The IFS agreement with Saab demonstrates that IFS isn’t just a midmarket vendor. IFS has promoted its ability to support the midmarket so well that many enterprise level companies overlook IFS Applications when replacing their legacy systems. That said, the vendor has made a number of enhancements over the past few releases that improve its capabilities to support large, global companies, which is also why we are seeing more IFS press releases referring to multibillion dollar IFS customers (e.g., Technip, Saab, Brightpoint, Babcock, Linamar, etc.).
I think a lot of it has to do with companies today demanding faster time to value. With the economy as volatile as it has been over the past several years, large global companies can’t afford to wait for large system rollouts that can takes years to deliver. They need a system that can be rolled out quickly, when and where they need it and agile enough to adapt to changing business conditions. For example, IFS’ customer Linamar has 39 manufacturing facilities located around the world. It needed a system that could be rolled out rapidly, but also was flexible enough to support its acquisition strategy and plant expansion program. Linamar selected IFS and after just two installations, itbegan bringing plants live entirely on its own—to the point of taking six sites live every four months (see the customer testimonial).
We are also seeing that companies are putting more emphasis on functional fit and industry expertise and less on brand name. Our elders used to say, “Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.” That advice is as sound today as it was back then. Companies in specialized industries such as energy and utilities, oil and gas, aerospace and defense, engineering and construction, and other complex verticals can’t just buy a solution based on the brand name and then hope it fits their business. Such poorly considered decisions can lead to enormous customization projects or, in some cases, so-called shelfware.
IFS has chosen to specialize in these and other more complex industries. And it is making a name for itself because its customers have recognized that IFS Applications is the best fit for their business, not for their ego. Saab is a good example and proves that IFS isn’t just for the midmarket anymore.
TEC blog post (Oct 2011): IFS: Of Vertical Focus, and Customers’ Agility and Choice
Compare IFS Applications with other ERP solutions for discrete manufacturing!
Erica, This is the article I mentioned. John