IFS Upgrade

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Reducing IFS Applications Upgrade cost through streamlined scope and methodology

The central advantage of enterprise-wide systems like enterprise resources planning (ERP) or enterprise asset management (EAM) is that they provide the user company with one integrated applications suite with which to run its business. Solutions may span everything from manufacturing, to financials, to supply chain, asset, and service management. Perhaps because of this breadth of functionality and the central role the solution plays in the business, once companies have implemented their enterprise software, there may be a tendency to want to stay on the deployed version to avoid disruption.

This desire to stay on the same enterprise software version carries with it three significant downsides in exchange for that sense of stability.

  • First and foremost, by putting off upgrades, the user company foregoes the new functionality and business process improvements in the latest version.
  • Second, putting off an upgrade often results in system deployments in which the source code has been heavily modified, which makes subsequent upgrades more difficult because the modifications might need to be uplifted to the new version – an expensive technical effort.
  • Third, putting off an upgrade typically requires extensive user training, and possibly, a complete reworking of user roles and permissions, since there is a large backlog of functions to be deployed.

Thus, ironically, the desire to avoid system disruption by sticking to one version will tend to intensify disruption over the long term. Under an infrequent upgrade cycle the scope of the upgrade and the accumulation of customizations add com¬plexity, time, and cost to the eventual upgrade. And in the meantime, the company misses out on the new functionality, usability improvements and enhancements inherent in new versions.

In an effort to continually reduce TCO, IFS has refined its approach to system upgrades, focusing the process around three distinct and well-defined phases. The company also has made it easier for end-user companies to replace customizations with upgrade-friendly configuration options, and offers a hosted prototyping service which allows user companies to support upgrade needs without outlays for additional information technology (IT) infrastructure.


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"We did an efficient upgrade for 14 countries in 6 months by having a focused scope control and an active management together with a strong commitment from IFS."

Dan Jensen, ERP Manager at Axis Communications.