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28 January 2014

Minerals firm Imerys upgrades IFS ERP as economy lifts

IT departments can be forced to upgrade business applications because the alternatives are unpalatable. But sometimes tackling a tough problem can yield unexpected rewards. With a 10-year-old enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, multinational minerals firm Imerys was facing increasing costs each time it wanted to add new features. Among these was support for the introduction of the Single Euro Payment Area, which simplifies electronic bank transfers in the currency union. Meanwhile, the Oracle database infrastructure underlying its IFS ERP system, first introduced in 2003, was becoming unsupported. It would not upgrade the database on the old system. Yet attaching additional business benefits to the £1 million upgrade investment was difficult. Processes remained largely the same following the switch, says Michael Dixon, IT business project manager. “We were finding it harder and harder. All the new functionality was available in the new versions of IFS. Some we were able to backport, but as we got further and further ...

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