IFS-Becoming a Serious Field Service Management Contender

In just a few short months after the acquisition of Metrix, IFS has fully integrated the new products and released full-fledged mobile solutions for field service and maintenance management. Read TEC principal analyst P.J. Jakovljevic’s TEC Report for a close-up look at how the vendor’s recent product releases provide the mobile workforce management capabilities that make IFS a serious contender in the field service and management space.

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Mobile workforce management is a high-priority area for IFS that has received much investment from the vendor. Indeed, during the past few years, IFS has delivered a number of solutions that target the rapidly growing mobile workforce. Among these is the mobile-friendly and touch-screen optimized IFS Enterprise Explorer (IEE) user interface (UI), whereby the entire IFS Applications 8 suite can be accessed via a tablet (and have the same look and feel as the desktop version, of course without the touch-based navigation at the desktop screen). The IEE interface (formerly code named Project Aurora) is based on Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio tools, and incorporates icons, "breadcrumbs" navigation maps, enterprise search, “sticky notes” for annotations, and other visually appealing approaches to user navigation that successfully mimic a modern consumer-looking enterprise application. IEE can be customized according to different roles and includes personalized tools for filtering, searching, and browsing data (see blog post). IFS has jumped on the mobility bandwagon, offering IFS Touch Apps, a series of cloud-based smartphone apps for mobile users (see blog post).

Fourth-gen Field Service Mobility

At the recently held IFS World Conference 2012 in Gothenburg, Sweden, IFS launched its fourth-generation mobile client for service and maintenance (first three generations of more rudimentary “non-smart” mobile devices are still going strong), running on Google Android smartphones and tablets. The solution offers field service management (FSM) functionality, supporting offline mode, through an intuitive and user-friendly interface (see figure 1). The new solution leverages the best-of-breed field mobile technology of Metrix Mobile for Android, which IFS gained through the acquisition of Metrix earlier in 2012. The product name of the new solution is IFS Mobile Work Order.

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