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ERP company changes hands

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FOLLOWING its recent takeover of Intentia, Lawson Software, better known in the US for its applications for the service industry, is describing itself as a “compelling alternative to the big two in the global ERP market”.

Harry Debes, Lawson’s president and CEO, says the new merged company will focus on simplifying the use of ERP applications.

Already the name Movex has gone, replaced by Lawson M3 for the manufacturing industry - “make, move and maintain”, with Lawson S3 applications for the "staff, source and serve" markets.

With total combined revenues of approximately $US750m, Debes says the company now begins a period of integration and continuity.

“This means existing customers will work with the same account executives, consultants, and support centre contacts,” he said. Lawson promises a 24-hour guaranteed response to any customer inquiry made to any Lawson employee.

Linus Parker, VP services Asia Pacific, based in Sydney, describes the change of ownership as more of a merger than a takeover. “We were similar size companies, but technically it’s a takeover because we now call ourselves Lawson,” he told Manufacturers Monthly.

Claiming number three spot in the ERP market and number one in the mid–size ERP market for the new company, Parker says for current customers, the takeover will mean very little change, “Mainly because we have the same management in place.

“Lawson had no management in the Asia Pacific. So the new Lawson organisation is the old Intentia with the same guys running it; account managers, support, implementation, and sales,” he said.

Being written in Java, Parker believes M3 (Movex) is one of the most advanced products on the market and is expecting increased sales due to the merger, especially into North America.

“The merger means a growth strategy, starting from the top. We now have the investment through this merger to put more people on the street in North America.

“And as the whole company grows, we have more money for R&D,” he said.

While both products are based on Java technology and use Websphere, he says there are no plans to combine the code sets at this stage. “The products are designed for different users.”

Competing with the Oracle’s and SAP’s of this world, Parker says Lawson’s value proposition is all about lower total cost of ownership. “Simpler is better.”

“We do that with our pre-configured solutions (QuickStep), which can reduce implemention times by 50%,” he said.

“We have a new one is due for release soon, for the food and beverage sector.”

The QuickStep solutions pre-configure 70% to 90% of the key processes required by companies in each industry. Customers can add additional features, components and customisation as part of a continuous improvement program.

Parker expects the latest version of M3 (Movex3) to have a major impact on the market, especially in North America.

A key component of the new version, released earlier this year, is said to be the benefits of a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

The SOA enabler, code-named ADA—Active Document Adapter, provides a business process layer for M3 applications to interoperate with other SOA-based web services and applications. Because the interoperability takes place at the business logic level, rather than at the code level as with traditional enterprise application integration, it is said to dramatically improve companies’ ability to change processes and connections as their business needs require.

For more information call Lawson on 02 8437 5600.

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