When the acquisition of Lawson by Infor in an unsolicited bid of $2 billion back in April, some analysts and Lawson customers viewed it as another in the long line of Infor acquisitions in which the targeted software would be melded into the broad suite of Infor-acquired products and simply wither on the vine. However, the Infor strategy had changed substantially when Charles Phillips left Oracle to become the Infor CEO in October, 2010. Now, as we approach six months from the July 6, 2011, official completion of the deal we can begin to see how it will pan out.
The new Infor strategy is built around accelerated delivery of roadmaps and new products, modernization of existing applications, and delivering mobile technology, tapping into the relatively new cloud and social networking environments. The first evidence of the new approach has been the release of Infor 10, offering a “consumer-grade user experience” built around Infor ION, the middleware designed to provide quicker, simpler, and more reliable integrations. Infor has also partnered with Salesforce.com to tap into the lucrative and quickly expanded cloud computing space.
The acquisition of Lawson not only vaulted Infor into the top tier of ERP vendors with SAP and Oracle, it has provided Infor with new capabilities in specific application areas such as manufacturing, distribution, fashion, food and beverage, and equipment service management and rental, as well as the enhanced user experience provided by Lawson Smart Office. The combination of Smart office with the Infor Workspace product is expected to provide a full scope of user interfaces from power users to casual workplace users. Additionally, incorporation of Lawson’s Mashup Designer capabilities and Enterprise Search engine into the Infor Workspace will provide extended functionality to the user experience. Lawson’s strong presence in the health care, public sector, equipment service management and human capital management industries will allow Infor to extend its portfolio in those markets.
Utilizing ION, Inform plans to quickly develop integration of key applications, particularly in the areas of Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), financial planning and management, and human capital management. New integrated capabilities are anticipated as soon as the end of the year.
Despite the aggressive integration plans, it is interesting to note the Lawson, unlike other Infor acquisitions, in retaining its strong, established identity, at least for the time being. The current branding labels the Infor product as “Lawson, an Infor affiliate”.
While the integration of the two organizations continues to unfold, early indications are that the future for Infor and Lawson together is promising and exciting.
Written by Larry Bell, Manager of Vendor Relations.