Mobile Apps and the Cloud

Mobile Apps and the Cloud

IFS launches mobile apps to improve workforce productivity.

IFS has launched a new series of applications for Android and iPhone users, according to Dan Matthews, chief technology officer for the company. TripTracker allows workers to file expense reports from the road, speeding up the approval process. NotifyMe alerts users to purchases, invoices, expenses and other important business functions that need approval immediately.

The two applications, developed by IFS Labs, have been in the works since September 2010, Matthews says, as the company worked on both the applications themselves and the IFS Cloud on parallel tracks.

"The IFS Touch Apps are part of our larger initiative to support the mobile workforce," Matthews says. "In addition to the apps, our mobile workforce program also includes our existing mobile solutions for service management, and a regular user experience that is designed to work just as well out of the office as in it."

The new apps are designed to target anyone who frequently or occasionally performs work tasks on the move. IFS believes the apps will enable customers to increase productivity and run processes faster and more smoothly by enabling mobile users to leverage unused time: during flights, in taxis or while waiting for colleagues in the hotel lobby.

"Why wait until the boss is back in the office to approve a purchase requisition?" Matthews says. "With the advent of smart phones and the use of the IFS apps, he can do it from the road, thereby streamlining the process."

What makes the rollout unusual is that the apps will connect users with their IFS applications through the cloud, Matthews says.

"We want to make this easy for our customers to adapt, to keep up with the latest versions of these apps without causing our customers too much trouble," Matthews says. "That's why we decided to house these apps in a public cloud."

These first two apps are just the beginning, Matthews says, as IFS works to help companies that want to leverage the proliferation of smart phones among their teams. The app rollouts will start in earnest in 2012 and could reach five or six. After that, the company will roll out a handful or more each year afterward.

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