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IFS snaps up industrial AI provider Falkonry

On the heels of buying Poka, IFS has acquired industrial AI software company Falkonry to help manufacturers detect and resolve anomalies in processes.

Manufacturing-focused ERP vendor IFS is adding a dose of industrial AI with its acquisition of Falkonry Inc.

Based in Cupertino, Calif., Falkonry provides AI software that helps manufacturers find and fix anomalies in processes. The company's customer base overlaps with IFS' manufacturing customer base, particularly in the aerospace and defense industry.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal, which was signed today, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Falkonry's industrial AI technology fills a gap in IFS' AI strategy and fits in with IFS' asset management focus, according to Christian Pedersen, chief product officer at IFS.

IFS has focused on delivering task-based AI, which helps with worker productivity, while Falkonry's AI can help improve manufacturing processes, Pedersen said.

"Falkonry is very focused on asset performance management, especially when it comes to anomaly detection," he said.

Out-of-the-box AI

The amount of data related to asset management is growing exponentially, and traditional anomaly detection methods that identify issues after they happen can't keep up. Falkonry's automated self-learning AI takes a different approach, Pedersen said.

Falkonry's approach is to identify what normal is ... and then detect when something is not normal.
Christian PedersenChief product officer, IFS

"Falkonry's approach is to identify what normal is -- which is fairly easy because you have a lot of normal stuff in your data streams already -- and then detect when something is not normal," he said. "That doesn't require learning. It just requires the anomaly is not what the standard is."

IFS plans to build Falkonry's AI across its manufacturing portfolio of products in the areas of ERP, enterprise asset management, manufacturing execution system, planning and scheduling optimization, field service management, and enterprise service management. This helps make Falkonry AI accessible and usable for organizations that don't have data scientists, Pedersen said.

"The plan is to build it in, so companies will benefit from this out of the box because it's just there -- they don't have to set up machine learning," he said.

IFS will also offer Falkonry AI as a standalone product, and it will be able to connect to non-IFS manufacturing systems, Pedersen said. The price for Falkonry for IFS customers has not yet been determined.

The Falkonry deal comes on the heels of IFS' acquisition of connected worker software provider Poka in June.

Poka provides a single application for manufacturers to give their workers instructions from a variety of systems and shop floor machines. Falkonry will eventually integrate with this, Pedersen said.

"This will ultimately connect from a business process perspective," he said. "Because you could have anomalies that get detected, which could involve issuing a work order that would then be attached to the work instructions for that work order."

The acquisition of Falkonry should help IFS deliver AI capabilities to its customer base in asset-intensive industries, said Predrag Jakovljevic, principal industry analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers. It will also help expand the company's product offerings.

"[IFS] can offer already proven scenarios for asset performance management to their customers," he said. "And if they will sell it to others too, that's great for them."

Jim O'Donnell is a senior news writer who covers ERP and other enterprise applications for TechTarget Editorial.

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