IFS offers customers the opportunity to deploy its ERP systems, IFS Applications, on premises, in the cloud or as a hybrid -- on premises and cloud. With IFS Applications, customers can deploy one of two ways. Customers can deploy IFS Applications as an infrastructure as a service model, where servers, storage and other infrastructure components are hosted on Azure, and the client accesses and manages these resources virtually. Or, clients can deploy as cloud ERP software, where IFS offers full management in the cloud through IFS Managed Cloud.
IFS primarily implements its ERP applications (as well as its enterprise asset management and enterprise service management software) at medium and large-sized companies in industry verticals like aerospace and defense; automobiles; and asset-intensive industries, such as mining, high-tech manufacturing, oil and gas, construction, industrial manufacturing, process engineering, and retail and service providers.
The core modules of IFS Applications
IFS Applications is a full-fledged ERP system. It contains modules for finance, HR, engineering, project management, manufacturing, inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM) and logistics.
The finance module includes tools, such as a general ledger, that help manage accounts payable and receivable, budgeting and cash flow. Demand forecasting, site planning, inventory replenishment, distribution, warehousing and procurement are performed through the supply chain management tool. The maintenance module gives enterprises information on maintenance and repairs on equipment and vehicles, and creates work orders.
IFS Applications helps enterprises manage the human aspect of business, too. An HR module includes training, employee management, payroll administration, performance review and attendance functions. On the external side of the business, a CRM tool provides enterprises with a sales configurator, e-commerce platform and case management functions.
With its engineering module, IFS Applications clients receive product data management and engineering change management tools. To ensure tight production schedules and budgets, enterprises can utilize the project management tool inside the IFS cloud ERP suite. The manufacturing module includes systems for both make-to-order and repetitive manufacturing.
IFS Applications is also supplemented with mobile apps, role-based portals and collaboration tools.
How IFS Applications works as cloud ERP software
IFS' cloud ERP software can be accessed via a web browser such as Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer. Each client's unique copy of application software is accessed remotely by the client through secure network connections, such as Secure Sockets Layer (HTTPS) communication, private site-to-site VPN or MPLS connection.
IFS Applications 9 is the latest version of the ERP system. IFS releases service packs as needed -- usually every three months -- and these can include new features and additional functionality. Major version updates -- e.g., from IFS Applications 8 to IFS Applications 9 -- normally occur every three years.
IFS partners with Microsoft to offer single-tenant IFS Cloud on Microsoft Azure. IFS does not have its own data centers. Instead, it uses Microsoft Azure and the Azure network of data centers around the world. As such, Microsoft undertakes regular audits and is compliant with international security and data protection standards, including the SSAE 16 (SOC I Type II), PCI DSS and ISO 27001 audits. IFS undertakes technical audits on a monthly basis. On request, these audits can be provided to customers.
IFS clients receive service-level agreements, which contain a 99.5% internet connectivity guarantee. As part of its audit process, IFS regularly tests for disaster recovery and failover on Microsoft Azure.
Client support for IFS Applications
Every 18 months, IFS holds the IFS World Conference, which gathers customers, prospects, business partners and its other ERP ecosystem stakeholders from around the world. In addition, IFS runs advisory councils that are structured for each industry sector it serves. These advisory councils meet at least once per year. IFS also supports regional user groups that are independently run by its clients. The IFS product team regularly requests input from customers. This input is received informally, but also formally through the IFS Early Adopter Program and focus groups.
IFS offers product training to its clients and to its business partners through the IFS Academy. Both IFS and its business partners also provide consulting services for system installation and for ongoing client training.
Similarly, IFS sells its cloud ERP software both directly and through its business partners. Although IFS can structure its cloud ERP software as a subscription offering, in most cases, it prices its products and services based upon the requirements of each customer.
IFS does not offer a free trial of its cloud ERP software, but it does offer a tailored demo of its system to prospects, so they can see how they can benefit from IFS' cloud ERP software.
Read about the differences between on-premises and cloud ERP systems.
When can you tell that you need cloud ERP software?
Cloud ERP is growing.