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Christian Pedersen, Chief Product Officer at IFS, takes a few minutes out to field some pre-launch questions about the upcoming release of IFS Cloud on March 10 and 11 2021…

What is IFS Cloud?

IFS Cloud brings together, into one single product, the world-leading capabilities that IFS already offers customers in Aerospace and Defense, Energy, Utilities and Resources, Engineering, Construction and Infrastructure, Manufacturing and Service industries.

We’ve basically broken down the traditional barriers between Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Capital Management (HCM), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Service Management and unified them into one single product. IFS Cloud offers one common experience, on a common platform with a common data model. Importantly, too, IFS Cloud provides a single common update process. This means it removes the need to update different products at different points in time during the year; the updates will be 6-monthly and you keep control over the timing and speed at which you adopt them.

Perhaps the coolest thing about it, though, is that customers can deploy only the business solutions they need when they need them. They can expand by adding new capabilities across the business, easily and without introducing new platforms or new technology.

IFS Cloud is available with different residency options. While we firmly believe that the value can best be derived with deployment in the cloud, we do have customers in regulated industries and others who, for different reasons, need to run on their own data centers. And IFS Cloud enables that. We simply see deployment in customers’ own data centers as another node in our full cloud environment.

What’s prompted the development of the IFS Cloud platform?

Well, as always, it’s the opportunity to help our customers drive their businesses forward that informs everything we do. That obviously entails close connection with all our customers to make sure we always learn. But we also take our responsibilities seriously in terms of how we can bring in new technology to help and inspire customers to do new things in new, and differentiating, ways.

And this is where things really come together. Customers tell us clearly that digital transformation and providing delightful experiences to their customers is front of mind. This directly correlates with the enablement that new technologies such as IoT, Digital Twins, Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and Augmented Reality all bring.

We see it as part of our commitment to our customers to bring these things together in the context of real business scenarios that can be readily applied.

‘Out of the box industry solutions’: how’s that possible?

While we’re staying laser-focused on enabling the creation of business value for our customers, our industry-specific capabilities are already some of the strongest out there. With IFS Cloud we now provide yet another set of capabilities; this means we continue to take our commitment to value further. IFS Cloud will be packaged and configured with industry-specific processes that reflect differences that make your business unique.

IFS Cloud is truly designed as one single solution that can be deployed by individual product, and easily connects to your entire internal ecosystem.

Will a ‘cloud first’ architecture mean ‘cloud only’?

The short answer is ‘no’. We provide customers with choice, and we always recommend the IFS Business Value Engineering as a first step to identify where and how the greatest value can be achieved. We firmly believe that more value can be derived in the cloud, but we recognize that this may not be possible for customers operating in regulated industries.

For different reasons they may need to run in their own data centers, and IFS Cloud enables that. We simply think about a deployment in customers’ own data centers as another node in our full cloud environment.

The reality is there will be customers for whom cloud is right, and there will be others where on-premise is right. We know we will see a hybrid between the two approaches, and we have catered for this.

IFS Cloud is designed with parity in mind between these different deployment models and with portability. So, rest-assured you will not be locked into one of the models if you start out with one over the other; that is the IFS Cloud Choice.

Why is ‘service-centric’ enterprise resource planning important?

Well, it’s pretty straightforward. Customers, people, and assets are the most important things for almost all companies. Everybody strives for the highest possible customer satisfaction, high customer retention and higher advocacy. To achieve that, customers need to be served well at all stages. It’s about providing them with the right quality products at the right time and this means produced on time by your manufacturing plant, delivered on time, sending an accurate invoice, having efficient call centers and providing great field service… and when all that comes together, we call that the ‘Moment of Service’ and our goal with IFS Cloud is to enable you to deliver your moment of service.

At the IFS Cloud launch event, streaming online on March 10 and 11 2021, we’ll share our thinking in more detail. We’ll be demonstrating new IFS Cloud functionality for different industries and exploring some great examples and stories from pioneer customers.

Missed the IFS Cloud launch event? It’s the biggest product launch in our company’s history. Catch up on the IFS Cloud content here.

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