In 2009, four years after Cooper Software formed, we became an IFS partner. Since then, we have grown organically from a team of 6, to a full time team of 50 staff, with over 1,000 individual projects delivered both locally and globally. Our customer list includes a host of household names including BMW, Farrow & Ball, BAE Systems, Butcher’s and Kaefer to name a few of the nearly 200 different IFS companies we have worked with.
With this month marking our 10th year anniversary of partnering with IFS, I have been reflecting on how the partnership has developed and wanted to take the opportunity to thank the IFS team and our customers for allowing us to be a part of the many interesting, challenging and rewarding projects we have successfully delivered together.
Beginning with a leap of faith
We consider ourselves to be a forward-thinking, customer focused partner. Becoming one of the first ever IFS partners was a leap of faith for both us and IFS. When we joined the partner programme, it did not exist as it does today, mainly because IFS were not just a highly successful ERP provider but their point of difference was that as well as providing the software, they also managed the delivery. We took the time to understand their strategy, and from this, closely aligned our plans and invested heavily in the partnership to ensure that both ourselves and our customers would get the maximum benefit. Looking back, I can say that this was undoubtedly the right decision, as it has allowed us to differentiate ourselves from other consultancies in what is an ever-increasing competitive space. Becoming a partner has allowed us to develop deep-rooted expertise, particularly around our IFS technical and finance consulting capability.
Developing a trusted partnership
We’ve come a long way since our first foray in to the partnership. We’ve since become an IFS re-seller, enjoyed a long-standing Touch Apps partnership and have recently signed up to be FSM partners. Two years ago, we achieved Silver Service Partner status, the first consultancy in the UK to reach this level of accreditation. Many of our staff have been specialist and associate certified for years. We are committed to putting our entire team through the IFS Academy, for instance, taking part in specialist product training programmes such as IFS Connect. In parallel to this, we have built a comprehensive internal IFS infrastructure that facilitates the continual development of our team, ensuring they are always up to date with the latest IFS versions and advances. This local infrastructure also means we are able to develop and test all of our products and solutions against true replica IFS environments before we expose them to our customers (a unique benefit of being a partner). All of this helps our customers build trust in us that we will and do deliver.
Our commitment to technical expertise
Our technical capability is something that we are particularly proud of, as it has always been at the core of our business. Four members of our team have now been with us for more than 12 years each, during which time they have solely focused on building applications and technical solutions to enhance IFS. Personally, I believe this gives us an unrivalled capability and experience when it comes to extending the reach and value that IFS can deliver for its customers.
To ensure we are able to deliver value, we have always worked closely with IFS’ R&D and technical teams to truly understand the IFS technology, architecture and infrastructure and keep up to date with current trends and development. This guarantees that our developed solutions work seamlessly with IFS, both architecturally and technically, both now and in the future. Our staff have been fully trained in IFS Connect – IFS’ own integration tool, from which we have developed proprietary integration software called TRAX, which has been used to deliver countless IFS projects . This is helping us on our journey to becoming the UK’s leading and specialist company in IFS integration and product development. TRAX is the same technology that has been extended to help deliver our most recent product which delivers Making Tax Digital (MTD) for our clients. Without this, we would not be able to claim that our product will truly work as a natural extension to the IFS product stack.
As well as the success of our development team, we have established a dedicated service desk which supports and keeps IFS running in some of the largest companies. Our skilled consulting team, which seems relatively young in comparison to the other areas of our IFS business, we consider to be amongst the best IFS experts in the country.
Innovation and high praise
Our technical and supporting functional ability has been recognised by the market and has seen us receive high praise. We’ve been short listed for global awards several times, including being nominated as finalists at the IFS Partner of the Year awards for three consecutive years, for Mid-Market Partner of the Year, the Customers Choice award and twice for Innovative Partner of the Year. The innovative partner nod was important to us as it recognised our ability to develop new ideas and concepts and demonstrated our creative and innovative approach to helping our customers achieve business success. These accolades do reach further than the IFS sector, indeed we have won many local awards for innovation, excellence and technology, all in recognition of the IFS projects we have delivered for our customers. The pinnacle of which was when we received the accolade of being one of the top three technology companies in Scotland, no mean feat when there were two highly respected tech ‘unicorns’ in the mix.
Committed to growth and continued success
Being an IFS Partner has brought huge benefits to our business and our customers and has made the huge amount of commitment and investment we have put in over years worthwhile. We continue to see IFS as the ideal growth partner for us and we look forward to working closely with them to strengthen our product and service lines and continue to expand and develop our IFS footprint, both locally and globally. We are excited about the new people and product changes that are currently happening within IFS. We know that this will help them to further grow their market reach and we congratulate them on a business that is thriving, evidenced by the recent excellent results. We look forward to playing our part and welcoming hopefully more new partners and suppliers into the IFS ecosystem, as well as being able to help the IFS business and community grow for the next ten years.