New Lawson Suite Builds on IBM Tech Stack

Lawson Software has bundled IBM’s tech stack in the latest version of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, Release 9, for the first time since the firm announced a partnership with Big Blue last year.

Lawson also announced that it expects next month to close its acquisition of the Swedish software vendor, Intentia, which focuses on applications for the manufacturing, distribution and maintenance sectors.

These two milestones provide Lawson with new cross-sell and upsell opportunities among manufacturers that might be interested in Intentia’s CRM application, as well as the chance to expand its overall client base, Maher Hakim, senior vice president of product management, told CRM Buyer.

Suite Enhancements

Release 9’s new technology layer, which includes IBM’s WebSphere, DB2 Universal Database and Tivoli software, means users have a service-oriented architecture (SOA) foundation on which to deploy next-generation applications, he explained.

“It is a much stronger tech engine, bringing users higher scalability and better performance,” Hakim said, compared to earlier transactional systems that were developed in house.

Lawson has also enhanced the applications included in its suite, which now require Release 9 to run:

  • Human Capital Management Suite. Lawson added a Performance Management module. It also enhanced its Employee/Manager Self Service module.
  • Supply Chain Management Suite. Now includes new Procurement Card capabilities. Lawson will also be adding new functionality to improve the way an organization develops and manages supplier relationships.
  • Enterprise Financial Management Suite. Lawson introduced new cash management enhancements, as well as new deduction management capabilities. It will also be adding compliance management features aimed at Sarbanes-Oxley Act Sections 404 and 409.
  • Lawson has also significantly strengthened the business intelligence reporting and processing capabilities in its latest suite.

New CRM Opportunities

CRM is one application notably missing from this mix. One reason for that, according to Hakim, is Lawson’s client base.

“We have focused in large part on the service sectors, such as retail, healthcare, government and so on,” he noted. “CRM functionality for these groups is highly specialized — CRM in the healthcare industry, for instance, means something entirely different than what it means in retail.”

At the same time, Lawson has maintained a steady client base in the manufacturing, wholesale, transportation and distribution sectors — industries that do not require as much customization in their CRM functionality, he said.

“Once the acquisition of Intentia closes, we will use that opportunity to cross-sell and upsell it to those verticals.” Intentia’s CRM functionality focuses on promotion, marketing and sales management — core features for that client base, Hakim explained.

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