For several years, I’ve consulted for a CIO who’s "tagline" is "The right information for the right person at the right time".
That phrase came to mind as I watched one of the most compelling product demos at CUE: Smart Notification. You may have seen the demo or heard about this technology, which Lawson acquired from Keyola (http://www.lawson.com/news/0417keyola.html) just days before CUE 2002.
In fact, the Lawson "glossy" for this new product proclaims that Smart Notification "automatically delivers actionable information and insights to the right people at the right time, empowering them to act quickly and intelligently." (See http://www.lawson.com/elements/pdf/SEPM-SS971_0702.pdf)
Smart Notification looks to be one of the more intriguing product technologies to be introduced into the Lawson architecture since LOGAN, which made all of the Lawson web functionality possible.
I was so excited about it (visualize the proverbial "kid in the candy store"!), and I couldn’t wait to see it in action. I kept waiting and waiting, and was just about to give up, thinking that it had been relegated to the development scrap heap (in fact, I had planned on writing a feature for this issue called "Whatever happened to Smart Notification?!"!).
Then, lo and behold, as I write this, I hear that Smart Notification is scheduled to become generally available in September 2002.
So, just what is Smart Notification? I’m not really sure whether to categorize it as a "workflow" product or as a reporting product—but maybe that’s just the point. It’s a mixture of both–a highly-targeted reporting and information delivery tool. It is, quite simply, an event monitoring and notification system that "lives" in Lawson. As events are "triggered", notifications are sent to appropriate parties. The "coolest" part is that the notifications are formatted as text, HTML, and XML content, including report "nuggets", graphics and charts!
Notifications can be sent to emails, PDAs, cell phone and faxes, as well as displayed as Lawson Portal content. You can even use a "voice translator" to send notifications as phone calls! Content can include links back to details, presumably DrillAround-enabled.
It comes "loaded" with pre-built notifications to get you started. And, it can be used with non-Lawson data sources.
- What types of notifications would you want to use this for?
- How about notifying customers when prices change (and including product pictures in the notification?)
- Sending an email to an employee’s supervisor 30 days before an employee’s annual review is due, along with a concise report about the employee, including various facts like their salary history and past performance reviews?
- Notifying a project manager when actuals reach 80% of budget?
- Sending a daily receivable summary to the CFO?
Think back to last month’s issue in which I wrote about "process" and how you should use every available tool to better streamline your processes. We now have another gizmo to use!
In fact, that may be my biggest concern about this product—we now have one MORE reporting and "notification" product available in the Lawson arsenal:
- Enterprise Reporting
- Services Automation
- Smart Notification
- (and let’s not forget Procurement’s Buyer Messages!)
It will be interesting to see what the platform availability and requirements will be, and if you will need the 8.0.2 Environment and Logan/IOS to run this product.
If you’re an early adopter of this new product, or have plans to deploy it, I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.