IFS announces fourth-generation mobile solution for service & maintenance

Also presents IFS Metrix Service Management 5.5  a new standard for intuitive field service management software

MELBOURNE, OCTOBER 17, 2012  IFS, the global enterprise applications company, has launched its fourth-generation mobile client for service and maintenance, running on Android smartphones and tablets. The solution offers robust service management functionality, supporting offline mode, through an intuitive and user-friendly interface.

IFS also formally released IFS Metrix Service Management version 5.5 at the IFS World Conference in Gothenburg, Sweden. The new version includes enhanced features for intuitive useability by technicians in the field and managers in the office.

IFS's fourth-generation mobile client leverages the best-in-class field mobile technology of Metrix Mobile for Android, which IFS gained through the acquisition of Metrix earlier this year. The solution is built into IFS Applications, offering a complete mobile solution for field service and maintenance management. Being designed and optimised for the Android platform, the new version complements IFS's existing mobile solution for the Microsoft Windows Mobile platform.

"We are very excited about how quickly we have been able to marry Metrix Mobile with IFS Applications, presenting a beta release of the combined solutions only five months after the acquisition," said Rob Stummer, Managing Director at IFS Australia and New Zealand. "The solution offers a remarkable user experience with a look and feel that is very comfortable and easy to use. More importantly, however, it can easily be configured to reflect the user's work process. Our customers can simply plug and play with the solution as standard functionality, ensuring quicker time to value and easy product upgrades. With this launch, we are executing on our goal of becoming the global market leader in the mobile service and maintenance management space."

The solution handles the complete process  from the moment the order is received by a technician, until it is reported and sent back to the server from the mobile device. Work status updates are logged on the work order and instantly sent back to the dispatch centre. The field technician can capture photos, retrieve map-supported driving instructions and complete the job by filling in time, material, and expenses. Through flexible query functionality, any data captured in the field  from work safety instructions to customer care data - is easily configured per customer and type of work process.

Mobile workforce management is a prioritised area and one in which IFS has invested heavily during the past years. Today's announcement is a milestone in IFS's product history as it combines the ERP infrastructure of IFS Applications with the market-leading resource optimisation capabilities of IFS 360 Scheduling and the best-in-class functionality of the Metrix Mobile solution. The end result is a complete mobile workforce management system that leverages unparalleled product synergies.

"During the past years, we have delivered a number of solutions that target the rapidly growing mobile workforce," IFS CTO Dan Matthews said. "Among these are the mobile-friendly and touch-screen optimised IFS Enterprise Explorer user interface and IFS Touch Apps, a series of cloud-based smartphone apps for the mobile individual. We are now proud to add a fourth-generation mobile solution for the professional service and maintenance crew to the list. Mobility will remain a strategic investment theme for IFS going forward."

A new standard for intuitive field service management software

IFS Metrix Service Management is recognised by analysts and the market alike as the best of breed software application of choice for companies managing a field service workforce. It includes everything service organisations of all sizes need to profitably serve customers and is available on-premise or in the cloud. Standard functionality covers the entire field service lifecycle from customer relationship management, scheduling and mobile service to contract pricing, warranty repair and parts management. Available extensions include schedule optimisation for large field service workforces and enterprise functionality from IFS Applications including maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO).

Important new capabilities of IFS Metrix Service Management version 5.5 include:

Advanced Repair and Service Functionality
Technicians performing component repair can now use IFS Metrix Service Management to automatically identify parts that are frequently serviced or replaced for a given piece of equipment - or for a given symptom or problem. This will increase the likelihood the technician has the right parts to complete a repair the first time.

Visualisation Enhancement
For technicians completing reverse logistics and repair, IFS Metrix Service Management 5.5 offers a media carousel to illustrate repair procedures and processes for each item. This is also useful in a receiving environment to allow visual confirmation that the correct item has been received. 

Schedule Board Visualisation
New scheduling features make the dispatching function more efficient and intuitive. Dispatchers can now, for instance, visually differentiate jobs that need to be completed by two people or have been assigned to a technician under a different team.  As same-day emergency calls are scheduled via drag-and-drop, the dispatcher also gets a visual alert if any open preventive maintenance (PM) or engineering change order (ECO) visits exist at the site. This may allow the same technician to do the work while onsite and avoid multiple trips.

Instant Customer Intelligence
Business intelligence charts are now built into the summary page on each customer. Someone interacting with that customer is immediately informed of open, urgent requests the customer has, existing sales opportunities and open escalations.

Part Availability Mapping
If a technician in the field doesn't have a particular part, s/he can use a new feature in IFS Metrix Mobile for Android to determine where he can get it. The technician can easily select a part number and use the new "FIND NEARBY" feature to show where the part is in-stock and on-hand on Google Maps. Parts may be located in a mobile truck, field office, warehouse, repair centre, drop box location or even at a customer site with consigned inventory - all based on the user's current GPS location.

"Field service management software needs to be intuitive, and it needs to anticipate the needs and problems of technicians, dispatchers, and management," said Rob Stummer. "We have been in the industry long enough, and work with our customers closely enough, to understand how we can best leverage technology to solve the most commonly experienced problems our customers have. That is our goal with every new release, and IFS Metrix Service Management 5.5 is no exception."

About IFS 
IFS is a public company (OMX STO: IFS) founded in 1983 that develops, supplies, and implements IFS Applications™, a component-based extended ERP suite built on SOA technology.  IFS focuses on industries where any of four core processes are strategic: Service & asset management, manufacturing, supply chain and projects.  The company has 2,000 customers and is present in approximately 60 countries with 2,800 employees in total. Net revenue in 2011 was SKr 2.6 billion.

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Chris Bowes
Bowes Communications  
Phone: +61 2 9387 2332

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