IFS invited me to their conference in Gothenburg, Sweden next week. In this, what I have called the year of the vertical in cloud ERP offerings, I am looking forward to learning more of their focus on asset intensive industries as they turn assets into data sources for predictive maintenance and other operational intelligence, and their focus on aerospace and automotive sectors. I am also looking forward to Gothenburg, the birthplace of Volvo, and a big university town.
I had a chance to get a sneak preview from Oliver Pilgerstorfer, Vice President, Strategic Marketing & Communications on what to expect
“The conference theme is ‘Taking Advantage of Infinite Possibilities’. IFS has always been a proponent of the notion of agility, in terms of having the right culture and supporting technology that enables your business to not only navigate change but also take advantage of it. There are so many opportunities – and also threats – that businesses need to react to so, in line with the news we will announce, it is a great theme for this year’s event. Although we are global in our operations and customer base, we’re proud of our Scandinavian roots which lie in innovation, quality engineering and taking a pragmatic approach. And it is that very pragmatic approach of how you can take ideas and/or a need to digitally transform that we will be focusing on. For the industries we serve, a very real opportunity around digital transformation is the Internet of Things (IoT) so that is something attendees will certainly get to hear more about in the news that we will announce.
Cloud is also ‘hot’ at the moment. We’ve been seeing good momentum with the number of Cloud deployments of IFS Applications, so will be sharing news on our progress in that area.
You might or might not be aware that IFS acquired a company just over a year ago called VisionWaves and they produced something that we've now termed as Enterprise Operational Intelligence – or IFS EOI. It's been something that we believe holds a lot of value for our customers as unlike other visualization software that just lets you historically monitor your company’s performance, IFS EOI maps to your key business processes so that you can easily see where opportunities and issues reside in your business – and then model how operations could perform in the future. It allows you to tweak different variables in your value chain so you can realize the best possible outcomes. We’re going to be sharing news in this area too.
The main conference will gather over a thousand customers, prospects, partners, press, and analysts for three days. It is a great opportunity for people to learn about recent developments, find out “what’s next” in terms the company’s strategy, as well as to network , give feedback and share experiences with other users from the IFS ecosystem. We will have keynote sessions in the mornings with our own executives, but we are also bringing in executives from our strategic partners as well as thought leaders like Micael Dahlen, innovators from the world of F1 (IFS is a principal partner of the Sauber F1 Team this year) and others. In addition, there will be over 100 breakout sessions that will go into detail on the news that will be announced as well as to focus on the vertical industries we serve.
The day before our main conference starts we are hosting a partner event, which will be the first IFS Partner Network Summit and Awards. Only companies who are part of the IFS Partner Network are able to attend, and so as part of the day we will be sharing our roadmap, encouraging closer collaboration, and celebrating their success through the inaugural IFS Partner of the Year Awards, which comprises ten different categories.
Lastly, I think attendees can expect to hear more from IFS about the company’s strategic direction. You might be aware that IFS, having been listed on the Stock Exchange for nearly 20 years, went private earlier this month. Our new owners are very supportive of growing our business and taking advantage of our full-potential, so our CEO will be sharing details of key investment areas.
We're proud of the reputation that the IFS World Conferences have built over the years which has meant they’ve been increasing in size. Attendees seem to get a lot of value from meeting the team that develop the software they use day-in and day-out, and likewise our team hugely values the feedback that helps us continually improve.
It’s also a great opportunity for the people in our ecosystem to have a bit of fun. Hosting the event in Gothenburg, we thought it right to embrace the Swedish culture so we even have Swedish pop group, The Cardigans playing one evening!!”
See some of you there? Look forward to posting from the largest seaport in the Nordics.