Global enterprise application company IFS has announced a swathe of major updates to its Field Service Management (FSM) platform, incorporating IoT capabilities for the first time.

The latest iteration of the software now offers embedded integration with the company’s IoT Business Connector and an overhauled user interface, providing what the company calls “the most complete, connected field service”.

IFS’ IoT Business Connector was unveiled at the company’s World Conference last year, and provides end-to-end architecture and plug-and-play connectivity with the Microsoft Azure IoT suite out of the box, along with open-source APIs to allow connectivity to other IoT platforms or specialised IoT discovery applications.

New features in FSM include:

  • Embedded IoT capabilities: Integration with the IFS IoT Business Connector enables customers to leverage IoT to analyse data from connected machines and devices, turning information into immediate and predictive actions to improve service levels and costs
  • Improved user experience: IFS Lobby integration has expanded, providing more real-time data visualisations, along with standard integration with Microsoft Skype for Business to liaise with field technicians
  • Enhanced functionality: Workflows have been added for shipping, stock management, purchasing, service bills of material, and maintaining product structures from the field, along with added support for group tasks and mobile platform quotes for parts, goods, and services
  • Intelligent Field Service: The solution can automate work status via geocoding, and provide intelligent, automated task and solution identification, and automated activity feeds of timely, relevant information throughout the service delivery process
  • Evergreen field service management: This introduces quarterly updates of thee software platform, eliminating the need for service pack installation.

In a statement, ARC Advisory Group’s VP of enterprise software Ralph Rio said: “IFS FSM provides a comprehensive set of functions for optimising resources along the service lifecycle.

“Adding IoT allows field service organisations to become proactive and predictive by identifying equipment issues and mitigating the problem before it cascades into dreaded unplanned failure that impacts business performance and safety.”

IFS industry director for service Mark Brewer added: “Service is an area where companies can realise real value from IoT and by embedding the IFS IoT Business Connector into the application, we are unlocking a new realm of possibilities for our customers in terms of predictive and optimised service management.”