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Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community
Despite the upbeat quarterly report, I’m hearing a lot of grumbling from the troops. In particular that the company is being decimated in the name of cost-cutting, and that the focus has shifted away from long-term R&D to short-term billable/maintenance revenue. Also that all intellectual properties, etc. (e.g. Architects) are now being offshored and that St. Paul will be only a shell, if it even survives as the HQ. Lastly, that Landmark apps are on the back burner.
Likely to be the truth, but also likely to be exagerated. Perhaps St. Paul was overloaded with R&D costs and the offshore moves represent a shift towards balancing the global enterprise. One thing is clear, executives at the Fortune 1000 level need to see a committment to cost stablization from its vendors, and the consensus is that offshoring initiatives are the best way to do that. We saw this play out for manufacturing and supply chain industries in the 80’s, and now it’s happening in the IT sector. So the proof is in the pudding so to speak. Lawson will need to keep its licensing and fees competative. They will need to offer new applications and functionality. And finally they will need to penetrate new markets. I hear Lawson is starting to do more and more business in India. I can also see the M3/S3 convergence here in America.
The LawsonGuru Letter made a very good point by saying clients may not perceive any value from switching to Landmark. I think there is a lot of risk in launching Landmark now. It’s just too much for the company to handle. If I had to make a prediction, some point in the future, Lawson will supply Landmark to its new clients who will never have known the old COBOL product. Then, any and all new functionality will be developed in Landmark code and never retrofitted to COBOL. So if our old clients want to progress, they will need to convert over (eventually).