Friday, February 06, 2009

ERP bright spot: IFS revenue rises

In news running counter to the general trend these days, IFS is reporting a 9% rise in Q4 revenue. Managing Automation reports:
The positive results in a gloomy economic environment reflected IFS’ ongoing move away from consumer-facing industries, such as automotive and electronics. About 70% to 80% of new customers for the year came from defense, infrastructure, utilities, and what the company calls the "EPCI" segment: engineering, procurement, construction, and installation.
It wasn't all good news. License revenue declined 2% in Q4, although it was more than offset by a 14% increase in maintenance and support revenue and an 11% increase in consulting fees.

In terms of worldwide results, revenue was up 11% in EMEA and up 9% in the Americas. The US growth is noteworthy, as IFS has suffered for years from a lack of name recognition here. (Case in point: I mentioned IFS to a sales manager from a major vendor recently and was met with a blank stare).

Sales in the rest of the world were down about 5%.

My take: IFS is in a somewhat unique position, as its target markets happen to be sectors such as aerospace and defense, energy, and utilities, that are least affected--and some may argue, benefiting--in the current recession. I also suspect that for some buyers, the idea of being able to buy enterprise systems from someone other than SAP and Oracle is also appealing.

In any event, it's good news for IFS.

Update, Feb. 20: Here is IFS CEO Alastair Sorbie interviewed on CNBC (Europe) on how IFS has grown by shifting focus to project-based manufacturing sectors.

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