Marne Martin | President | the IFS Service Management Business Unit

Marne Martin: When an Open Mind Opens Doors

If you’re the kind of person who’s not afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, life-changing possibilities can be found in each new chapter, in each new job, and with new people that come into our lives. ’s life took a Marne Martin different track when, rather than going back home to the West after college, she chose a career in international business—a choice she has not regretted for one second. “Life can work in wondrous ways if we allow ourselves to be open to change and put in the hard work,” Marne asserts. She adds, “My Grandfather used to tease Marne asserts. She adds me that the first words I said were “me can do it” and while my grammar has changed over the years, that drive is one that has remained.”

Marne is President of the IFS Service Management Business Unit, which provides solutions to service organizations all over the world. Her mission is to elevate the service management software business within IFS, as it continues to be a crucial strategic growth driver for the entire company. It is her responsibility to ensure the entire portfolio of IFS’s service management solutions provides customers with the business value they expect from a global industry leader in field service management software. She also takes an active role in M&As, driving accretive value to IFS and often serves as the CEO for the integration period post acquisitions, most recently with WorkWave and now with Astea International. Prior to IFS, Marne served as CEO and led the executive leadership team at ServicePower Plc., an international field service management software company. Her career originally started in the telco sector launching and developing international businesses.

Entrepreneurship is a Mindset

Marne believes that being entrepreneurial is a mindset, whether you are driving innovation as a founder or as a profession working for shareholders. Entrepreneurs have to go through so many changes throughout their business journeys and keeping an open mind can open the doors to an immense amount of growth and opportunity that lie ahead. Navigating change can be a difficult and complex task, but one that is essential to advancing a business’s priorities.

When Business and Technology Combine

According to Marne, the world we are living in is connected and complex. It is critical that companies embrace this complexity and look to invest in the right talent and technology that first and foremost is targeted at addressing business challenges. Marne is passionate about transforming businesses via technology, as she believes that there is no better time than now for companies to digitally transform and their sta ffto think in agile ways to adapt and adopt new processes and technology. Service companies today are beginning to understand that ’business as usual’ is no longer an option. As they embrace technology at an everincreasing rate to enable their business growth, they create new ways of engaging with customers, employees and their ecosystems. People and experiences are what we have always had, and now automation and efficiency are what most businesses want in this next phase of service evolution. But automation and efficiency can’t replace the life-blood and energy that makes a company great.

It is essential to build an innovative work culture that attracts like-minded employees. According to Marne, a culture that prizes innovation and agile decision making with a conviction of customer-focus are among the important building blocks that puts employees on the offense vs. the defense. For her, there is a great advantage in relying on employees that have a deep understanding of their customers and the challenges they face. This enriched understanding can lead to customer empathy and relationships that span years and generations of products. Marne’s team measures itself on performance related to collaboration, decision-based learning and integrative decision making. This ensures that the company has a constant stream of feedback that helps promote transparency, and also empowers its employees to really make a difference in its customers’ lives by addressing key challenges they are facing. “While no company or person will ever be perfect, resourcefulness needs creativity, a supportive atmosphere, and a lack of categorical or process rigidity that prevents it,” says Marne.

Imparting Wisdom

Talking about leadership, management and mentorship, Marne asserts, “Leadership is about how you model it, how you inspire it, and how you grow. As leaders, our effectiveness in these three areas most often sets the trajectory related to talent recruitment and retention, and I am 100 percent convinced that talent is the number one driver impacting the ultimate success of a company or an initiative. We need to inspire and motivate people, and not be afraid to make the hard decisions, which requires self-actualization, vision, drive and the humility to be open to change. Every day I think about what I can do better, and nothing pleases me more than to see people shine and develop around me. We want to not only be a beacon of light, but also to be the multiplier effect by uplifting all those we touch or influence.”

Marne advises emerging leaders not to run out of cash. Furthermore, she adds, “I have seen more great ideas and concepts never achieve what they could due to lack of funding than any other reason. My emotional or spiritual side would be to never lose your passion as it is passion that customers and early-stage investors want to see. My business advice is to analyze what you and your company need to be to be successful in terms of talent around you, and make sure you prioritize having that talent by your side. There is really no founder that was successful solely as an individual. There is always a team of at least a few others. A sports team or an orchestra even with a solo act is still never alone as it is together the wins or great music is achieved.”