We have been continuously hearing the keywords “IFS Cloud”, “IFS Upgrades” and “Path to Evergreen” in many social media platforms and forums. What are they and what do they mean?
To put it simply, IFS Cloud is the latest ERP solution offered by IFS and an IFS Upgrade is the process of upgrading from a Legacy IFS Application to a newer version. Whereas an “IFS Cloud Upgrade” is the combination of both, essentially taking you one step closer in the path to evergreen.
In technical terms, any software or program which is kept up to date is called Evergreen. By upgrading to IFS Cloud, you might be closer than ever to be evergreen with your IFS Application. To explain this, let us go back to basics and see this under concept of 3Ws – What, Why and Who.
#1- WHAT: What is IFS Cloud Upgrade?
As mentioned above, an IFS Cloud Upgrade is the process of upgrading the existing legacy IFS Application to the latest IFS Cloud version. This process involves multiple iterations of technical execution and customer testing. In general, an upgrade will have a minimum of four iterations: Build & Validate, Iteration1, Upgrade Rehearsal and Go-live. Based on the complexity and challenges, additional iterations will be planned in between IT1 & Upgrade Rehearsal.
During upgrade iterations, a customer’s production database copy is taken into an upgrade server and upgrade scripts are used to uplift the core solution to the latest one. The same set of actions will be done on the upcoming iterations to fix reported issues and improve timings so that the same can be on a “Go-live” with minimal production downtime During the upgrade process, the improved database will be shared with the customer for them to test their solution, business flow, and identify any issues or bugs they encounter. In addition to the core uplift, any customizations from the previous solution will also be manually upgraded. The upgrade also presents an opportunity to create and implement new customizations that are compatible with IFS Cloud.
#2- WHY: Why Upgrade to IFS Cloud?
IFS Cloud makes it easy for customers to stay up-to-date with monthly Service Updates (SU) and Release Updates (RU) every six months. Upgrading to IFS Cloud provides customers with a host of exciting updates and most importantly, eliminates the need for multiple rounds of upgrades that were previously required for major Release Updates. This not only saves valuable time but also ensures that customers can easily remain up to date.
One might ask whether “Is IFS Cloud the only way to stay evergreen?” or “Can I achieve evergreen through upgrading to IFS Application 10?”. The short answer is that one cannot. An enterprise can stay evergreen in Application 10 (Apps10), but IFS Cloud upgrades are recommended, because even though they can get the latest Updates (UPDs) on Apps10 and stay evergreen on that track, they must upgrade to IFS Cloud in future, as that is the latest offering from IFS.
#3- WHO: Who Can Upgrade to IFS Cloud?
It is possible for any current customer using legacy IFS Applications to upgrade to IFS Cloud. However, the only challenge may be the version difference. If you are currently using Apps8, Apps9, or Apps10, the upgrade process will be direct or one-step, meaning that upgrade scripts will be used to uplift your existing version to IFS Cloud directly.
If the customer is using a version older than IFS App8 version, then they must go through a two-step upgrade where the system will be upgraded into an intermediate system (eg: Apps10) and then will be upgraded to IFS Cloud subsequently. This change will happen over a single and comparatively longer iteration. From a customer perspective, they will not feel a difference between the first step and the second step as both will be handled within the same iteration.
Just like the Version difference, another key element of IFS Cloud Upgrade, is the hosting: whether the customer is On-premise (Remote) or a Managed Cloud Customer. There is no restriction on this matter and in fact, upgrade will open an opportunity to change the hosting if the customer prefers. (Eg: Remote to Managed Cloud and vice-versa) The process for both Managed Cloud & Remote Upgrades are almost same, but the upgrade place (servers used for upgrade) might change according to convenience.
In conclusion, regardless of the current IFS Application Version & hosting option of a customer, IFS Cloud is a viable and efficient solution where the customer can get the updates and features more frequently and efficiently which will help them stay evergreen with IFS Applications.
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