Dan Matthews

As the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at IFS, Dan’s responsibilities encompass researching, formulating, and communicating the strategic direction for IFS Applications. To this end Dan leads the Research & Strategy unit within IFS, as well as manages IFS’s partnerships with Microsoft, Oracle and other players. With one foot deep in the IT industry and the other firmly grounded in dialogue with IFS’s customers across industries, Dan is in a unique position to see new trends in business technology both from the vendors and the customers’ point of view. Dan is a frequent speaker at IFS and industry events. Since joining IFS in 1996, Dan has held a number of positions within the company including software engineer and project manager. Early in his IFS career, Dan played a vital role in the initial development of a graphical user interface for IFS Applications. Recently he has been the driving force behind the innovative IFS Enterprise Explorer user interface with the aim of bringing good design and true user productivity to enterprise applications, and IFS Touch Apps bringing the use of Smartphones to enterprises. Prior to joining the company, Dan ran his own software development business. Having started the company during his final two years studying computer science and software engineering at the Linköping Institute of Technology, Dan chose to move on to IFS in order to be part of a larger organization and further develop his skills. Outside of the workplace, Dan pursues his hobbies of carpentry and cross-country skiing.

| | 4 minutes | Business Technology
Windows 8 vs. iPad – It’s PC vs. Mac all over again
Old Machintosh computer

I have just returned from three months paternity leave, and I must say that in addition to enjoying time with my kids it has been quite refreshing to experience IT “out of business”. Rather than reading IT press, the last few months I have seen how the iPads and Windows 8 devices work in the hands of my kids, their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

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| | 4 minutes | Business Technology, IFS Labs
I, Robot – Can Artificial Intelligence Play a Role in Business Applications?

You have seen the Hollywood interpretations of artificial intelligence (AI). But what about AI in the real world? What about automating some of the decisions that we do manually in our businesses today? Or what about using AI to provide a better alternative to rule based processing which we use so much of in our business applications?

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| | 3 minutes | Business Technology, Events
3 Things I learned at the IFS World Conference 2012

One thing I always make sure to do a few days after is to spend a couple of hours reflecting on what the event actually meant to me, IFS, and our customers.

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| | 3 minutes | Business Technology
Trust Us – Can’t do it Without You

My biggest takeaway from the day though had nothing to do with the questions asked, nor with the statements made by our competitors. Instead it was the opening presentation by Arild Saastad from Bertel O. Steen. What really stuck with me were the comments he made about how important it is for an ERP vendor to earn the trust of the organizations using their systems.

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| | 3 minutes | Business Technology
Is Windows 8 Innovative?
Windows 8 Metro Start Screen

It is easy to dismiss Windows 8 as being nothing new—just an iPad (or Windows Phone) copy slammed into the same box as good old Windows 7—and therefore doomed to failure.

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| | 2 minutes | Business Technology
Don’t Get too Excited about In-Memory Databases

There has been a lot of talk about in-memory databases in recent months. Recently the discussion has broadened with SAP trying to position their in-memory HANA database as a revolutionary replacement for traditional relational databases (RDBMS) – in particular arch enemy Oracle’s database.

Good time for a reality check.

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| | 4 minutes | Business Technology
Be Agile When You Go Agile

There are two aspects of business travel, especially on the long haul flights, I still enjoy. One is the hours without any inflow of e-mails or other communication. The second is the chance encounter with an interesting person. On my way to IFS development center in Colombo, Sri Lanka the other week I ended up next to bald middle aged lady wearing a turban. This will make for an interesting few hours I thought, and sure it did.

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| | 4 minutes | Business Technology
Apps for the Enterprise – The Super Obvious and the Generic-Specific

Yesterday I commented on the fact that the first thing I have realized in recent months discussions with customers and colleagues about what apps we should build for our enterprise applications suite, is what apps we should NOT build.

In all fairness I guess I should also explain what I have realized that customers DO want and what I think we should build.

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| | 4 minutes | Business Technology
Apps for the Enterprise – Blame iPad for the Confusion

Before the iPad when there was just the iPhone, BlackBerry and various Android smartphones, things were a lot easier. The phone was (and still is) the thing you always carried with you. In business it was used for sending messages and checking e-mails. On the phone we had apps, and these apps were designed for tasks you could do in a short space of time. For business use we were discussing apps to quickly review and approve purchases, to have a quick look at some KPI:s. Then came the iPad and confused us all.

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| | 2 minutes | Business Technology
The Difference Between Usability and User Experience

In software a good user experience requires excellent usability. On top of that it also needs an appealing visual design, high quality, good performance. But most importantly it needs “it”. The “it” that creates the “must have” and “love to use” desires.

And therein lays the problem. What really is “it”? How could we describe what we are looking for?

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| | 3 minutes | Business Technology
The cloud: all swings and roundabouts?
The Cloud

A couple of weeks ago I was moderating a lunch time discussion called “The cloud – myths and realities”. Invited key speakers were Graham Taylor who is the CEO of OpenForum Europe, and Mikael Bäck who is responsible for strategy and portfolio management for Ericsson’s fixed and mobile networks. Unlike cloud talk of late this discussion was refreshingly free from over-hyping, striking more of a “swings and roundabouts” tone.

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