IFS World Conference 2019 review: key takeaways and helpful tips

For those of us who are regularly inundated with Field Service Management (FSM) information, the IFS 2019 World Conference offered a refreshing take on FSM solutions. The theme this year was For The Challengers (#forthechallengers), which centers namely on the idea of cultivating innovation by not putting organizations into preset boxes.

In the keynotes by IFS CEO, Darren Roos, it was explained that #forthechallengers is about enabling organizations to be:

  • Disruptive: shaking up their industries and the competition
  • Innovative: embracing differences, risk, and moving forward
  • Focused: being determined and achieving their goals

“We see that many of our customers are not always number one or number two in their industry; instead, they are the up-and-coming firms that are looking to truly disrupt. Because of this we have hinged our event this year around the theme ‘For The Challengers’ because it embodies not just our customers’ positions, but also our own, as IFS now increasingly becomes so much more of a force in the industry,” stated Roos.

Challengers deserve choice

A big divider in the world of FSM lately has been the push for organizations to move solely toward cloud based solutions. Part of this year’s conference that resonated with us was offering challengers choice. Above all, when choosing a solution, the focus needs to be on:

  • Offering the best tools for the job
  • Delivering value
  • Giving the organization a competitive advantage

Choosing between an on-premise and cloud solution can be tricky. It’s extremely important to go over the pros and cons with your leadership team, such as:

  • Initial vs. long term investment costs
  • Security needs
  • Implementation and deployment timelines
  • Ability to customize
  • Compliance needs

IFS covered the necessity for adaptability, something we’ve seen the need for first hand, and catering to clients. In other words, giving challengers choice.

IFS and ASTEA

In line with offering FSM challengers choice, IFS announced their acquisition of Astea. Astea Technologies is a US-based FSM provider that was established in 1979.

IFS CEO Roos commented on the acquisition, “Astea CEO Zack Bergreen and his team have built a well-recognized FSM player with fantastic blue-chip customers, highly talented employees and a sophisticated product offering. With this acquisition, we will build the most attractive FSM offering in the industry today to push ourselves to do more for our customers.”

Faster time to value

The IDC white paper findings we covered in our last blog unsurprisingly made an appearance. The results are major news in terms of FSM technological capabilities. In short, the paper covers when and where IFS enterprise software customers reported their ROI.

The biggest finding was how quickly ROI was achieved, with an 18% increase in productivity and breakeven on investment occurring in 15 months. Faster time to value was seen in unexpected places, such as:

  • 28% more work orders completed,
  • 14% faster delivery of orders/products
  • 21% faster budgetary cycles.

IFS is an outcome-centric company when it comes to designing FSM solutions, and these milestone findings illustrate that focus.

The future of IFS

The future of IFS remains in offering their customers choice, value, and innovation. New technology was previewed by way of

  • Augmented/mixed reality-powered remote assistance
  • Digital twins (virtual models)
  • Predictive maintenance.

As IFS prides themselves in being an results driven organization, this new technology was created in order to provide more advanced levels of data management and readiness. Additionally, the evolved architecture has been built for both cloud and on-premises #forthechallengers.

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