Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community
This Time Lawson’s Right
April 1, 2004Posted by on
I broached this subject on one of the Topica message boards a few weeks ago, and generated some controversial replies. Which means it’s a hot topic and worth sharing with the larger Lawson population.
By now, you’ve heard that Lawson is ending support of their 7.x Unix/Windows Environment and Application products. However, if you aren’t yet ready to upgrade your applications, you can choose to pay Lawson a monthly fee, in addition to your regular maintenance, for post-decommission support. In order to qualify, however, you must be on 8.x Environment/Technology, and you must have committed to a firm date for your 8.x Application upgrade.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I don’t hesitate to criticize Lawson when I feel it’s warranted. Well, you won’t find me criticizing this decision. I agree 100% with what Lawson is doing. In fact, I think they’re being rather accommodating. Lawson announced the 7.x product decommissions 2 years ago, and I think Lawson deserves a lot of credit for even offering post-decommission support at all. If you were around during the 7.0->7.2 upgrade cycles, you will remember that it was offered–for a fee–by a 3rd party, not by Lawson.
Sure, we all wish we didn’t have to upgrade. But, a 5-year product cycle and a 2-year decommission notice is standard and perfectly acceptable for enterprise software. This upgrade deadline has been looming for two years, and everyone should have been planning for it. Lawson cannot continue to support 7.x forever. It just doesn’t make good business sense.
If you don’t want to upgrade, that’s certainly your right. I probably won’t agree that it’s the right choice, but it’s still your choice. I still support some 7.0 clients who haven’t upgraded. Your organization is taking a calculated risk that puts itself in jeopardy, particularly if you’re using Lawson for mission-critical applications.
Compare it to keeping a piece of outdated office equipment on a maintenance contract. It’s two generations behind, and the service technician recommends replacement, telling you that replacement parts will probably cost more than replacement itself. But he offers you a deal that he’ll cover the parts if you double the monthly contract price. You’re basically buying a bigger insurance policy. What would you do?
More importantly, why are you in this situation to begin with? Your organization may have higher priorities than upgrading Lawson, but you’ve had plenty of time and opportunity to upgrade. For anyone who will not be upgraded in time, you don’t have my sympathy. Lawson will support you, for an extra fee. But that doesn’t give you the right to grumble and complain about paying more for support, either to Lawson or to a third-party. Lawson’s upgrade and migration plans have been more than fair. Ignorance and/or poor planning are not excuses.