"There's more to business software than coding and user interface design. Scientific knowledge can be applied to improve business processes," notes ITwire's Stephen Withers in a Nov 27 article: "Infor Applies Science to Business IT."
Here are excerpts:
Just has business software vendor Infor has its Hook & Loop studio to take care of design issues, the company has also set up groups that work to apply science to business IT. The Dynamic Science Labs (DSL) was formed last year by Infor chief scientist Ziad Nejmeldeen.
Located next door to [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] MIT, DSL employs around 15 people that work directly with Infor customers in areas such as price and inventory optimisation, and forecasting.
The basic pattern is to identify a function that customers want but is not yet part of the appropriate Infor application. It has to relate to a problem that many customers face, said Nejmeldeen.
DSL then develops a proof of concept with at least two customers (to avoid the risk that the solution will be too specific) at no charge, then takes the resulting design to the relevant development team.
This approach means DSL is able to explore the problem and test the new functionality with real, clean data from customers, as well as getting feedback from people who will be using it once it is productised. …
[Nejmeldeen] stressed that the lab focusses on issues that cut across industries. For instance, an idea might come from the healthcare sector, but aspects of it might be applicable to manufacturing. For example, price optimisation software for distributors that serve the retail sector has also been applied to hospitals in the context of replenishing individual storage cupboards.
The article also lays out other examples of how Infor uses its Dynamic Science Labs for supply chain management and human capital management solutions.