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Integrating interoperability

Blue Yonder's advancements are underpinned by strategic investments in cloud-native architecture. Image: Blue Yonder.

Blue Yonder’s Richard Ryan explains the company’s new interoperable services, why Blue Yonder is changing the way it renews systems, and why the journey they – and their clients – are on is an exciting one.

“If you look a Blue Yonder’s product portfolio you’ll see manufacturing planning, manufacturing solutions, retail planning, retail solutions, and execution solutions – including transportation management and warehouse management,” says Blue Yonder’s Richard Ryan. “Until very recently we didn’t really focus on the connection between these solutions.”

And it’s this lack of connectivity that the supply chain platform provider is now intent on rectifying.

“What we’ve seen post-COVID, is that most of the problem actually lies in the connections between these solutions,” Richard says. “Say you’re doing a plan for manufacturing, but you don’t really know if you have the trucks to transport all the products you’re planning to build – or you don’t know if you have warehouses to position the products you’re planning to build. What we see now as a big challenge is getting all these different buckets to talk to each other and work with the same data.

“If I’m doing a plan from a manufacturing point of view, I should be sure that I can transport and warehouse it, and my retail organisation is ready to receive it.”

To that end, Blue Yonder is forging ahead with its “interoperable solutions”, where different domains communicate directly with each other and share information in a way beyond simple interfacing.

The significance of Blue Yonder’s update cannot be overstated. It addresses critical pain points such as siloed operations, visibility gaps, and inefficient workflows that have long plagued supply chain management. By enabling seamless coordination and streamlined management across the entire supply chain ecosystem, Blue Yonder’s solutions promise to mitigate inventory waste, reduce overhead costs, enhance sales, and improve responsiveness and resilience.

Central to this innovation is the integration of processes, systems, and data across Blue Yonder’s Planning and Execution solutions, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to facilitate smarter, scalable, and real-time decision-making. This approach ensures that businesses can operate more synchronously, achieving unified goals with unprecedented efficiency.

Blue Yonder’s advancements are underpinned by strategic investments in cloud-native architecture, composable microservices, and a platform data cloud powered by Snowflake. These technologies provide the foundation for scalable, secure, and high-speed supply chain operations, enabling businesses to leverage AI-driven insights and achieve accelerated adoption and productivity.

“It’s definitely a change in vision,” Richard says, “but it’s also a change in the underlying technology. We have developed a partnership with Snowflake, which is a crucial piece of tech for our new strategy. We’re going to have a common database using Snowflake between all our different applications. If a planning solution wants information from a WMS, it can just go into Snowflake and pick that information; if a TMS wants to know what the plan is for the next month – it can go into Snowflake and pick that information there.”

Importantly, the new interoperability that is being designed into Blue Yonder’s solutions allows for customers to access Snowflake data with their own applications, too. “It’s not a closed environment like some vendors have; ours is an open environment where the customer can have their own application, and if they want information about warehousing, for instance, they too can get the data right out of Snowflake.”


Achieving complete interoperability is long term project – and potentially costly. That’s why Blue Yonder is breaking up its solutions into “composable microservices”.

“If someone comes to me and says, ‘I want to achieve interoperability’, and I say: ‘Okay, let’s replace your planning, your TMS, your WMS, your OMS, your execution’ – then we’re talking about 10 years and multi-million-dollar projects, which nobody wants to undertake,” says Richard.

With Blue Yonder’s composable microservices, they can instead address key pain points one-by-one, without being locked into a costly or lengthy complete overhaul.

With Blue Yonder’s composable microservices, they can instead address key pain points one-by-one. Image: Blue Yonder.
With Blue Yonder’s composable microservices, they can instead address key pain points one-by-one. Image: Blue Yonder.

“Let’s say you have a visibility problem, but you don’t want a new OMS. You have a problem with visibility of your warehouse, of your inventory in stores, on your website. You need to tell your customers if you have that product available in stores or not. That is a pain point for you. You don’t have to buy our entire OMS; you could buy our microservices for visibility, implement that into your ecosystem – and that’s adding value to you.”

As companies progress with their journey, they can purchase more microservices from Blue Yonder – even to the point of having all of them. But the point is, says Richard, that “you’re not mandated to do that to start having benefits. We’re enabling the customer to buy parts of those microservices in such a way that they can add value to their current ecosystem but don’t have to change their legacy products immediately.”


Blue Yonder understands that not every customer will want to use their entire tech stack, says Richard, and that is a big difference from some of the other players in the field.

“A company may want to use another WMS – and while we’d prefer they use ours, it’s okay, we’ll still happily work with you to achieve your goals. Even if you don’t use our WMS, you can still use our billing solution or our OMS. We’re not mandating you to use our entire tech stack – and that’s a big differentiator from some of our competitors.”

Blue Yonder also understands that the move from legacy systems to more modern technology is a big investment and very high risk.

“We can reduce your risk right now without overhauling a legacy system,” says Richard. “You may have a legacy system, you like it, you know how it works, and by just adding another layer on top, you can reduce your risk and get another five or ten years out of the system.

“If we can give you access to the data in Snowflake, this legacy system now can benefit from having a repository of data that you need. In effect, we’re giving more of an afterlife to legacy systems. This is incredibly important for some customers.”

For Blue Yonder, it’s not just about the destination – but the journey too. Richard says that the company is travelling on a journey with its customers that will unfold over time, but that is being undertaken with a level of seriousness and investment that will yield dividends for it and its customers over the long haul.

“This is all possible because our parent company, Panasonic, has made a significant investment allowing us to do this replatforming. It’s not something that’s easy to do – it requires a tremendous amount of investment from the software company because the norm is to sell the software first and then develop it. But because of the investment from Panasonic, we’re able to really sit down and re-write our entire platform.

“We’re putting our money where our mouth is so we can deliver the results clients need now. We’re excited about the journey we’re on, and we think our clients will be excited by the results we deliver them, too.”

For more information on Blue Yonder, click here

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