The implementation advantage comes from removing the need for add-on products, minimising configuration, and the delivery of a highly componentised product.
The company's focus on the right industries has largely freed it from the general economic cycle, Mr Sorbie said. As its customers follow trends around the world such as mining, water extraction and other major projects, "these markets are not going to stop growing".
IFS reacted quickly to the transfer of manufacturing from developed countries to places such as China, and realised that the focus of ERP would no longer be to minimise manufacturing costs but to handle projects efficiently. Adopting a project perspective (and allowing projects to be rolled up within the system) made the software attractive to companies involved in infrastructure projects as well as those in the maritime and defence industries.
This change of focus occurred around eight years ago, Mr Sorbie said, and "was the right move."
What's new in version 8? Please read on.
He also noted that a lot of customers are particularly attracted by the IFS mobile client. "It's almost mandatory in our space," said Mr Sorbie - if you are refitting an aircraft carrier, you need to be able to access the system wherever you are, as it isn't practical to walk over to a PC every time you need to access or enter some information.
Version 8 includes many enhancements, said Mr Sorbie, but he highlighted the new 'intelligent' touch-controlled apps, along with new-generation technology for heavier mobile clients such as notebooks.
IFS is now on its third generation of mobile support, he said, observing that devices have changed a lot in a few years and their adoption is increasingly broad. Consequently, the company has to be adaptable and continue to refresh the mobility features to suit customer needs and preferences.
The IFS R&D centre is located in Sri Lanka, which probably isn't the first country that comes to mind when you think about software development. Mr Sorbie explained that "we went in there just at the right time" before the civil war, and IFS is now one of the leading IT companies in Sri Lanka, and attracts the cream of IT graduates.