Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor IFS has agreed to acquire Falkonry, the developer of an AI-based time-series data analytics tool, to boost its enterprise asset management (EAM) services portfolio.

IFS has an eye on the growing number of connected machines in factories, and will add Falkonry’s self-learning Time Series AI Suite, which can help enterprises manage and maintain manufacturing equipment, to its existing enterprise simulation and AI-based scheduling and optimization capabilities.  

EAM can be considered a subset of ERP software, providing tools and applications to manage the lifecycle of physical assets in an enterprise, in order to maximize their value. The global EAM market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% to reach $5.5 billion by 2026, from $3.3 billion in 2020, according to research from MarketsandMarkets.

Cupertino-headquartered Falkonry, which was founded in 2012 by CEO Nikunj Mehta, has customers across North America, South America, and Europe, including the US Navy and Air Force, Ternium, North American Stainless, and Harbour Energy, among others. It has raised $13.3 million in funding from investors including Zetta Venture Partners, SparkLabs Accelerator, Polaris Partners, Presidio Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Fortive, and Next47. IFS expects to complete the acquisition of Falkonry by the fourth quarter of 2023. In June, it announced the acquisition of Poka — a connected worker software services provider — in order to boost the productivity of an overall factory. And last year it scooped up Netherlands-based Ultimo to help meet demand for cloud-based enterprise asset management technology.

Asset Management Software, Enterprise Applications, Mergers and Acquisitions

By: Larry Lunetta, VP Portfolio Solutions Marketing at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

As customer-centric innovators, we’re constantly looking at how we can better help businesses reach their goals by leveraging technology. That’s why hearing from them first-hand is so valuable.

This year, we kicked off our quest for insights with a survey run by Sapio Research.

Targeting 200 international business decision makers from organizations of 500 employees or more, its purpose was to gauge the C-suite’s understanding of where and how a network can deliver against modern business needs.

And what a set of needs businesses are facing in 2023—from enabling more immersive omnichannel customer journeys to creating bespoke data-led experiences, innovating to secure new revenue streams, weaving sustainability into operations, and much, much more.

The survey findings are telling: one in four business leaders have only a functional or limited understanding of the enterprise network’s true potential.

And this snapshot aligns with a far bigger trend we’re noticing across industries—business leaders need expert partners (both from within their IT teams and from vendors like HPE Aruba Networking) to help them leverage their network to produce innovative business outcomes, aligned to their specific, strategic digital transformation goals.

While business leaders want to innovate, other key findings reaffirm that the value of the network to help them do so is not well-understood:

While 93% agree their business’ technology needs have increased post-pandemic, 73% are concerned about their organization’s ability to keep up with the latest requirements.71% acknowledge that technology and enhanced digitalization are crucial to employees doing their jobs, however only 61% see the link between staff productivity and network advancements.Half of respondents believe access to data is fundamental to unlocking new revenue streams in the year ahead, but 53% aren’t aware of how the network could help drive this innovation.

High levels of digital transformation and innovation will define business success in 2023, which 81% of surveyed business leaders recognize. But almost a third anticipate moderate transformation at best. As the network is the proverbial on-ramp to the digital transformation freeway that stretches from edge to cloud, we believe that a more innovative, agile, optimized offering on this front will make all the difference.

With our results showing that only a quarter of respondents are planning to put budget behind their network infrastructure this year, there is clearly more to be done in demonstrating the network’s value as a business-driving asset in its own right.

Part of this is lies in how IT leaders frame their networking discussions—talking in terms of business outcomes versus technical specs. But it might also require a different approach to networking entirely.

Agile Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) can offer business leaders the flexibility and resilience to battle through the prevailing headwinds faced across industries—from budget and resource constraints, to the need to match network capacity to the ever changing business needs. While these leaders can’t be expected to have all the answers around networking, working with their IT teams to understand how NaaS can help them meet their business goals is the right first step. With the correct NaaS strategy (from acquisition to deployment and management) that fits their unique requirements, businesses can then fast-track a successful digital transformation.

Want to learn more? Check out our infographic.

IT Leadership

Your challenge: managing millions of dynamic, distributed, and diverse IT assets. 

With globally distributed workforces and assets hiding in the shadows growing exponentially, maintaining a complete and accurate inventory of every IT asset and achieving real-time visibility at scale is more challenging than ever before. After all, to keep our doors and windows locked, we need to know how many there are and where they are at. 

Yet the industry has failed to deliver a viable solution to the visibility problem, offering hub-and-spoke models, slow and saturate networks, that instead limit visibility in modern and complex environments.  

It’s no wonder many organizations can’t accurately report essential details about their environment. Solving this problem requires you to get back to basics.

To preserve and improve cyber hygiene, you first need to know what IT assets you have. Do you have 50,000, 100,000 or 500,000 computers and servers in your organization? Where are they? What are they? What’s running on them? What services do they provide? 

Answering those questions is what developing asset visibility—and following an asset discovery and inventory process—is all about. It’s the foundation for creating and maintaining cyber hygiene.

Why cyber hygiene depends on asset visibility

To manage your endpoints, you need three levels of knowledge:

What assets do you have, and where are they?
What software is running on them, and are they licensed? You need more than a hostname or an IP address.
How do the machines on your network relate to one another, and what is their purpose? In the world of servers, for example, you may have a group of servers that exist solely to host a service, like a company website.

All companies need this information, which in modern IT changes constantly. Network assets come and go, especially with bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and more companies encouraging employees to work from home (WFH).

And as networks become more complex and change faster, it becomes harder to maintain visibility into them. The consequences of losing sight of what assets there are and what those assets are doing become greater and greater. 

Why organizations struggle to create asset visibility

There are two primary reasons why organizations struggle to answer basic questions about their assets to maintain cyber hygiene.

1. Endpoint discovery has become a constantly moving target. 

Not every endpoint on a network is a desktop computer, laptop, or server. There are printers, phones, tablets, and a growing number of consumer and industrial internet of things (IoT) devices. Mobile device management (MDM) is a growing application field. 

But why should you have to worry about a consumer IoT device compromising the corporate network? Consider an employee working from home and the company’s security team is receiving alerts that someone is trying to break into her laptop. The source is a refrigerator with malware scanning her home network and trying to get into her device, which was temporarily on the corporate network. The same thing could occur with a smart light switch, thermostat, security camera—you name it.

Every device type can create operational and/or security risks, and the number of these types will only continue to increase in the coming years. 

2. Legacy tools struggle to create visibility in this new environment. 

Asset discovery tools built 10 years ago preceded many of the things modern IT environments operate with daily. Two examples: containers and hybrid clouds. 

These tools can’t handle the rate of change we see now. Yet organizations often remain attached to the tools they’re comfortable with, many of which are not easy to use. They may take pride in mastering hard-to-use tools. Maybe they wrote custom scripts to make them work more effectively. 

The unintended—and unfortunate—consequences of that are IT policies and processes crafted not because they’re the best way to address an issue, but because they fit the capabilities of the tools in use. It’s the IT version of “if you have a hammer, everything must be a nail”, with the policies being “we must nail things.” Entrenched tools become part of the IT ecosystem. But the best IT policies should be tool-agnostic. A tool built in 1993 or 2010 can’t offer that flexibility.

Next step: zero trust

Cyber hygiene is just the first step toward creating a more secure organization. The right asset visibility capability will also lay the foundation for nearly any zero-trust strategy or solution you choose to bring to life. 

When everything is a network device, everything is a potential security vulnerability. You need policies and procedures that break endpoints into three categories: managed, unmanaged, and unmanageable. 

Endpoint discovery is the first crucial step in the trend toward zero-trust solutions. CSO Online describes zero trust as “a security concept centered on the belief that organizations should not automatically trust anything inside or outside its perimeters and instead must verify anything and everything trying to connect to its systems before granting access.”

Threat response and remediation tools are only as good as the breadth of endpoints they’re running on. And with the endpoint acting as the new perimeter, endpoint discovery really is where cyber hygiene and security begin. Implementing a zero-trust practice thus becomes the next meaningful step on that journey.

Learn how to migrate to a zero-trust architecture with real-time visibility and control of your endpoints here.


C-level executives are most interested in strategic assets and initiatives that will advance, transform, and grow their enterprises. They continually want to make “cost centers” more efficient and more cost-effective, while investing in what will accelerate, empower, and protect the business operations and its customer base.

Because data and digital technology have become so integral into any enterprise’s lifeblood, senior leadership teams must differentiate between the strategic aspects of IT and the tactical parts of IT cost centers. Storage has emerged in 2022 as a strategic asset that the C-suite, not just the CIO, can no longer overlook.

Enterprise storage can be used to improve your company’s cybersecurity, accelerate digital transformation, and reduce costs, while improving application and workload service levels. That’s going to get attention in the board room. Here’s how to equip yourself for that discussion with C-level executives. The following are three practical ways to make enterprise storage a strategic asset for your organization.

1. Make storage part of the corporate cybersecurity strategy

According to a Fortune 500 survey, 66% of Fortune 500 CEOs said their No. 1 concern in the next three years is cybersecurity. Similarly, in a KPMG CEO survey, CEOs also said cybersecurity is a top priority. The average number of days to identify and contain a data breach, according to security analysts, is 287 days. Given these facts, changing the paradigm from an overall corporate security perspective is needed.

Too many enterprises are not truly equipped and prepared to deal with it. Nonetheless, companies need to ensure that valuable corporate data is always available. This has created an urgent need for enterprises to modernize data protection and cyber resilient capabilities. The answer that CEOs, CIOs, CISOs and their IT teams need to take is an end-to-end approach to stay ahead of cybersecurity threats.

You need to think of your enterprise storage as part of your holistic corporate security strategy. This means that every possession in a company’s storage estate needs to be cyber resilient, designed to thwart ransomware, malware, internal cyber threats, and other potential attacks. Cybersecurity must go hand-in-hand with storage cyber resilience.

It’s prudent to evaluate the relationship across cybersecurity, storage, and cyber resilience. Both primary storage and secondary storage need to be protected, ranging from air gapping to real-time data encryption to immutable copies of your data to instantaneous recovery. 

What should you do? Perform a comprehensive analysis of your corporate data, determine what data needs to be encrypted and infused with cyber resilience and what doesn’t, and figure out how the protection needs to keep your company in compliance. You also need to decide what to do for modern data protection and you need to figure out what to do from a replication/snapshot perspective for disaster recovery and business continuity.

2. Use a hybrid cloud strategy to accelerate digital transformation

More than 75% of CIOs identified digital transformation as their top budget priority of the last year, according to Constellation Research. Companies are leveraging digital capabilities to better serve their customers, accelerate new products and services to market, and scale their operations. The growth and importance of data continue to proliferate exponentially.

The role of hybrid cloud infrastructure – part of your data on-premise – as the key enabler of this megatrend is at the forefront. A core value of cloud services is the support for digital transformation. Digital transformation is enabled and powered by hybrid cloud computing, offering increased flexibility, rapid application development and deployment, and consumption-based economics. This is essential to competing and remaining relevant in today’s world of data-driven business.

Data is the lifeblood of all modern enterprises. How to collect, manage, store, access, and use the data determines the level of success that a company will have. Enterprises can either innovate their data, or be strangled by the data, or even be held hostage for the data. This is why you need the strategy and the infrastructure to drive the future of data for your business.

As businesses evolve themselves digitally, a hybrid cloud strategy orchestrates all the different aspects of it in a mixed computing, storage, and services environment, comprised of on-premises infrastructure, private cloud services, and a public cloud such as AWS. Just in the last 18 months, advancements have been made for “on ramps” between private cloud and the public cloud. This hybrid cloud infrastructure becomes the cornerstone for an organization’s ability to be agile and accelerate business transformation.

3. Reduce IT costs

It can be challenging to identify areas in IT to reduce costs, while maintaining the level of service or capacity. But here’s a practical tip that can be a quick win for an enterprise: CIOs, CISOs and their IT teams can lower IT costs by consolidating storage arrays.

Because of the advancements in storage-defined storage technology, an enterprise can replace 50 arrays with two arrays, while still getting all the capacity, performance, availability, and reliability that are needed. This strategic consolidation saves on operational manpower, rack space, floor space, power expense, and cooling expense. In short, dramatically reducing your CAPEX and OPEX.

You can consolidate storage while, simultaneously, improving access to data across a hybrid cloud and a container-native environment for greater resilience, lower application and workload latency, and higher availability. For today’s enterprise requirements, 100% availability is a must.  

A hybrid cloud approach with a strong private cloud configuration creates the opportunity to consolidate storage arrays for maximum efficiency. Furthermore, with a private cloud, you have better, more exact control over cost structure and service level agreements (SLAs). Essentially, this strategy enables you to match an SLA, such as application performance and availability, with a higher level of control. 

Switching to consumption-based pricing models for storage is another way to reduce costs. Organizations can choose to flex up or flex down based on fluctuating needs for storage, utilizing storage-as-a-service. The worldwide analyst firm Gartner predicts: “by 2023, 43% of newly deployed storage capacity will be consumed as OPEX, up from less than 15% in 2020.”

Alternatively, companies can choose capacity on demand and seek out elastic pricing. All of these options have made storage more cost-effective. There are options across OPEX and CAPEX. You can even get a mix of OPEX and CAPEX to realize those cost savings.

Key takeaways

Think of your storage as part of your holistic enterprise security strategyA hybrid cloud infrastructure should be the cornerstone for your organization’s ability to be agile and accelerate business transformation.Strategic consolidation of storage arrays reduces CAPEX and OPEX.

To learn more about enterprise storage solutions, visit Infinidat

Data Management

To help meet demand from enterprises that are shifting asset management methods from legacy applications to cloud-based technology,  ERP provider IFS has signed an agreement to acquire Netherlands-based enterprise asset management (EAM) software firm Ultimo.

IFS, which is based in Sweden and has customers globally, says that it is acquiring Ultimo because it believes that the company’s SaaS offering can provide high levels of flexibility and configurability for customers.

EAM can be considered a subset of ERP software, providing tools and applications to manage the lifecycle of physical assets in an enterprise, in order to maximize their value.

IFS’ acquisition comes at a time when the EAM market is growing due to the move to cloud architecture, growing demand for an enterprisewide view of assets for strategic planning, and increasing deployment of IoT platforms and devices.

The global EAM market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.7% to reach $5.5 billion by 2026, from $3.3 billion in 2020, according to market research firm MarketsandMarkets.

IFS, which expects the acquisition to close in the third quarter of 2022, plans to use Ultimo’s software in conjunction with its own cloud-based EAM offering. Ultimo focuses on providing EAM to midsize companies in manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, infrastructure and utilities.

After refreshing its ERP suite every three years since 2012, IFS last year switched to a six-month refresh cycle to ensure that customers always have access to its latest features.

Market research firm Gartner, in its Market Share: Enterprise Resource Planning Worldwide 2021 report, positioned IFS at the top of EAM vendors in terms of revenue, with 18% market share, after sales grew 29.1% year-on-year. The Ultimo acquisition should help IFS compete in the EAM market with vendors including IBM, SAP, Microsoft and Oracle.

Ultimo, which was founded in 1988, has 180 employees with more than 2,000 customers including London Gatwick Airport, BASF, VTTI, Ravago, Vion Food Group, Argent Energy, and Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam

Enterprise Applications, ERP Systems