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I’m a relative newcomer to both IFS and the world of software, having 20-odd years’ history in the IT sector, primarily with the enterprise and services side of HP and Dell. Recently, I realized that I needed to walk the talk and get back into blogging, so here goes my first foray under IFS’s great and award-winning community.

As a marketer (or any other functional leader) in the business-to-business world, the challenges and opportunities are often similar at a basic level no matter which organization you work for. It’s how you go about solving them that will tend to vary. From the marketing point of view, IFS has a great opportunity to improve its overall awareness, presence and its impact on our chosen markets.

We are making clear strides in our go-to-market model globally with the continued progress of our partnership and alliances initiative referred to frequently in our quarterly results announcements – for example, new signings such as IFS Spain’s partnership with Telvent and IFS Czech Republic signing up CDC Data.

IFS World Conference 2015In addition there’s the continued growth and success of the IFS World Conference – a great introduction to the business for me. Last year’s conference in Spain was the most successful ever (but perhaps I would say that as Spain is part of my remit); certainly organizing it with the team here was a great way to better understand the superb company history and the strength of relationships IFS has with its customers.

Next year’s conference takes place in Boston – if you’re interested in being part of it, you can register your interest now.

Closer to home, here in the UK, we’re really stepping up activity in many forms to ensure we continue to get the IFS name out there as well as increase the level of understanding of what we do, how we are different and why that makes a difference in your business.

We will continue to attend various events through the year; you’ll hear more from us via our IFS World magazine as well as have the opportunity to see some of our latest thinking through initiatives such as Mobility.

Rick ParfittIn addition – and new for this year – is our support of the 2014 GT4 racing champion Rick Parfitt in his defense of his title. This is an initiative to begin to increase the profile of the IFS name here in the UK and wider afield as well as draw some parallels in the thinking around business agility concepts here in the company.

Rick and IFS have worked together at the aforementioned IFS World Conference in Spain through his amazing RPJBand: those of you who were there will likely never forget seeing Madness and Simple Minds, then being treated to the RPJ band closing the evening with a rousing finale.

We are supporting Rick and his new team as they seek to compete in one of the most exciting motorsports series I’d seen for quite some time. I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to be involved in many forms of sponsorship and associated sports through business, and have seen this to be one of the most engaging and accessible formats to date.

So far this season Rick and his team have shown race winning potential and frankly been very unlucky with mechanical issues preventing certain podiums in each race to date.

But, similar to the Agile business, racing and competing in general are often based on the same basic principles of Vision, Knowledge and Flexibility. This approach has to be underpinned with the team culture to either reinforce the successes that follow or adapting to the inevitable challenges that present themselves along the way.

Keep an eye out for future updates on the team, our marketing and general business activities, as well as some more thoughts from me on life in business in general.

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