Strong, Long-Standing Partnership Between IFS and Microsoft Proves a Win-Win for IFS MEA Customers

Microsoft Azure implementation makes for efficient enterprise software applications for IFS customers in Middle East and Africa

Over the last seven years, IFS has conducted two cloud studies, which illustrate several trends we can extrapolate to the future. In 2019, we conducted a study of 600 business decision makers from around the world, asking them how they currently provision their software and their attitudes regarding enterprise cloud. When we compared that data against a similar IFS study conducted in 2012, we found that the percentage of companies relying on cloud enterprise software almost doubled—in 2019 alone IFS saw a 56% increase in its cloud business. And with many organizations relying on enterprise software now operating under a “new normal”, we see this trend continuing as the need for deployment flexibility increases.

A strong cloud service removes distractions and allows organizations to focus on adding value to their business. Deploying IFS Applications on the Microsoft Azure cloud brings together a recognized leader in enterprise software with an outstanding cloud-based platform, so that our customers can focus on innovative business initiatives rather than “day-to-day” operations.

IFS Managed Cloud is a fully managed, single-tenant offering where IFS manages the cloud infrastructure, operating system, database, middleware and IFS products. This means that the people who created the software are also the ones managing the environment, powered by Microsoft Azure. By offering customers the choice to deploy IFS Applications in the cloud, IFS is able to help customers go to market with its software more quickly and cost effectively by eliminating the need for an on-premises infrastructure.  

Managing Director and Country Manager for IFS’s South African operations, Emma Murray, says, “IFS develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, build and maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations.

Our customers want to focus their time and money on what they do best, not setting up and running storage arrays and server farms.”

In the interest of enterprise efficiency and stability, Microsoft Azure offers local data centres across the Middle East and African regions. In Africa, two data centres have been established in South Africa in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. In the Middle East, Azure data centres can be found in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “Local data centres provide a massive advantage” says Murray. “If your servers are on another continent it can lead to a latency of between 150 and 200ms, but with local data centres in place, this time is brought down to below 20ms, which translates to a drastically improved user experience.”

According to Murray, most IFS customers already use some form of cloud computing, including Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft online services. “It’s that increased familiarity that has made it possible for IFS to push its public cloud deployment options in the African and Middle Eastern markets. In fact, customer familiarity with Microsoft online services such as Office 365 contributed heavily to IFS’s decision to deliver its applications on Azure. IFS currently uses a number of Microsoft Azure services including Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, Microsoft Azure Cloud Services, and Microsoft Azure Active Directory. All for the benefit of its customers.

“We selected Microsoft Azure as our preferred public cloud platform for a couple of reasons,” Murray says. “For one, we wanted a platform that could support the full software stack involved in IFS Applications. The fact that Microsoft Azure can support all these technologies was very attractive.”

IFS and Microsoft have joined forces in the Middle East and South Asia territories as well, to provide customers with industry-leading solutions for field service management and enterprise asset management.