It has been 30 years or so since IFS got its start in the energy and utilities (E&U) industry. We have since evolved well beyond this space, so how do we stay close to our roots?
Hold an Annual Advisory Council! We just did that, and I had the pleasure of meeting with a group of our Energy & Utility customers in the Netherlands. The Advisory Council meeting is a fantastic opportunity for us to listen to the plans that our customers have and receive feedback on our strategy for the product. In addition, it provides amongst other things an excellent opportunity for networking. IFS has always been close to our customers, and the E&U Advisory Council provides the capability for them to input into the future development of IFS Applications.
Since the last time we had met, IFS Research and Development has invested a considerable number of hours in developing new features and functions specifically for the E&U industry. These include improved support for linear assets like pipelines and transmission lines, deep compatible unit functionality and improvements in advanced preventive maintenance planning and optimization. All of these areas have been very well received by the Advisory Council, and many of the customers continue to implement these new tools.
In addition to this, IFS has made significant improvements in our GIS Integration footprint, so much so that we have been recognized by Esri for a significant achievement award.
Aside from the new development, we received confirmation that our E&U customers continue to invest heavily in new infrastructure and plant, modifications and improvements to existing plants, plus implementing replacement strategies for asset items.
At IFS, there is clearly a large amount of development progressing for this market space both on-going and planned, the IFS Project and Asset Lifecycle Solution will continue to be ideally positioned for customers that need to maintain total control over the on-going works. The forecasting and budgeting capability together with subcontract management functionality ensures best of breed long term asset planning is possible. This has the added benefit in proving to the regulatory bodies that an organisation understands its Asset Landscape and ensures it returns investment to all of its stakeholders.