Lawson Expands E-Commerce Suite

Lawson Software (St. Paul, Minn.) has expanded its Collaborative Commerce Suite with the addition of six new e-commerce applications. The expanded product suite is designed to provide users with a complete set of e-commerce tools in a single package.

The new products provide Web-enabled solutions in three categories: system-to-system, system-to-people, and people-to-people. The six new products join the existing Collaborative Commerce Suite applications: Lawson’s Business Component Integrator, Enterprise Workflow, Broadcast System and Imaging Integrator. The commerce application suite utilizes Lawson’s n-tier open component software architecture and metadata repository.

Terry Byers, chief technology officer and senior VP of American Floral Services Inc. (AFS), a Lawson customer, says the addition of these new products to Lawson’s e-commerce suite demonstrate the original reasons AFS chose to adopt Lawson’s technology three years ago over other competitors such as Oracle.

“One of primary reasons we settled on Lawson was, at that time, they were really one of the only true three-tier (data, presentation and business layers) clients on the market,” Byers says. “…What we love about that is, even three years ago we were thinking about our e-business vision—Lawson’s architecture makes it extremely flexible to allow us to do all the things we envisioned with our e-business strategy.”

Trade Communication Services and Payment Server Integrator are system-to-system tools that have been added to the application suite. Respectively, they provide cross-enterprise communication and data file transfer, and credit card payment processing functionality. In the system-to-people category, the Collaborative Commerce Suite now includes Lawson’s Auction System and Site Builder, a Web development and integration tool. Finally, Lawson has added its e-Resource Management and Mail Server people-to-people tools, which allow system administrators to collect centralized enterprise directory-type data, and to connect e-mail systems directly with the Lawson system.

Sam Clark, senior research analyst with META Group, says that organizations focused solely on e-commerce will find that Collaborative Commerce Suite will meet many of their needs, but may still require some customization. At the same time, smaller companies may not find uses for all the components and will pick and choose from among the various offerings. However, he says, as long as Lawson demonstrates a commitment to continue developing the product, businesses will be attracted to the idea of a wide-ranging ERP-integrated e-commerce solution.

“There certainly are some small to medium-sized companies who would take or leave some of these applications,” Clark says. “And the fact that it’s already integrated with an ERP system makes their lives a little easier. People are certainly attracted to an integrated package like that, and the only thing they’re really concerned about is whether Lawson is going to commit to that platform in the long term.”

Byers says she views the newest additions as necessary for any business hoping to move into the next level of e-commerce, beyond just setting up a Web presence. Byers agrees with Clark that Lawson’s demonstrated commitment to the product has been crucial to AFS’ continued use of the software. AFS, she says, had developed several of the functions included in the expanded package, but sees an advantage to running the Lawson versions of those applications instead.

“Some of these applications, we wish that we’d had three years ago, we pretty much had to invent that ourselves,” says Byers, adding that AFS is currently in Collaborative Commerce Suite R7.09. “The fact that it’s standard Lawson makes it a lot easier to look ahead to further upgrades. We like to get rid of customized code because custom code is very difficult to revise or update. We made a huge investment in Lawson and our goal is to leverage Lawson’s technology and Lawson’s R & D rather than reinventing it on our own.”

Lawson’s complete Collaborative Commerce Suite is now shipping.

Related Information:

  • Lawson Software (new window)
  • Collaborative Commerce Suite Overview (new window)
  • American Floral Services Inc. (new window)