About Us

Cooperation between Fraunhofer Institutes

The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML and the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST from Dortmund worked together to start the research project "Logistics Mall – Cloud Computing for Logistics". The close collaboration linked logistics and IT and used the synergies from both areas of expertise to achieve the project goals.

By taking the Cloud Computing approach, the two Fraunhofer institutes developed a new generation of logistics IT support. Logistics processes are becoming more and more complex and the requirements for flexibility and dynamism are constantly growing. The existing IT solutions no longer adequately reflect the processes. The close collaboration between the two institutes and the combined use of logistics and IT know-how resulted in a service-oriented platform: the Logistics Mall.

Welcome message from Professor Dr. Michael ten Hompel

Congratulations! You have arrived in the future!
Welcome to the Logistics Mall

Just like in the field of computer science, a turning point occurs in the field of logistics approximately every ten years and, after the e-commerce hype in the year 2000, it is time again for a change. A wave of new technology is hitting the logistics industry. This time it is not “just” about new applications and markets but about the underlying structure of our systems. Cloud Computing – the virtualization of hardware and software – will make a bigger different in the field of logistics than outsourcing IT services. It will change the way our systems are controlled and organized. The logistics industry will develop in great strides away from the classical software monuments to highly flexible solutions that are available on the Internet when and as needed. In a few years, all forms of logistics software, from the material flow computer to the ERP system, will be offered in this way. This will turn the market upside down: The software vendors of the future will only be able to retain customers by providing good products and service because the competition and a test installation will only be a click away.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to be a part of this development – as a user or as a developer. Talk to the some of the developers who are part of the early days of this development so that in ten years you can say: I was there when it all began. 

Yours sincerely,

Michael ten Hompel

Welcome message from Professor Dr. Jakob Rehof

The freedom of individualized IT

“Above the clouds the freedom must be endless” – as a native of Denmark I did not learn this German song until we started looking into Cloud Computing at Fraunhofer ISST. We discovered that the reference to software from the cloud has the same characteristics as when you look at real clouds on the horizon: The possibilities and goals appear to be endless and many small problems, which used to lead to big disasters, suddenly disappear under the clouds. In this respect, Cloud Computing is for me the way to freedom in terms of information technology because it means that the user will finally be free from relying on their own software resources, rigid systems, and versions.

“Computation may someday be organized as a public utility”: John McCarthy said that back in 1960. The idea is actually not a new one. Then why haven’t we seen it before now? It is only now that we have enough bandwidth, performance, and networking quality to shift computing to the virtual world. Business models such as the .com Cloud vendor (Amazon etc.) demonstrate that it is also economical to do so. You could also say that the time has finally come. Whoever gets on the plane with us now to look at the clouds from above will be pioneers in the new software world.  And profit from it. Where else in the world are individually configurable and dynamically adaptive software solutions more urgently needed than in the world of commodities and trade?  You know like I do: an industry that lives on efficiency needs a particularly efficient foundation. The Logistics Mall, which came into existent as part of our Fraunhofer Innovation Cluster, can provide you with this– welcome to the cloud!

Yours sincerely,

Jakob Rehof

Professor Dr. Michael ten Hompel

Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logisitcs

Professor Dr. Jakob Rehof

Director Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering