Smart supply chains: JDA acquires AI player Blue Yonder

Smart supply chains: JDA acquires AI player Blue Yonder

NEWSBYTE Privately held supply chain and enterprise application provider JDA Software has announced that it is to acquire German retail artificial intelligence (AI) specialist, Blue Yonder.

The acquisition reflects the increasing importance of “connecting intelligent data and insights to bring about more profitable, autonomous supply chain decisions”, said JDA in an announcement today.

The terms of the deal have not been revealed, and the acquisition is expected to complete in August, subject to competition authorities’ approval.

Blue Yonder designs AI and machine learning algorithms to automate complex decisions. The acquisition will allow JDA to embed “new levels of actionable intelligence” in all areas of its software as a service (SaaS) portfolio, from retail/supply chain planning, to execution, labour management, and omni-channel delivery.

In particular, JDA’s Luminate solutions will benefit from the “brain power of Blue Yonder’s proven cognitive capabilities and rich, deep learnings to automate more profitable business decisions”, said JDA.

“Major digital transformation of supply chains is underway and the ability to quickly access intelligent, actionable data, and insights will determine the future winners and losers,” said JDA CEO, Girish Rishi.

“JDA’s end-to-end solution portfolio, coupled with Blue Yonder’s leading AI/ML capabilities, will enable customers to deliver more autonomous, profitable business decisions throughout their extended supply chains, unlocking the full business impact of intelligent data.”

Blue Yonder CEO Uwe Weiss added, “With JDA’s global scope and reach, we have a terrific opportunity to drive the use of our AI solutions throughout the world’s largest and most complex supply chains, and to support companies in driving AI innovation and automated decisions in complex supply chains.”

Blue Yonder’s founder, former CERN physicist and KIT professor Dr Michael Feindt, will provide ongoing “thought and innovation leadership” to both companies, while Weiss joins JDA’s Operating Committee.

Internet of Business says

Earlier this year, our exclusive, in-depth interview with JDA’s Rishi found the CEO on ebullient form, forecasting the death of monolithic supply chain processes.

The Blue Yonder acquisition supports his vision of the old, ‘one size fits all’ approach starting to lose ground. The future is smaller, smarter, more local, and more autonomous.

In this fast-emerging world, the companies that are the first to break apart their monolithic processes – an artefact of a focus on cheap labour, rather than on smart labour – will succeed.

In March, JDA announced a partnership with MIT on predictive supply chains.

Chris Middleton
Chris Middleton is former editor of Internet of Business, and now a key contributor to the title. He specialises in robotics, AI, the IoT, blockchain, and technology strategy. He is also former editor of Computing, Computer Business Review, and Professional Outsourcing, among others, and is a contributing editor to Diginomica, Computing, and Hack & Craft News. Over the years, he has also written for Computer Weekly, The Guardian, The Times, PC World, I-CIO, V3, The Inquirer, and Blockchain News, among many others. He is an acknowledged robotics expert who has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITN, and Talk Radio, and is probably the only tech journalist in the UK to own a number of humanoid robots, which he hires out to events, exhibitions, universities, and schools. Chris has also chaired conferences on robotics, AI, IoT investment, digital marketing, blockchain, and space technologies, and has spoken at numerous other events.