The implementation of ERP solutions is no longer about the installing software and rolling it out across a business. IFS appear to be recognising this and, at least in Sweden, have grabbed the attention of a young business consultancy Pro4U Business System. Pro4U has traditionally helped companies with strategic initiatives, providing key personnel at managerial and project management levels in fields such as banking, finance, insurance, public affairs, industry, trade, energy, media, gaming, and telecom/internet.
Interestingly the announcement sees them looking to target the SMB retail market with IFS Applications combined with add on solutions from Centric and Ateles. Anders Carlsson, CEO of Pro4u Business System explains: “By combining IFS Applications with e-commerce software from Ateles and store solutions from Centric we will deliver pre-packaged retail solutions that will help growing companies improve key capabilities like payment and assortment planning while improving overall process effectiveness and profitability”.
Accelerating the upgrade path with Pro4U
This is not just about new business. ERP software has evolved rapidly and with the advent of mobile working, IoT and cloud the business change required to implement even a version upgrade can be significant. IFS will be giving access to the IFS Upgrade Factory to Pro4U that will enable them to assist with companies as they look to move from historic versions of IFS to a more modern solution. The intention is to train several Pro4U staff at the IFS academy and it will be interesting to see how successful Pro4U are within the IFS umbrella.
Founded in 2006 Pro4U has previously remained independent of ERP solutions and this decision to become part of the IFS Partner Network cannot have been taken lightly. It will be interesting to see whether Pro4U have reached a size where they feel that once this relationship has developed they can sustain a second relationship as many of the larger consultancies already do.
For now though it is a coup for IFS that they have persuaded such a relatively young company to partner with them as the hunt for partners in the ERP space is getting fiercer. Elni Kullmer, IFS Scandinavia Senior Vice President Partner Business commented: “We are very pleased with the partnership with Pro4u Business System, which supports IFS’s strategy to increase market share through expanding our partner ecosystem. Together with our existing retail partners Centric and Ateles, Pro4u Business System will give IFS’s customers new delivery options while providing IFS with a stronger offering and greater sales capacity.”
There is a fierce battle for both ERP experts and consultancies to add to various partner networks in Europe. Oracle recently announced 1,400 jobs in Europe and a new Cloud channel program, NetSuite and Infor are also aggressively seeking new channel partners. As this battle intensifies for the channel it will be interesting to see whether there is movement between channels and also what incentives are being offered to new companies to join up. With ERP solutions requiring as much business consultancy skills than traditional project management skills it will be interesting to see what partnerships such as Pro4U, Centric and Ateles develop in 2016.