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Meet the Partner: Q&A with IFS
Following on from Cooper Software being awarded the IFS Spirit Award at the 2021 Partner Summit, our Managing Director Jonathan Dunn, talks to Alexander Fjelltveit, Head of Partner Marketing, Northern & Central Europe at IFS about our growth, focus for the next 12 months, and the Partner Success Program.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A PARTNER OF IFS?
We became an IFS Partner in 2009, 4 years after Cooper Software was established. Frank Cooper and the team had already been supporting IFS for 10 years up until this date. Since then, we have grown to a full-time team of over 70 staff, which we’re currently growing further. Over this period we have delivered over 1,500 individual projects to over 300 IFS customers globally.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO TEAM UP WITH IFS?
We consider ourselves to be a forward-thinking, customer-focused business. Becoming one of the first-ever IFS partners back in 2009 was a leap of faith for us and IFS. We took the time to understand your strategy, and from this, we closely aligned our plans to ensure that both us and our customers would get the maximum benefit.
We truly value this partnership and invest heavily to ensure that we are delivering the best service to our clients. In addition, becoming a partner has allowed us to develop deep-rooted expertise, particularly around our IFS technical and finance consulting capability.
We recently became the first partner to sign up for the new Partner Success initiative, through which we will work in tandem with IFS to deliver the best possible experience for our customers.
DESCRIBE THE IDEAL IFS CUSTOMER
We work with a wide range of customers from the smallest to the largest, across industries spanning food and drink, manufacturing, energy and utilities, services and engineering and construction.
However, some of the most rewarding businesses to work with are customer-focused and forward-thinking, continually looking at how they can get the most value out of their IFS solution. Perhaps they want to upgrade, or they'd like to make a move to Cloud, or simply turn on new modules. Working together to enable them to get what they need from their IFS solution is a pleasure.
We also find it immensely satisfying working with customers who feel 'locked in' to their current solution. Perhaps they are on an outdated version and need to upgrade, but it feels overwhelming due to lack of knowledge, budget, or simply not knowing where to start. The sense of fulfillment we get from finding these customers and taking them on a journey to improve their systems is incredible. You know you are making a difference in how they operate, develop, and grow.
IN WHICH COUNTRIES DO YOU OPERATE?
Our headquarters are in Scotland, and we predominantly serve the UK and Western Europe with additional projects across the globe. In addition, we have recently made an acquisition in Germany to service the DACH and Benelux regions. We will continue to grow the team in both the UK & Germany over the coming months.
WHAT MAKES COOPER SOFTWARE UNIQUE?
Our experience combined with our bespoke product offering that extends IFS's existing functionality, rounded off with our deep technical expertise is what makes us unique, and in turn, it is our greatest strength.
As one of the longest-standing IFS partners, we have wide-ranging industry experience, backed up by a team whose technical capability is something that we are particularly proud of and it has always been at the core of our business.
Several members of our team have now been with us for more than 10 years each, during which time they have solely focused on building applications and technical solutions to enhance IFS.
We also have unrivaled experience around IFS's financial modules. We have built this up to become a core specialism thanks to having chartered accountants on our consulting team who really understand the depth of what is required from a financial perspective.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FIRM'S VALUES AND HOW DO THEY ALIGN WITH IFS?
Like IFS, we share a common value to put customers firmly at the centre of everything we do. We are focused on developing open, honest, and transparent relationships to build trust, accountability, and ultimately, success.
We take a holistic and customer-focused view on every project, working in collaboration to truly understand the fundamentals of our customer's industry and business to allow us to understand precisely what they need from their IFS solution.
TELL US WHY YOU RECENTLY SIGNED UP FOR THE IFS PARTNER SUCCESS PROGRAM?
We are delighted to become the first partner to commit to IFS Partner Success. We’re not frightened to embrace new initiatives to help differentiate ourselves from the competition, and we see this as another opportunity to take the lead with IFS.
As has been said, we embrace a holistic and structured approach towards our projects and understand that no business relationship is identical. This is reflected in the spirit of IFS Partner Success, with each partner treated as a unique entity, ensuring successful customer engagement and delivering the Moment of Service.
WHAT IS YOUR FOCUS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
The next twelve months will see us continue to promote IFS Cloud to new customers, continue to add value to our current clients while also growing our support and service desk offering, targeting both existing and new clients.
Also, in the DACH and Benelux, where we recently became a Channel Partner, we are focusing on using our experience and technical capability to support smaller local partners in these regions and acting as a collaborative, expert partner to lean on to allow them to better deliver for their customers.
We are committed to growing our own team to ensure we can continue to deliver on our partnership and to support our existing and future customer base.
We will be running a webinar on supply chain management, specifically the art of balancing supply and demand within the food and drink sector, on Wednesday 16th February, 11:00am GMT.
To learn more about the partner landscape, please visit the IFS Partner Network. If you have questions regarding IFS partners, simply reach out to Alexander Fjelltveit on LinkedIn.