Monday, February 22, 2010
IFS integrates Microsoft’s Bing Maps to increase efficiency for service organizations
Following a new agreement with Microsoft Corporation, IFS introduces IFS Virtual Map™, a new planning solution for service management businesses. Integrated with Microsoft Bing Maps for Enterprise, IFS’ new tool will overlay information about ongoing and planned jobs with road and satellite maps. It will enable service companies to optimize driving routes, alert on due jobs and efficiently plan last minute jobs that quickly need to be resourced. Existing IFS customer Tomra Systems, a servicer of in-store recycling stations, has field tested IFS Virtual Map™ and went live with the solution in December 2009.
In order to enhance customer service while reducing costs and environmental impact, it is essential for service companies to plan efficiently, have an accurate visualization of jobs and the driving routes needed to fulfill them. IFS Virtual Map™ has been developed to illustrate the entire planning situation in a clear way, something that Mikael Ljungmark, Service Director at Tomra Systems believes will have a direct impact on business profitability: “We know that business owners lose customers as soon as a recycling station for bottles or cans is out of order. It means that every minute of delay before a technician arrives has a direct impact on business results. Therefore it is immensely important that we plan well, and with this new solution we get the best possible overview to quickly plan and re-plan as priorities change.”
Mikael Ljungmark continues: “IFS Virtual Map will enable us to view the planned jobs, routes and related contract information for all our service staff in the field. With this data visible on one map, we will be able to accurately plan and prioritize all existing and new jobs to maximize efficiency and customer service. In the current environment of increased competition it is not enough to just have the best products and field team, it is also essential to provide the most efficient service while reducing costs. The new IFS Virtual Map has been developed to help us achieve this.”
Martin Gunnarsson, Product Director at IFS, comments: “By collaborating with existing customers, we have not only developed IFS Virtual Map quickly, but have also proven its success in the field before even finishing the development. The project is a showcase of how IFS and its customers work together to bring new solutions to the market.”
The introduction of IFS Virtual Map also illustrates how software plus services and mash-ups can be used to develop innovative solutions. “Traditionally, software developers have been constrained to making software or buying and integrating to an existing proposition. Today, there is a third choice of using an existing service. By using Microsoft’s Bing Maps for Enterprise as a service we were able to bring this innovative solution to the market in just a few months,” says Dan Matthews, CTO of IFS.
“Microsoft is helping IFS to enhance their field service management system using the Bing Maps for Enterprise platform,” says Jennifer Forsythe, Microsoft Bing Maps Marketing and Partnership Manager, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. “IFS’ implementation of Bing Maps as an integrated service within IFS Applications is a great illustration of how the platform can be used as part of a Software plus Services (S+S) model to drive efficiency and profitability.”
IFS Virtual Map will be generally available for existing customers as an add-on module to IFS Applications 7.5 enterprise application suite in April 2010.
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a fully-integrated, component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology. The company has more than 2,000 customers in more than 50 countries and focuses on seven main industries: aerospace & defense, utilities & telecom, manufacturing, process industries, automotive, retail & wholesale distribution, and construction contracting & service management. IFS has 2,700 employees and net revenue in 2008 was SKr 2.5 billion.