IBS Launches New Cloud and Mobile Apps for ERP Customers
October 25, 2011 Alex Woodie
ERP vendor International Business Systems (IBS), which was recently acquired by Symphony Technology Group, made a slew of aggressive product launches at its annual global user group conference this month. In one fell swoop, the embattled software vendor launched a hosted cloud environment for IBS Enterprise, unveiled new mobile interfaces for its ERP software, announced new sales and operations planning and performance management products, and debuted a new application exchange for customers.
It’s been a tough few years for IBS, the Swedish ERP application developer that was bought this June by the Silicon Valley-based private equity group STG for a mere $35 million. But the company, which has its U.S. office in Folsom, California, is doing all the things that a software company should do–namely, making software that satisfies the needs of its customers.
Today, that “need” means putting apps up in the “cloud,” and giving customers mobile interfaces that run on smartphones and tablets. That’s just what the vendor did at its Global Customer Summit.
The new IBS Cloud Solutions include the latest versions of the IBS Enterprise modules, including the Distribution Intelligence; Distribution Financials; Supply Management; Logistics, Assembly and Services; Demand Management; and Supply Chain Integration applications.
The IBS Cloud will run on a mixture of IBM i and Intel servers, an IBS spokesman says. In North, South, and Central America, the IBS cloud apps will be hosted by Meridian IT, an IBM Power Systems reseller and cloud hosting provider based in Deerfield, Illinois. In the EMEA region, the hosting will be provided by IBS’ sister company IPTOR, which is based in Solna, Sweden. IBS is still in negotiations for the hosting provider for the APAC region, IBS spokesman says Mark Illidge, vice president of field operations and corporate marketing.
IBS customers will be able to move back and forth from on-premise versions of IBS Enterprise to a hosted version running in the cloud, Illidge says. “The whole IBS Cloud solutions premise is to support flexibility and choice and to meet the requirements of our customers,” he says in an email.
The new IBS Mobile offerings provide limited functionality at this point, but IBS has a roadmap to widen their applicability. Current IBS Mobile applications include proof of delivery, and requests and returns. In the near future, IBS plans to release mobile sales, mobile CRM, and mobile service, Illidge says, adding that IBS is open to other mobile application areas.
The IBS Mobile offering is based on the SymMob mobile framework product developed by STG subsidiary Symphony Services. The IBS Mobile offerings run on the iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms. Certifications for iOS and Windows Mobile are in hand, while Android is in the process of being certified.
The vendor also unveiled two other applications that come to it via the STG connection, including Advanced Sales and Operations Planning, and Rapid Performance Management.
The company also launched IBS AppExchange, an online repository designed to help customers collaborate and communicate about what types of add-on or extension applications they have found useful in an IBS Enterprise setting. IBS plans to make some of these products a part of the core IBS Enterprise product, but posting the apps to the AppExchange will make them more broadly available to customers, specifically those on older releases, Illidge says.
In the next few days, the AppExchange is expected to go online on IBS’ website www.ibs.net.