Wednesday, July 13, 2011
IFS to develop and deploy enterprise Smartphone apps using Windows Azure
IFS, the global enterprise applications company announced today its intent to develop and deploy additional IFS Touch Apps, a series of smartphone apps that extend the capabilities of IFS Applications, using the Windows Azure platform.
IFS Touch Apps is a set of apps to allow users of the IFS Applications software suite to access this ERP and other functionality through smartphones. IFS Touch Apps targets the mobile individual who works on the move, using a smartphone to perform quick tasks.
IFS Touch Apps can also speed up business processes as there will be less time waiting for mobile individuals to perform their step in the process - for example approving purchases or authorizing expenses.
Microsoft Corp. technology will be running behind IFS Touch Apps because the apps will connect to the IFS Cloud—a set of services running inside the Windows Azure cloud environment, where they serve as the backbone of the smartphone apps. IFS customers will be able to “uplink” their IFS Applications installations to IFS Cloud and benefit from the new IFS Touch Apps. This model of deployment via the Windows Azure Platform enables automatic updates of the apps and cloud services, reduces the overhead of providing apps for multiple smartphone platforms, and disconnects the apps from dependencies on specific versions of IFS Applications. In practice this greatly reduces the effort needed by companies to adopt enterprise apps and keep up-to-date with the fast moving world of smartphones.
IFS also announced its intent to offer IFS Touch Apps for the Windows Phone 7. As a result, IFS customers will be able to choose to run the first IFS Touch Apps on either Windows Phone 7, iPhone or Android.
“IFS Touch Apps and IFS Cloud are a great example of how IFS is moving in the direction of software plus services in a more advanced way,” IFS Chief Technology Officer Dan Matthews said. “In addition to the core platform of Windows Azure, IFS will become one of the first enterprise software vendors to make use of Microsoft SQL Azure, a new data storage part of the Azure cloud environment. SQL Azure will be used as the backbone for the IFS Cloud customer portal, where customers can view statistics and manage their usage of IFS Touch Apps”
The first IFS Touch Apps will be rolled out to early adopter users later this year. IFS has held customer focus groups to gather input on the initial apps and to determine which apps should receive the highest priority and meet the most pressing needs of customers.
“Focus groups and early adopter programs are a key way for IFS to keep the development process close to customers,” Matthews said. “Our goal is to address our customers’ most pressing needs rather than to offer a broad spectrum of apps that customers may purchase, only to find that the app is not helpful to them or does not deliver the benefit they anticipated.”
“We are excited IFS has chosen the Windows Azure platform for the development of the IFS Touch Apps, since they are making advances in apps for the mobile workforce and use of cloud computing. We are also pleased to be able to support their initiative and to have them as one of our Global Independent Software Vendor partners,” said Kim Akers, general manager for global ISV partners at Microsoft.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) 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 SKr 2.6 billion.