Dan Puett

Manager - Sales Support

Differentiation, Development, and Bucking a Trend

Ciber’s Lawson Practice enjoys a long and successful partnership with Lawson Software. And Infor’s acquisition of Lawson will generate new opportunities for CIBER and our clients. As with Lawson, Ciber and Infor together can provide solutions to reduce costs and generate efficiencies. The two companies will create a strong technology foundation for customer growth with managed services, cloud computing, product implementation, and system integration.

Soon after the Lawson acquisition, Infor’s CEO, Charles Phillips wanted to find a way to differentiate the company and help customers be more successful. So he began to emphasize product development and innovation. One way he did this was to gather people into disciplined discussions, During these, they identified a number of processes that no one needed. By stripping those processes away, Infor gained a significant amount of development capacity.

With this time gain, Phillips and his team created the ION Middleware. This ambitious product provides prepackaged integration between Infor products, creates visibility into processes by enabling in-flight or historical data analysis, and simplifies integration to Infor applications, compared with other general-purpose integration tools. He and his team realized that building things once, like the localization and reports, means their core application’s functionality can run faster.

Another concept they developed was a product strategy and roadmap that would take advantage of the company’s strengths and benefit its customers. These “build once and done” processes have led to a successful micro-focus on industry sub-segments, like differentiating a butcher’s requirements from a brewer’s needs. Phillips believes industry-unique features reduce the need for customizations and, therefore, costs. He also believes strongly in the growth potential of cloud computing and Software as a Service offerings. These types of products and services provide economies and reduce support requirements.

In an interview with Chris Kanaracus from International Data Group News, Phillips acknowledges that Infor is bucking the industry-wide trend toward analyzing infrastructure, but he believes his micro focus will bring success “The rest of the industry is going toward infrastructure as a basis of competition. Everyone’s looking at analytics and in-memory databases and hardware. We’re going in the opposite direction. That’s great, we’ll take advantage of that stuff, OEM it if we need to, but we’re going to put more of the money into these micro-verticals.” (Infor CEO Charles Phillips Discusses Software Vendor’s Remaking, Chris Kanaracus, International Data Group News Service, 1/10/12.)

All of this brings new opportunities to the Lawson install base. Better product integration, increased functionality, micro-vertical focus, and cloud computing provide better return on investment for our clients. Rapid implementation and improved process redesign will streamline their operations and improve efficiencies. CIBER is gearing up to provide the services these organizations require to be successful.

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