Lawson Unveils Its Product Road Map

The company plans to keep Lawson and Intentia application stacks separate; the products will converge around infrastructure.

ORLANDO, Fla.—With its latest application suite, Lawson 9, on the market since March and the acquisition of Intentia expected to close April 24, Lawson Software laid out its product road map through 2008—or the foreseeable future in software years—at its annual CUE user event.

On April 10 Lawson, during the first day of its two-day conference here, outlined the precepts of its product vision that includes industry-specific product packages, business intelligence capabilities, adaptability through SOA (service-oriented architecture) and a scalable technology stack.

The biggest item in terms of the companys road map is its decision to keep the Lawson and Intentia application stacks separate.

Where the two products will converge is around infrastructure—both are standardized on IBMs middleware platform—and around new application development using Lawsons Landmark development platform.

The company has split the two application stacks to separate sides of the organization chart. Lawson will focus on procurement, human resources and financial management for services companies in its suite labeled S3 (for source, serve and staff). The Intentia applications, dubbed M3 (make, move and maintain) will focus on manufacturing and supply chain distribution.

"We will expose and exploit two different product lines—integration is everything," said Lawsons Chief Product Officer Dean Hagar. "Youll get your functionality you need without the complexity of manufacturing. For Intentia [customers], its the same message."

/zimages/4/28571.gifLawson announces its first SOA-based application. Click here to read more.

On top of both application stacks will sit a single Enterprise Performance Management suite.

Lawson also announced April 10 that it has committed to developing the third generation of Intentias software. The first generation of Intentias software was written in RPG. The second generation took on more open concepts with the introduction of XML and Web services. It was also a complete rewrite from RPG to Java (a six-year, $100 million development investment).

This next generation of software will expand on interoperability capabilities, according to Henrik Billgren, president of Intentia R&D, and it will take on a completely new look and feel.

"We will make use of business logic that is flirting with SOA," said Billgren. "If you get too granular, it is too difficult to put objects [somewhere]."

Billgren, who will take on the head of application development at Lawson, overseeing both M3 and S3 development, said the company is also with new technology, code-named Ada, that will enable business documents to interoperate.

Hes also taking some leaps with the user interface, working with San Francisco-based design company Frog to develop a completely new user experience for Intentia users.

"We need to get creative people in ERP," he said. "With the UI development, we said to Frog, go wild."

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