JDA ICON 2019 Recap

Whether you attended or not, this recap may help spur some internal discussions for your team.


JDA ICON 2019 was all about technology, APIs, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning). Attendees were consuming everything they could about where JDA was going and how their companies could take advantage of JDA’s shift to becoming the supply chain platform.

Girish Rishi, JDA CEO, leading the transformation of JDA

JDA’s transformation is resulting in not only a change in products but a change in culture to a more customer-first behavior. This shift has been working its way through the organization and is now being embedded in the way JDA engages with clients and partners. At ICON, JDA asked people to “Think Big,” to understand that JDA has actually changed and we ought to reconsider who they have become – as well as consider where JDA is headed (not just taking a few steps – some BIG leaps). In the middle of the photo above are the pillars of change; the Luminate platform (new leading-edge applications), the Microsoft partnership (JDA’s SaaS credibility and platform tools – in other presentations Mulesoft makes its way into this space for the integration components), BlueYonder (JDA’s push into autonomous supply chains by inserting AI/ML into their software) and their greatly expanded partner constellation (JDA’s partner ecosystem has expanded greatly). This is the core of JDA’s new message and direction.

Along with general sessions ranging from Starbucks relating their experience with Workforce Management to the incredible, inspiring and humbling talk given by Erik Weihenmayer, there were many customer stories presented throughout the conference.

Customer Presentations

Of particular note, there were a few customer presentations that included experimenting with ways to automate some warehouse operator processes, leaving only exceptions that would require human intervention. One approach shared was RPA (Robotic Process Automation), essentially the use of a software bot to run tasks that a scheduler would normally perform, leaving a human operator to take care of exceptions. Another approach shared was a pilot involving Luminate Warehouse Tasking (LWT), a SaaS, AI-based program that pulls the work queue from JDA WMS and uses AI to re-organize it, then uploads the list back into the JDA WMS. This tool was one of the more promising items for the warehouse, although it is important to note that the pilot only went live in late April. At Open Sky Group, we’re big fans of directed work and task interleaving, when the processes are conducive to it, and most operations struggle implementing it for many technical and operational reasons. Typically directed work challenges boil down to not having the right work at the right time to the right person; many turn the function off thinking it doesn’t work. LWT may help solve this challenge by taking care of two critical tasks that can be very difficult for a human operator to do; chaining different tasks together that need to be accomplished (i.e., receipt put away to replenishment to picking to staging to loading) and looking at when those tasks are due in relation to all the other work that must be done. A savvy human operator can release work to the work queue sequenced in the order it needs to get done. What happens when something goes wrong like a carrier calls to reschedule a pickup time due to traffic or vehicle issues? Only the savviest of operators could react to this change by manually changing the priority of the tasks so the operators are working on the right work at the right time. And that’s only if the operator knows about it. Can the savviest operator also take into consideration all the unchained, related tasks in the work queue that also needed to be re-evaluated? While it might be possible to make these adjustments for all of the related tasks, what happens when this operator goes home at night and there is work queued up for 2nd and 3rd shift? What happens when the outstanding directed work tasks are thousands of records or a multi-warehouse operation with hundreds of sites? This is a perfect opportunity for AI & ML to step in and keep things sequenced and prioritized in an optimal state at all times. There are several opportunities in the warehouse today where we can see this being used to free up the human operators to manage the exceptions vs. managing the process. Another important note: LWT is configured so that if a task is manually modified in the work queue, LWT will ignore it and leave it alone.

Open Sky Group client, TVS Supply Chain Solutions North America, presented on a panel that discussed integration with JDA Warehouse Management. The project covered the selection criteria for choosing JDA WMS and a partner, the drivers for the project and the approach and tools for integration. Thank you to Dan White and Darren Baker and the TVS team that worked to make that happen for JDA ICON.

If you are interested in presenting with Open Sky Group at ICON or other supply chain industry event, please contact Open Sky Group marketing.


JDA held their first ever developer conference the day before JDA ICON – JDA DEVCON. This is a tremendous shift for JDA, it’s clients and its partners. There were roughly 500 attendees. Open Sky Group had several people attend and all felt it was a very good first event for JDA in sharing its approach to their SaaS platform, their Mulesoft partnership providing the ability to view API’s and function as an integration tool and Blue Yonder, JDA’s fantastic data science tool using AI/ML. Overall, it seems that JDA is adopting a more industry standard approach, creating a community and application store where developers can submit add-ons or modules for others to use. There were live demos and a hands-on lab where individual VM on Azure were made available to everyone. Roughly half of DevCon attendees logged in and participated in the labs using REST API in MuleSoft gateway. APIs included WMS, TMS, WFM, LCT (Luminate Control Tower), Connect (as powered by MuleSoft), Luminate Demand Edge (AI/ML) and CATMAN (Category Management). All presentations, information and lab activities showed the amount of effort and commitment from JDA in this direction.

Additional Resources:

JDA’s Moon Shot

Transform the Supply Chain with AI

JDA Launches Luminate Warehouse Tasking

We understand that many of you may be feeling a little overwhelmed, particularly if you weren’t able to attend JDA DEVCON or ICON this year. We’d be happy to talk with you about JDA’s shift and direction – please contact us.