Wednesday, July 30, 2008
IFS’ new user interface sails through alpha test, ready for beta this fall
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, released information on successful Alpha testing of IFS Enterprise Explorer, the new graphical user interface (GUI), designed to bring the usability of enterprise software to the next level, emulating the look, feel and simplicity of consumer applications.
IFS carried out the alpha program at its offices in Stockholm, walking a group of customers through the workings of the IFS Enterprise Explorer and collecting users’ impressions of the design and usability of the new user interface. IFS Aurora will be delivered to the first early-adopter customers in the fall of 2008 as an add-on to the current version of IFS Applications, IFS Applications 7.5.
“Customers are an important source of inspiration for us,” IFS Chief Technology Officer Dan Matthews said. “They use IFS on a daily basis and therefore have many insights and ideas which they are happy to share with us. Obviously we want to draw on our customers’ expertise. We’re delighted with the results from this alpha test. We now have affirmation that we’re on the right track, and picked up some useful tips about potential improvements.”
Customers involved in the alpha testing indicated that IFS Enterprise Explorer will deliver enhanced usability, moving IFS Applications closer to the intuitive design of applications found on the web.
“It’s great to be able to have a say in this,” ERP Specialist Hans Lindberg at IFS customer ROL International said. The company is a leading global manufacturer of store fixtures. “We users have been calling for something like this for a long time. IFS Enterprise Explorer is better than I expected. IFS has kept a lot from the existing application but still managed to incorporate a lot of new thinking. IFS Enterprise Explorer will be easier for new users to work with.” “The new navigation possibilities are amazing and make it very quick to get around,” Senior CAD Engineer Derek Johnstone of IFS customer Wolfson Microelectronics said. Wolfson manufactures high performance mixed-signal semiconductors to the consumer electronics market. “There are several different navigation functions to use, and it’s easy to go back and forward in the application. The collaboration functions in IFS Enterprise Explorer eliminate many of the manual steps currently necessary to communicate between colleagues. Now I’ll be able to carry out all the stages in a single application. With a couple of clicks I can select information and send it to a colleague, extremely quickly and easily.”
IFS has always been mindful of usability issues, and was the first to include an integrated enterprise application search (EAS) tool in enterprise applications. Usability is also enhanced by the fact that IFS Applications is part of a unified product developed by IFS – rather than a series of purchased products integrated together.
IFS Enterprise Explorer uses .Net and SOA technology to make IFS Applications look and feel more like the web. Dynamic link pages and a situation-based navigator make it easier to find nearby and related functions. The interface integrates rich media notes, web content and common file types such as PDF and Microsoft® Excel® in a uniform work environment for the user. The new interface also adapts to different screen sizes to suit the user’s needs. IFS Enterprise Explorer will be delivered to the first early-adopter customers in the fall of 2008 as an add-on to the new version, IFS Applications 7.5.
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 54 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 2,600 employees.