Lawson Software Inc. and SAP AG are sharpening up their respective enterprise software suites to facilitate collaboration among users both inside and outside the enterprise.
Lawson, at its CUE 2002 user conference in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday, introduced its Services Automation Suite, which lets managers in collaboration-intensive service businesses automate their work from beginning through completion through measurement of the results.
The software, generally available next month, comprises 10 modules to help customers source, negotiate, track, bill for and analyze professional services. It is also integrated with back-office automation applications from the St. Paul, Minn., company, including financials or human resources.
Lawson is expanding the collaborative business intelligence capabilities of its software through its acquisition last week of Keyola Corp., of Orlando, Fla. Technology gained in this deal, terms of which were not announced, is enabling Lawson to ship Smart Notification, software that lets Lawson applications deliver event-driven notifications and push key information to the designated people. Smart Notification is due by the end of August.
Also at CUE 2002, Lawson previewed Version 3.0 of its Portal software. In beta testing now and available in May, Lawson Portal 3.0 includes active notification and the ability to imbed knowledge databases in Lawson applications.
Separately, SAP, of Walldorf, Germany, last week made a move to speed up the delivery of its collaborative applications by creating a new Collaborative Solutions business unit. The division is the combination of the enterprise software giants SAP Portals and SAP Markets subsidiaries. Shai Agassi, who led SAP Portals, will head the new Collaborative business area and serve on SAPs executive board.
The focus of the new group will be on providing the open integration platform that SAP initially introduced with its mySAP Technology platform last fall. That platform is said to unify people, information and business processes, according to SAP officials. It includes an application server, an Exchange platform that provides an integration capabilities, and a portal.
On top of this platform, Collaborative Solutions intends to deliver new collaboration applications this quarter, some that are part of SAPs supplier relationship management package.
By bringing the two subsidiaries in-house, SAP hopes to signal its customers that it considers collaborative applications to be absolutely a strategic area, according to officials