What to expect from IFS World Conference 2016

Big tech companies are fond of using names presented as acronyms, ideally employing just three letters… even your grandmother can come up with one or two if pushed, we imagine.

None more so than Sweden headquartered IFS. Standing for Industrial & Financial Systems, IFS is an (arguably) comparatively quiet heavyweight in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) and Enterprise Service Management (ESM) markets.

Yes, even its preferred technology zones come in three letter acronyms, or TLAs as we like to call them.

The firm now stages its IFS World Conference 2016 in Gothenburg on 25th-27th Oct this year, so what can we expect?

As well as a training day for customers and partners, the firm says it anticipates in the region of 1,000 customers, prospects and partners to attend.

IFS has had an (arguably) impressive first half of the year in 2016. Revenues and profit continue to increase with double-digit growth (last financial report linked here) — and this is likely why IFS caught the attention of private equity house EQT, which is imminently delisting IFS from the Swedish stock exchange so it can operate as a private entity – a situation not dissimilar to IFS’s competitors Infor and Epicor.

What to expect

In light of the above, IFS execs will be expected to share the company strategy moving forward. So more of the same or big changes afoot?

Investments in partnering has helped the company strengthen its product offering (e.g. Azure powering IFS’s main cloud offering) as well implementing IFS with more customers (e.g. Accenture building a whole competence centre around IFS).

Product wise, we can expect to hear how IFS Applications 9 (the company’s main ERP offering) has evolved since its launch at company’s event last year in Boston.

Cloud is a big theme in the world of ERP (obviously), so no doubt there should be some updates on customer uptake etc.

According to the firm itself, IFS has indicated it will be sharing news about how customers can connect IoT to add business value to their ERP systems. IFS prides itself on its pragmatic Scandinavian approach, so let’s hope this isn’t more IoT heresy and more focused on practical delivery.

With its acquisition of VisionWaves last year, it should be interesting to see how IFS has integrated this team and product – now under the guise of IFS Enterprise Operational Intelligence. This technology maps and visualises a company’s operations so it’s more than business analytics on steroids!

Developer interest

There are over 1,000,000 users of IFS Applications (yes, CAPS A) … so there is an opportunity to learn more about product developments, other customer deployments etc.

“I am very much looking forward to the 2016 edition of IFS World Conference, which promises to be the biggest and most exciting conference to date,” IFS chief marketing officer Mark Boulton said. “There will be a large number of inspirational keynotes, break-out sessions, and news announcements—all sprinkled with great networking opportunities, good food and amazing entertainment.”

The firm has even stayed Swedish and hired The Cardigans as the house band… let’s hope the buffet tables aren’t laden with Surströmming.

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Thanks Adrian - I shall be attending the IFS World Conference 2016 with the company. I've always been a fan of the innovation area!
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