Accelerating Business Automation

How IFS develops and delivers cloud enterprise software is helping organisations globally

Shereen Shabnam

Recently we ventured to IFS Unleashed in Miami where we learnt from experts how IFS products help companies around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations.

The IFS industry specific products are innately connected to a single data model and use embedded digital innovation so that IFS clients can be their best when it really matters to their customers. The IFS products transform operations, work efficiently and liberate staff while IFS Cloud helps to reduce the time, effort, and resource burden while increasing the quality of work and experience.

For instance, the IFS Cloud provides organizations intelligent insights and accelerates automation efforts. The enhancements done continually on products support end-to-end process automation and advanced analytics capabilities that impacts organizations across functions.

We ask Mehmood Khan, Managing Director of IFS Middle East South Asia about IFS in the region.Mehmood has over 20 years’ experience in advising companies in digital transformation and new technology. He has played a key instrumental role in growing the IFS business in the Middle East and South Asia in the time he has been with IFS and continues to bring value to customers across the region. Today he operates with a vision to grow and diversify business in the MESA region.

How is IFS technology enabling remote working?

Our region, the Middle East is notorious for wanting people on site with a culture of operations on site, but the pandemic has forced a culture change. At IFS we do not just provide back-office solutions in finance and HR but we get involved with organisations in all aspects. Whether they are manufacturing naval vessels or maintaining aircraft, what we found is that our customers could actually continue operations even with minimal staff capacity. And that is the same with offshore oil driller companies that work with us in the Middle East.

 Post pandemic, some of our customers have realized that a core function like engineering and design does not have to be close to operations. People think about outsourcing HR or outsourcing certain components of payroll. Companies are now outsourcing engineering and design work maybe between India, maybe to Sweden, maybe to the US because they’ve realized through this process, getting skills in one place is very difficult.

We enable this through technology by getting skills where they are. It is cost-effective with the same quality product at the end. And so companies are starting to change, which is interesting in the Middle East.

Tell us about IFS in the GCC, the countries you are representing and an overview of the response to IFS from the industry?

IFS is in the Middle East for quite a while, since the early 2000, and in the last five years we started investing heavily in the region. We opened offices in Riyadh, in Muscat and we have our head office based out of Dubai. We are focused on certain industries like aerospace and defence being our largest industry and we have great response from our customers. We are the only platform that provides an end-to-end aerospace and defence solution, all the way from ERP to MRO manufacturing.

Which industries are currently most responsive to IFS products and how does IFS software help businesses renew their focus on supply chain validation?

We are starting on our journey into many industries and energy is one of our core focus areas. A lot of the countries in the GCC are diversifying and that means that oil majors are looking at joint ventures to start onboarding a lot of those capabilities that were run by external companies. But most importantly, we extend processes into client’s operations and asset management operations, so they have a single platform. Also, the largest telco in the region has chosen IFS for service management to make sure that they serve as up to 10 million customers. We were growing faster than we even anticipated, but that’s a good challenge.

What key trends are you noticing currently and what are your USPs that is is helping you grow in the GCC region?

Customers are looking for finance, HR and procurement solutions and our HR solution can tell you if the candidate has right qualifications, if he/she can do the job and if the resources to do it is available. We have end to end solutions which is our key USP.

We are changing as fast as regulations change with the ability to deploy on cloud

and enable customers to track their progress as they want quick results.

Tell us how IFS Cloud is enabling a fast-tracked adoption of digital capabilities and updating the solutions as you reveal new innovations?

Well, it really depends on the case of the migration that the company wants. You should never just update the technology for the sake of doing it as it must have business value. We encourage adopting good business processes customised to the needs of the business and we offer either updates where its required or innovations that can transform businesses and their capabilities for the better.

For instance, an organization’s environmental, social, and governance goals are always in the spotlight. IFS tools and innovations provide the data to show progress against commitments and demonstrate accountability and transparency. We help clients who are focused on ESG goals and making an impact on the planet.

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