ATLANTA. IFS, the global enterprise applications company with American headquarters in Itasca, Illinois, is providing a sneak peek into version 6 of its IFS Field Service Management (FSM) software built for the cloud with a reimagined user experience and improved performance. Company officials are providing a look at the upgrades to the IFS FSM, scheduled for a Q4 2018 release to market, at the IFS World Conference – with more than 1,400 attendees from across the globe and multiple markets, including aerospace and defense (A&D) with LATAM, Saab Grintek Defence, and TAE Aerospace – in Atlanta.
U.S. Department of Energy officials predict that the Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to a 25 percent reduction in asset maintenance costs and a 35 percent reduction in downtime. IoT will have the biggest impact on service, forecasts Stephen Jeff-Watts, senior advisor for service management within IFS Research & Development in the U.K.
Jeff-Watts and his colleagues in IFS R&D approached the latest version with the mobile workforce in mind, such as aircraft fleet maintenance or maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) technicians. Version 6 is designed to offer: a new user experience, zero footprint technology, a re-imagined design, and a focus on making the complex simple.
In short, Jeff-Watts says: “The best possible result with the lowest possible compute power” and “engaging everyone – any device, anywhere.”
“With this major new release, we are further differentiating our value proposition but are continuing to provide customers with the ability to choose the functionality they need and deploy in the way they want — be it in the cloud or on-premise,” says Mark Brewer, IFS global industry director for service. “Choice is a good thing, and with IFS, the customer can decide what makes sense for their business. Combine this flexibility with industry-leading functionality, leading AI and optimization technology and a new user experience and it is evident that IFS really does represent the most complete, connected field service solution on the market.”
IFS Field Service Management 6 enhancements include:
- New user experience (UX): With a completely reengineered, fully responsive front end, IFS FSM 6 will run on any browser and on any device at any time. The new UX features user-centric and intuitive action patterns as well as stunning graphic designs including high-resolution charts and diagrams.
- Major performance boost in IFS Planning & Scheduling Optimization™ (PSO): The IFS PSO component of IFS Field Service Management yields a 50% improvement in processing performance on Microsoft Azure. In addition, the maximum number of activities per standard Dynamic Scheduling Engine (DSE) for dynamic responsive processing has been significantly increased.
- Next-generation configurability: Written in an all-new scripting language that empowers customers to configure data fields, workflows, and user behavior, IFS FSM 6 eliminates the need for costly customizations, providing greater agility while evergreen service management capabilities ensure seamless updates.
- Key functional enhancements: Alongside these major new architectural changes, IFS FSM 6 introduces a multitude of significant new features and extensions to existing functionality in areas including increased scheduling optimization flexibility, warranty claims management, mobile synchronization, and UI improvements.
- Pay and deploy with even more flexibility: Customers can choose to deploy IFS FSM 6 as a true multi-tenant solution on the Microsoft Azure cloud, as a managed service in the cloud, or on-premise. This flexibility also offers customers choice in how they pay, from outright ownership to a monthly subscription.
One of the early adopters is Eickhoff, a manufacturer of machinery and gearing technology used in mining, wind turbines, and other industrial applications. Commenting on IFS Field Service Management 6, Eickhoff Head of Product Development Service Dietmar Schmitz adds. “As a provider of mission-critical machinery, we see service as a core competency and competitive differentiator. Consequently, we needed a solution to manage our more than 6.5 million items in complex parts lists for over 15,000 custom units. IFS FSM 6 provides an engaging and effective way to make this possible.”
The new version is planned to be made generally available in Q4, 2018.
IFS develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations.