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Supporting your IFS Application Lifecycle Experience

With the release of IFS Cloud comes a significant change in how software updates are managed. Rather than relying on IFS Support building, packaging and sending software releases, IFS Cloud customers can request self-service updates and deployments in the Cloud Build Place, using the IFS Lifecycle Experience portal. This approach helps customers adopt, and be in control of, an ‘evergreen’ software experience by giving them the option to always be on the latest version of IFS Cloud without the disruptions of full-scale upgrades.

As the Lifecycle Experience within IFS Cloud updates and requires more advanced technical knowledge, our IFS Support team can help businesses install, verify and test these new packages, acting as an additional resource to securely maintain business systems and processes. Baker Tilly Digital’s IFS Application Lifecycle Experience (ALE) provides the solution to IFS Cloud customers who could benefit from a little support when managing IFS Cloud additional knowledge and expertise within the software development cycle.

To explain this more, we’ve taken some time with one of our Directors, Paolo Zaino, to understand how Baker Tilly Digital can help manage IFS Cloud, the IFS Lifecycle Experience portal and the IFS Cloud Build Place.

Q: What kind of issues did you see in the market that led you to create the ALE offering?

Zaino: Over the last 12 months, our IFS support team here at Baker Tilly Digital have been getting up to speed with the new functionality and technology we can expect to see in future IFS Lifecycle updates.

The new functionality was significantly different to what we’ve seen previously, especially in the new build place of IFS. The first issue we started to see was the lack of skills and knowledge of this technology. The new level of qualification and understanding required for customers managing the new cloud environment is a lot higher than for previous IFS application versions.

We began to help some of our customers who didn’t have the necessary skills in-house to manage their IFS Cloud environment and quickly realized that we were getting more requests for this level of skill. Our ALE offering started to grow when we realized we could help more IFS Cloud customers with the software development cycle and take the burden of this technology knowledge off of their internal team.

Q: How does this service differ from Baker Tilly Digital's IFS Support offering?

Zaino: Whilst complimentary services, ALE and IFS Support are separate. You do not need to be a support customer to utilize our ALE solution.

IFS Support is for any IFS customer, regardless of version, who needs help managing their IFS environment, providing end-user support, system administration and maintenance. With a fixed monthly fee, we work with our global support customers through a simple ticket system to provide updates and management of any issues our customers might face. We provide this service 24x7, 365 days a year and backed by an agreed and monitored service level agreement.

Our new ALE offering is for IFS Cloud customers only. This service is to help navigate IFS Cloud customers through monthly service updates and bi-annual release updates with technical knowledge and additional resources. We will package, verify, and install each update and complete the relevant tests to ensure a smooth migration into the customers' Use Place.

Q: What are common obstacles customers are facing today in managing IFS Cloud? And how can ALE help them successfully overcome these obstacles?

Zaino: Being ‘evergreen’ is something that customers want, always having the latest version of IFS Cloud and taking advantage of the new release features. However, customers may not have the internal resources available to manage this regular cadence. A consequence of this is that they could find themselves several release updates behind and therefore not taking advantage of the latest features and service updates that IFS Cloud has to offer.

ALE offers release management as a service. We will manage the monthly service updates and bi-annual release updates, giving customers internal resources and free time to focus on more value-added tasks, such as internal continuous improvement and adopting the new functionality being delivered in IFS Cloud.

Q: What kind of companies can use ALE?

Zaino: Anyone implementing, upgrading to or live on IFS Cloud.

Q: Can you describe the skillset BTD consultants have that allows them to successfully provide this service?

Zaino: Our partner status at IFS, as System Integrator, drives our internal accreditation program. All our employees have at least one IFS certification and these are constantly updated as IFS Cloud versions are released.

The ALE service also makes the best use of our global support team, so that ALE tasks can be performed within an agreed maintenance window that suits the customer. So, if this is 2 am local time to the customer on a Sunday, then that’s the window we will use.

Q: Can customers find resources similar to this in the market?

Zaino: I haven’t seen anything similar in the market at this time. Our service offering aims to take the risk away from the customer and provide a seamless service of IFS technology knowledge, support and resource.

Interested in our ALE or Support related offerings? Speak to our team to see how we can help your business.

Paolo Zaino
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