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IFS Cloud: Why on-premise is still an option for our customers
IFS Cloud is a single platform that delivers class-leading solutions across Service Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Asset Management. The solution offers a unique and single technology platform with one common user experience and a single data model bringing simplicity, choice and innovation to organisations that need to evolve to new business models, control costs, expand faster and serve their customers better. The IFS Cloud platform is powerful, flexible, and open. It puts user experience first, delivers 100% open APIs, is built for high performance and has innovations embedded such as artificial intelligence, ML and IoT throughout.
Choosing to deploy a cloud ERP solution has many benefits, not least that It offers flexibility, scalability, and the ability to easily keep pace with new innovation. With lower operating costs and the ability to tailor monthly subscription costs to suit your business you can build a solution, you can select the capabilities initially required with the opportunity to add more as and when is necessary, all tailored to your specific industry and needs. What’s more, as a Cloud-based system can be accessed from wherever, decision-making, data sharing and reporting become viable options anytime, anywhere.
IFS Cloud also marks the start of twice-yearly feature releases, giving fast access to the latest capabilities and improvements, while keeping the impact on your business low, and allowing you to keep pace with the changing IT landscape. Monthly service updates also ensure your solution will remain robust and completely secure every step of the way.
The most flexible part of IFS Cloud is that customers can choose how and where they deploy the solution. For our customers, IFS has always been an on-premise solution. The introduction of ‘Cloud’ has led some to wrongly believe that it must be hosted in the cloud. This is not the case at all. It can either be deployed by IFS themselves as a SaaS solution, or remotely as either an on-premise solution or in a cloud tenancy.
Opting for a remote installation means you can either:
1. Install on your own servers in your server room.
2. Install on servers in the cloud that you manage or maintain.
3. Or install on servers in the cloud and give a 3rd party the power to maintain them for you and you simply ‘use it’.
This on-premise, ‘remote’ offering, as in remote to IFS, is where we can help our existing customers, or new to IFS customers who are considering a move to IFS Cloud. We have the expertise to deliver innovative support, managed services and consulting for Oracle, SQL Server and Multi-Cloud technology in a number of ways:
1. Management of the servers in the Cloud environment.
2. The management, support, tuning performance monitoring of the database.
3. The management of the IFS Application.
What we are offering is almost akin to an a la carte menu. The customer can choose what level of service they want based on their individual needs, skill set and budget. For instance, they might only want the application managed via our service desk, or perhaps they only require limited monitoring on the database or the environment. Or another option is for the customer pay for the hosting and only incur extra costs when they need changes to be made, which we can again manage.
This is not a SaaS model, as IFS Cloud can sit in a cloud tenancy. It is more of a Capex model with upfront application costs and on-going licence fees, while the hosting of the servers becomes a monthly Opex cost.
What benefits does this bring to our customers?
In short, we can tailor a managed service solution for our customer based around the skills they do or don’t have, plugging the necessary gaps. We can come up with a level of service that meets any client budget, large or small. What’s more, customers have the flexibility to pick and choose the level of support they require, and this can be increased or decreased at any time. We can host in Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or on Amazon Web Services. We can also pay attention to geography if the customer requires services in particular countries.
We are currently working with several IFS customers in Germany who have opted to upgrade to cloud but remaining on-premise. They still have their own servers in their server room which we have installed Cloud on to. We are seeing the same remote approach from our UK customers where all three of our current IFS Cloud implementation projects have opted to go into a cloud tenancy environment.
We ourselves, are also running our own Cloud and IFS Applications 9 and 10 demo environments, in our own Azure tenancy. This has removed a lot of our server infrastructure that previously sat in the office, plus our people have the level of skill and knowledge required to make any necessary changes in Azure.
Customers get the benefit of hosting in a cloud environment – there are no longer servers on premise that need to be refreshed every few years. But they can treat it as an on-premise model or as an extension of their on-premise model as it is in a cloud tenancy. It’s remote but flexible, - it’s almost thinking on-premise but your servers are on cloud.
What’s more, when we provision the first environment for a customer, there’s only ever a few people using it. Over time, more and more people get involved as the solution is adopted. During that journey we can create a provision that suits that small number of users. This saves costs at the front end as during the implementation phase you save costs and build up power and infrastructure as you onboard more users. Furthermore, outside of a production environment, it is also possible to save costs as a cloud tenancy allows you to ring fence user time and turn servers off automatically when you know nobody will be using them for a period of time, for instance overnight.
We will support our customers in whatever way they want to deploy IFS. If you are considering installing IFS Cloud, talk to us about how we can support you.