IFS has acquired Clevest Solution Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Clevest is a leader in mobile workforce management for utilities companies. It provides solutions to more than 240 utilities companies that service more than 100 million customers. More than 12,000 field service workers also use their solutions.
This brings a large number of blue-chip companies into the IFS domain. Does it signal that IFS is preparing for a major push in the utilities sector? Not just for its field service solutions but also its asset management capability. Clevest integrates to several EAM solutions already including SAP, Oracle, and IBM Maximo. It doesn’t name IFS in the shortlist of integrations on its website, but it may be included as one of the 250+ integrations it already has.
The acquisition will bring a new set of technology features to IFS, though many of those will overlap in terms of functionality with its existing solutions. What will IFS do, will it merge the products or maintain a separate product line with Clevest solutions. What this does bring is a wealth of domain expertise and Sales relationships with utility companies that it will hope to leverage. Clients include Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority, American Electric Power and the City of Calgary.
Darren Roos, CEO, IFS commented: “Clevest demonstrates a clear commitment to delivering value for its customers in a key industry vertical for us. Clevest is already leveraging technology that brings unique business value to its customers, including Smart Metering, Smart Networks, Mobile Workforce Management and additional capabilities around optimization of scheduling dispatch-all with the ability to digitize core processes across the use cases that matter most to utilities. I am confident it will add value to what we already do for our customers in this space.”
Clevest has grown without resorting to significant funding according to Crunchbase. With only a debt refinancing deal in 2010 with Espresso Capital. Founder and CEO of Clevest Thomas Ligocki explains why he has decided to join forces with IFS, saying: “To accelerate the global growth of the company I founded almost 15 years ago, I found in IFS the perfect strategic partner. By bringing together these two companies, we will undoubtedly be able to offer the best Field Service Management, Mobile Workforce Management and Advanced Network Deployment solutions on the market. It also brings new opportunities and clear benefits to Clevest partners and customers as they seek new ways to scale globally.”
While Clevest already has international customers and a website that supports, English, Chinese and Czech. Why Czech? Ligocki was brought up in communist Czechoslovakia for the first 12 years of his life before his parents fled to Canada, finding a home in Vancouver. Clevest is headquartered in nearby Richmond. The company also had an office in the Czech Republic in 2018, but there is no indication it still has one. The majority of its 120+ staff are based in Canada. The acquisition by IFS will help accelerate its international plans considerably.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
This is a significant lay by IFS to enhance its already strong presence in the Field Service Management market. It has been a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management Software every year since 2014. Its recent Q3 results underpinned the importance of Service management with revenues from the division growing by 83%. IFS forecasted 100% growth for the full year for Service Management. If it counts the Clevest acquisition, it will probably now exceed that. ZoomInfo estimates Clevest revenues at $27 million.
Roos seems to be focused on growing the FSM segment. The question is whether this is at the expense of investments in ERP, EAM and A&D, its other areas. They are also performing well, but recent acquisitions have focused on the FSM segment. This latest acquisition adds a significant company to its Service management portfolio. However, the press release omits whether IFS hopes to push other solutions, most notably EAM to the Clevest customer base. What is missing from the announcement is how it will bring its different products together.