory and returned to the supplier. The manufacturer can save money by eliminating scrap due to defective raw material and by reduced exposure to recalls and possible liability issues.

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The integration of MES with ERP systems enables manufacturers to orchestrate work orders and other resource needs. Integrating real-time data about the availability of materials across the entire supply chain with ERP systems can help manufacturers minimize unnecessary interruptions and delays. As manufacturing processes become more complex, having the ability to track all related product data from design to delivery is essential to maximizing manufacturing efficiency.

As manufacturers’ MES and ERP systems are often built by different software vendors and speak different languages, integrating the systems can be a challenge. With the growth in the amount of data used to improve the production processes, the cross communication and interaction between components has increased. To reduce the cost of communication and to increase the efficiency of these systems, middleware is becoming more essential. A code-free integration platform that automates the technical data transformations and provides a visual drag-and-drop interface to orchestrate the needed application programming interface (API) connectivity can greatly speed up and simplify connectivity between these systems. 

Integration platforms help ensure a free flow of information to achieve leaner, more efficient and effective manufacturing.


Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform




*Written by Yuval Lavi 

Yuval Lavi is Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Magic Software. Yuval's mission is providing high-level professional services and a variety support tools (framework, performance profiler, migration, etc.) for all Magic products. in addition to overall responsibility for Corporate Customer Support and in charge of developing a Corporate Knowledge Center.

Originally published by IndustryWeek

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Digitally transforming e-commerce customer engagement

Yuval Lavi*

Enabling excellent e-commerce experiences is a top priority for many companies. This is true now more than ever since B2B e-commerce sales are expected to outgrow their B2C counterparts, reaching 12 trillion USD in sales by 2020. 

Digitally transforming e-commerce customer engagement is now possible in part due to new mobile, cloud and big data technologies. But leveraging these new innovations to improve customer service is highly dependent on the seamless sharing of product, order, and customer data throughout the entire customer journey. Here are some differentiating e-commerce customer experiences that rely on several system integrations.


Self-service order tracking
Today customers want real-time status of their orders, and they want to access this information when it’s convenient for them without having to call a customer service call center. Customers can monitor the status of their order online from the receipt of the purchase requisition to product delivery, only if data flows through several systems, which may include e-commerce, payment processing, CRM, raw material handling, assembly and logistics systems.

Omni channel purchases
Some purchasing agents prefer to buy online rather depend on personal relationships with sales representatives. ERP and e-commerce systems need to be tightly integrated to enable customers to track orders regardless of where they were placed.

Personalized e-commerce services 
Customers want the convenience of customer-specific catalogs and pricing. In recent research, More than half (54 percent) of B2B buyers cited personalized recommendations across interactions when asked which capabilities they’d most like B2B suppliers to offer. Personalization was second only to “price and product transparency” as top factors influencing repurchase. This capability requires CRM, ERP, and e-commerce integrations.


Mobile price quotes
Real-time inventory and pricing data made available to sales and customers online provides for well-informed purchasing decisions and a shortened sales cycle. ERP, e-commerce and sometimes manufacturing systems need to be fully integrated to report accurate inventories and product pricing in real time.

Mobile ordering apps
There are solutions that offer a mobile order writing component for sales reps on desktop and mobile devices, including the ability to receive customers’ electronic signatures. Orders placed online and in-person are synced to ERP systems to enables both types of orders to be tracked from receipt to fulfillment.

Better customer qualification 
Salespeople need access to more customer data to better qualify their customers, most of it collected by marketing in the awareness and consideration phases. Integrated data sharing between the sales CRM and the marketing software provides a single view of the customer that marketing and sales teams can share. Sales can benefit from more detailed customer information through data received from e-commerce systems and data management platforms.

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A recent SAS survey revealed that although companies have made progress in linking back-end processes with front-end services or interfaces, data from these processes is not highly integrated or delivered in real time. One problem is that custom integrations typically cost more than US$1 million up front and require several full-time IT employees to ensure they run correctly, according to a report from Nucleus Research. Integration platforms can dramatically lower the cost of these connections providing a much more favorable return on investment for development costs.

A data-driven customer journey can be a competitive differentiator. But seamless data integration is a must to create excellent differentiating customer experiences.


Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform




*Written by Yuval Lavi 

Yuval Lavi is Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Magic Software. Yuval's mission is providing high-level professional services and a variety support tools (framework, performance profiler, migration, etc.) for all Magic products. in addition of overall responsibility for Corporate Customer Support and in charge of developing a Corporate Knowledge Center.



Originally published by CustomerThink

*Business card image created by Jannoon028 - Freepik.com

Sunday, April 23, 2017

7 Ways to Digitally Transform Your Supply Chain

To keep the supply chain working at top efficiency, companies need not only a flexible and adaptable culture, but also a highly adaptable underlying IT infrastructure.

Companies invest a lot of time, effort, and money in developing systems to power the supply chain. The amount of data can be overwhelming. However, by connecting data and using an integration platform to orchestrate business processes between systems, data can be the differentiator that enables your company to disrupt processes to increase efficiencies and provide a superior customer experience.

Here are seven examples of how integrated data can introduce new efficiencies into the supply chain.


1. Improved demand forecasting
Better coordination between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and sales systems can result in more accurate forecasts, leading to more efficient ordering and improved margins. Demand-­driven logistics based on accurate data reduces transportation costs and inventory while improving competitive advantage.

2. Cross-departmental planning
Integrated data enables business logistics professionals to make decisions based on a comprehensive and accurate picture of supply chain-related activities—sales, marketing, product lifecycle management, manufacturing, warehousing, procurement, finance, and transportation—across the organization.

3. Segmenting supply chains
Integrating data between your customer relationship management and ERP systems enables you to easily segment customers and products, and develop dedicated supply chains with specific service level agreements to create maximum value at the lowest possible cost.

Supply Chain
Image Credit: Mrsiraphol - Freepik.com

4. Decide between fast or flawless deliveries
Analyze all supply chain costs together for a unified picture so operational goals can meet corporate values and brand image. Having cost data and variables together in one system enables easy tradeoff analysis.

5. Achieving preferred shipper status
A company that integrates ERP with warehouse management software and yard management software to optimize transportation processes—such as enabling short dwell times and long tender lead times—will be a preferred shipper because those processes boost efficiency.

6. Support for procure to pay
Control and visibility over the entire life­cycle of a transaction—from the way an item is ordered to the way the final invoice is processed—provides full insight into cash flow and financial commitments. Integrating procure to pay functionality gives ERP systems the ability to extend to the final documents used to verify invoices and confirm that goods were received and signed for. 

7. Using Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems
Because PLM manages the development of a product and ERP manages the resource planning for production, it makes sense to integrate the systems. Once the design has developed to a point where resources need to be managed to produce the product, an ERP system should have the ability to import and share the latest product data with necessary departments for accurate financial planning.

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Data integration across systems can help optimize the supply chain and enable your organization to provide customers with the best possible service from order to delivery. 

An integration platform that enables businesses to connect data and processes across systems gives your organization the adaptable IT infrastructure it needs to digitally transform the supply chain.

Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform



Written by Glenn Johnson

Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show, E! News, Discovery and more.




Originally published by Inbound Logistics

Benchmarking For Field Service Success

In the field service industry, operational efficiency is essential for empowering an organization’s most important attribute – its ability to satisfy its customers. In a Strategies for Growth survey published last year, 64% of UK/Europe respondents stated that developing and improving metrics or KPIs was critical to strive and attain best practice status, up from 52% the previous year.

However, there are so many different measurements it’s difficult to know which ones are the most important.

Here are four different types of KPIs that can be used to assess those aspects service delivery that can have the biggest impact on customer satisfaction.

1. Service Levels
Expressed as absolute numbers, averages and percentages. This data should be reliable, repeatable and relevant — and collected without unusual amounts of effort.
Examples include average response time, average repair times, level of compliance with service level agreements, and mean time to repair rate (MTTR), which measures the latency of the entire process from service request to completion.

2. Customer Opinions
Subjective assessments of the quality of field service expressed numerically. One of the most popular examples is Net Promoter Score: your customers’ willingness to recommend your organization to friends and colleagues.
Originated by Bain & Company it is a faster, more responsive alternative to annual customer satisfaction surveys and is calculated by taking the percentage of promoters (9s and 10s on a 10-point scale) minus the percentage of detractors (0 – 6 on a 10-point scale). While customer loyalty isn’t the sole growth factor, Bain & Company determined that, on average, companies with higher Net Promoter Scores grow at more than twice the rate of competitors.

3. Efficiency Measures
Performance expressed in terms of a ratio. For example, percentage of billable technician time. This measurement keeps track of how much time your techs are actually working on servicing your customers rather than filling out timesheets, attending meetings or handling other activities unrelated to productive work.
Other important field service metrics include First-Time-Fix Rate (FTR), which measure how often technicians successfully close a ticket on the first call which is often dependent on having the right parts based on relevant available information. 

4. Service Complexity
Looks at the combination of people, products and systems to simplify processes to improve performance. This is one of simplest metrics to measure — and also one of the most crucial. It breaks down the average response time of your organization into the number of distinct steps between service request and final invoicing. 
For instance, the customer calls to request service, a dispatcher manually enters a work order to the system, then a work order is generated, then the field tech is assigned and dispatched, then the tech arrives on-site and completes an additional form, etc. Breaking down service into a series of steps helps identify how many different systems and people are involved to identify redundant tasks and areas that can benefit from automation.




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KPIs can also be used to identify opportunities to connect and streamline processes between systems. For example, better integration between systems can help reduce MTTR by implementing automatic triggers and event handlers between ERP and FSM to improve efficiency of dispatching, route optimization and field tech productivity.

These four categories of KPIs can help highlight integration bottlenecks and point to process improvements needed for operational excellence. 

Measuring and continuously improving operational excellence is important for any industry.  In the field service industry, benchmarking all four dimensions of operational excellence is even more critical since excellent customer service is essential for a company’s growth and continued success.

Are you interested in business automation, integration and mobilization solutions?

Check out Magic Software's offerings.


Written by Stephan Romeder

Stephan Romeder, is the General Manager of Magic Software Enterprises Europe, a leading provider of multi-channel application development, application integration and enterprise mobility solutions. He is also the Managing Director of Magic Software Deutschland, covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Stephan began his career at Magic in 1996 increasing sales and earning many sales and business awards as he worked his way up the corporate ladder by combining a strong focus on innovation with a commitment to developing long-term relationships with customers, partners and employees.



Originally published by Field Technologies Online

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

6 Reasons to Adopt a Culture of Digital Disruption

We are living in a topsy-turvy upside-down world that is suddenly post-modern and something more. Old assumptions of doing business are colliding with new business models and rapidly changing technology paradigms that threaten traditional business thinking with hidden barriers, digital delusions and more. 

A seemingly infinite world of zero costs is pushing us all forward towards digital disruption. Truly savvy business leaders and organizations are taking this unprecedented opportunity to leverage hidden opportunities in this changing world.

Here are 6 reasons to brace for digital disruption:


1. Business Models are no longer linear
As businesses like Uber and Airbnb demonstrate, buyers and sellers no longer need be connected by a linear sales model but rather via an infinite network. Digital technologies connecting mobile devices and Internet application platforms are creating real-time buyer and seller networks that bypass the middle layer of distribution and radically reduce cost and improve service.

2. Technology Paradigms are no longer centralized
The notion of the mainframe computer was to provide a massive single source of computing to serve a single organization. The Internet, mobility, cloud services, and active-active clustering are exponentially increasing the power of computing potential and business process effectiveness for organizations with the vision to harness the capabilities and recognize what’s real.

3. Hidden Barriers are crippling responsiveness
At a time when businesses need to be absolutely agile and responsive, they are discovering hidden barriers intrinsic to outdated technologies that prevent competitiveness and reduce responsiveness to market demands and customer needs.

4. Digital Delusions are trapping businesses in older legacy models
Too many businesses are falling for vendor-speak that attempts to dress-up old technology as part of a new trend that is supposed to lead to digital transformation, when in reality, it furthers vendor lock-in and reduces agility. Recognizing these digital delusions and hidden barriers is essential to unlocking the true potential of a post-modern digital economy.

5. Infinite Capabilities at Zero Cost are begging to be unleashed
When business models and missions align to create service-oriented, real-time networks, delivery infrastructure approaches infinite capability at near zero cost. Pairing mobile apps with cloud application servers and leveraging existing core IT infrastructure in newly integrated configurations can bypass traditional cost models and accelerate revenue streams exponentially. The possibilities are right there in almost every type of business, you just have to able to see how to disassemble what you have and recompose it using the new paradigms.

6. Simple Ideas Are Best
Twitter is basically the ability to be able to send texts or SMS type messages to more than one person at a time. Snapchat is the ability to be able to share pictures without storing them. Uber is the pairing of riders to drivers without owning vehicles. Google is the ability search for and find anything on the internet. The best ideas are incredibly simple and can be expressed in just a few words. What idea will digitally disrupt your industry? 

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Digital disruption is inevitable. Whether you are driving the change in your industry or being victimized by it is entirely up to you. It’s your choice. 

Will you be a victim of digital disruption or its conqueror?

Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform



Written by Glenn Johnson

Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show, E! News, Discovery and more.

Originally posted at Customer Think

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why flexibility in cloud services is key to ERP success in today’s age

In the fast-moving digital world, being able to quickly adapt to disruptive business processes and changing business needs is key to success and survival. While organisations might be able to adapt their strategy and culture, they also need their business systems to adapt to these new processes and requirements. The need for flexibility and near real-time response to changing business processes is especially essential for an organisation’s core ERP system.

Here are five reasons why ERP needs to be flexible.

Hybrid cloud configurations
Today companies should be prepared to extend their core ERP systems with a variety of cloud-based services to take advantage of best-of-breed and supplemental capabilities. They also may want to support a two-tier ERP model in which companies run more than one ERP system, often a primary one at headquarters and additional cloud ERP services at subsidiaries.
Companies should have the flexibility to create efficient, seamless workflows across multiple ERP systems, add-on services, and different applications, including CRM, WMS, and PLM – regardless of whether they reside on-premises or in the cloud.

Changing business models
Companies shouldn’t have to limit the way products and services are offered because their under pinning system is inflexible. For example, with the growing demand for subscription services, insurance companies are providing insurance coverage for young drivers by the day and jet engine manufactures are sell air time instead of the engines themselves.
An inflexible ERP system that can’t support dynamic business practices such as new revenue models and depreciation methods can be a serious inhibitor to positive changes. No company wants to be limited to outdated business models because of its ERP system.

Mobile ERP
The ability to perform day-to-day business functions on the go, including approving purchase requests, signing contracts, and viewing inventory levels boosts efficiency considerably. Mobile ERP applications benefit everyone from sales people to warehouse workers to CEOs who want immediate access to financial reports.
Enterprises must be prepared to mobilize relevant ERP data and processes, update data based on real-time transactions and support offline use cases.

Secure ERP data
Weak ERP security can lead to a loss of assets and compromise data privacy. Securing ERP data also needs to take into account the possibility of integrating with public clouds and tools.
In order for sensitive data to be protected, ERP systems need consistent secure integrations to back end and reporting systems.

IoT data tsunami
Companies wanting to leverage data from IoT systems for predictive maintenance, predictive analytics, and optimized manufacturing, could be flooded with huge volumes of data coming from sensors.
ERP systems can connect the device data with business data and must be able to process, analyse and show all this data in real-time. Elasticity with the ability to scale up quickly will become essential as more and more ERP business processes are data driven.

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Given ERP size and complexities, and the introduction of new technologies as part of digital transformation, there is always the need to modify and expand ERP systems. Planning ahead to include the necessary flexibility, and using solutions that are fully interoperable is the best way to be prepared for new data, security and reporting requirements that come with digital transformation.

Interested in integration? Meet the Magic xpi Integration Platform




Written by Stephan Romeder

Stephan Romeder, is the General Manager of Magic Software Enterprises Europe, a leading provider of multi-channel application development, application integration and enterprise mobility solutions. He is also the Managing Director of Magic Software Deutschland, covering Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Stephan began his career at Magic in 1996 increasing sales and earning many sales and business awards as he worked his way up the corporate ladder by combining a strong focus on innovation with a commitment to developing long-term relationships with customers, partners and employees.

Originally posted at CloudTech

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

8 big trends that will impact IT in 2017

In 2017 disruptive technologies that were previously buzz words will become a reality, there will be a rise in cyberattacks, and the new administration, in addition to going digital, will most likely change policies and regulations, requiring modifications to IT systems. With all of these changes, enterprises will continue to look to IT to be an enabler of digital transformation for increased efficiency and competitiveness.

Here are eight key trends on the horizon for 2017:


1. US government deregulation 
Under a new administration and Republican Congress, major changes in regulations are expected to impact numerous industries. The ripple effects across IT systems will likely require significant changes in business processes, and may even necessitate wholesale replacement of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) and other specialized systems in industries such as healthcare and banking where the deregulatory expectations are particularly high.

2. Rise in state-sponsored cyberattacks
Businesses should be prepared for a rise in state-sponsored attacks like the much publicized Russian-backed hackers’ break into mobile phones used by Democratic Party officials. Backed by budget, manpower, and determination, nations don’t have to worry about recouping costs or generating profit, so state-sponsored cyberattacks targeting mobile devices and enterprise systems will only increase in 2017.

3. IoT security as first priority 
Recent IoT security breaches will put security top-of-mind for enterprise IT departments in 2017. As billions of connected things are deployed, botnets will continue to multiply if devices aren’t secured. Security measures will be taken to prevent attacks from hacked consumer CCTV cameras and other connected devices that caused outages for Twitter, Amazon, Tumblr, Reddit, Spotify, Netflix, and others earlier this year. In addition, corporate IoT deployments will be hardened to prevent Stuxnet type attacks.

4. Geo-fencing for mobile app push notifications 
Geo-fencing will become a more common feature for mobile applications, especially push notifications used for sending shoppers incentives, reminders of rewards, and surveying customers about their shopping experience. Retailers will be able to build email and in-app campaigns for shoppers who have previously appeared at specific locations.

5. Digital customer experience as important as the product  
Consumers will consider a convenient and intuitive shopping app experience to be as important as the quality of the product or service they buy. Experiences beyond the ordinary that include augmented reality, virtual marketplaces, peer-to-peer collaboration, and 360-degree integration will be in demand.

6. App modernization for consistency 
Existing on-premise apps will continue to be morphed into mobile apps with a push to create a consistent look and feel across all platforms, including tablets, mobile, and the web. 

7. AI will be everywhere 
Corporate giants like Google, IBM, Yahoo, Intel, Apple, and Salesforce, are competing in the race to acquire private AI companies, with over 40 acquisitions taking place in 2016 alone. This year, AI will be used to discover insights, predict outcomes, suggest next steps, and anticipate sales opportunities for businesses.

8. Displacements due to digital transformation and demonetization displacements 
No company wants to go the way of Blockbuster or Polaroid cameras. Risk-adverse businesses that postpone innovating and adapting processes to match the needs of the digital economy may quickly become obsolete, no matter how trusted their products and services once were. Demonetization and the digitization of currency will drive new consumer revolutions across numerous marketplaces, presenting both threats and opportunities to which businesses must quickly adjust.

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The year ahead will present new opportunities and challenges accelerated by change in policies and disruptive technologies. Having a flexible, scalable, robust integration platform will make it possible to support the changes in culture brought on by focusing on the customer experience and digital transformation. Being flexible and adaptable to rapidly implement and integrate technologies will increase competitiveness and lead to essential differentiators for market leaders’ success.


Learn more about the Magic xpi Integration Platform



Written by Glenn Johnson

Glenn Johnson is Senior Vice President of Magic Software Enterprises Americas. Mr. Johnson is the author of the award-winning blog "Integrate My JDE" on ittoolbox.com and contributor to the Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations (Osborne-McGraw Hill). He has presented at Collaborate, Interop, COMMON, CIO Logistics Forum and dozens of other user groups and conferences. His interviews on software industry issues have been aired on the NBC Today Show, E! News, Discovery and more.

Originally posted at The Enterprisers Project