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Lawson Software A Very Sad Ending

Friday, April 8, 2011
by Naomi Bloom


 first wrote about the HRM enterprise software “Snowdons of Yesteryear” (with apologies to Joseph Heller for this misuse of his famous phrase, “where are the Snowdons of yesteryear” in Catch-22) in the earliest days of this blog (so 11/2009).  In that original post, I reflected on the last great generation of HRM enterprise software, a mainframe generation that peaked in the mid-1980′s.  It’s a generation of market leaders that most of my younger colleagues (and that now includes almost all of my colleagues) have never encountered because they were wiped off the charts by SAP R/3, Oracle EBS, PeopleSoft, Lawson, Ultimate, and a huge burst of various niche HRM applications when the industry shifted from mainframe to client server in the late 80′s/early to mid-90′s.  But it’s worth noting that many companies are still running on these 1st generation HRM packages and are being supported by their 3rd, 4th, 5th or later owners, collecting those maintenance fees and trying (in some cases succeeding) to provide some level of functional and technical enhancements — until they turn out the lights!

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There’s an important lesson here, and one that all HR leaders and their organizational peers should heed.  If your HRM business applications vendors aren’t pushing themselves and you every day to seize that next generation of technology — to seize SaaS InFullBloom right now  – then they may well be destined for tomorrow’s software graveyards.  Even if they’re doing a great job of bringing you the functionality you ask for and want today, if your HRM software vendors aren’t operating at true SaaS speed, moving their products quickly to true SaaS(which is table stakes in 2011), they may well lose momentum, and that’s the kiss of death for a publicly traded or investor-financed company in a market that values momentum above most everything else.   With the big Mo, they and their customers are at serious risk of becoming the next Lawson.  I hate that this proud company, with an important legacy of industry focus, strong HCM products, and management integrity, may well disappear into Infor — a very sad ending indeed.


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FULL STORY   - a good read by Naomi
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