Strengthening its product offering to the mobile workforce, IFS has announced its first two IFS Touch Apps: IFS Trip Tracker for travel expense reporting; and IFS Notify Me for approvals of purchases, time, expenses etc.
IFS Touch Apps will connect to IFS Cloud, which will act as an intermediary between smartphones and IFS Applications. This unique architectural approach to smartphone apps makes the apps easier to try, adopt, and update for IFS customers — which is vital in the fast-changing world of smartphones. The IFS Cloud will run within Microsoft’s Windows Azure public cloud.
IFS Touch Apps were originally conceived by IFS Labs — an in-house technology think tank dedicated to developing ideas around future functionalities for business applications. Today’s announcement means that IFS has decided to turn this initiative into a fully-fledged R&D project, complete with an early adopter programme which is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011. “We are very excited about this project as it is the perfect manifestation how we can deliver concrete business functionality out of innovative ideas in line with IFS’s product strategy,” said Dan Matthews, IFS Chief Technology Officer.
IFS’s strategy is to develop IFS Touch Apps into a long-term product focus within IFS Applications and to deliver a genuine ‘app experience’. This means that the apps will deliver true business functionality related to IFS Applications’ core processes, unlike many apps that are merely pared-down websites disguised as apps. Commenting upon IFS’s product strategy, Matthews said: “IFS Trip Tracker and IFS Notify Me are good examples of how we can deliver core functionality to mobile business processes and individuals on the go. Complementing our existing solutions for mobile service management and our mobile-friendly IFS Enterprise Explorer, they show how IFS is moving forward in all aspects to support a rapidly growing mobile workforce.”
The apps are being developed in an open and collaborative development manner – based on agile product development methods – which ensure involvement of customers throughout the life cycle of the project. “Today’s announcement represents the start of an exciting process where customer focus groups will be at the heart of the development process,” Matthews said.
IFS Touch Apps will be developed for the Android platform – the best-selling smartphone platform today – as well as the iPhone platform. The design of the apps will reflect IFS’s innovative and user-friendly design, allowing for a coherent user experience throughout the entire IFS Applications and IFS Touch Apps offering.
IFS is a public company founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. IFS focuses on agile businesses where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects. The company has 2,000 customers and is present in more than 50 countries with 2,700 employees in total. Net revenue in 2010 was SLR. 2.6 billion.