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Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community
Now more big news this week: http://www.businessobjects.com/news/press_release.asp?id=20071007_005046. The question I’m getting from a lot of you in the Lawson community is: “Where does this leave Lawson?”. And, of course, the answer is, “well, of course, I don’t know”. But I have my opinions/ideas.As you probably know, Lawson Business Intelligence (”LBI”) grew out of what was first a Lawson-branding/skinning of Crystal Enterprise, called Lawson Enterprise Reporting. LBI, the follow-on to Lawson Enterprise Reporting, jettisoned Crystal Enterprise for the management and navigation functions, but still utilizes some Crystal’s technologies for data retrieval and report/content rendering.
And that’s what makes it interesting. Because each and every client who has implemented Enterprise Reporting or LBI uses Crystal Reports, a Business Objects product, to design/develop the report content. And LBI uses the Crystal engine to render the report.
At first glance, a lot of folks think that Lawson will dump Crystal/Business Objects and might adopt another technology to use at the center of LBI. In particular, a number of people suggested Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services. I guess that’s possible—but not likely given the amount of Crystal content that would have to be re-worked by each client.
I think it’s more likely that in the short run Lawson will continue to partner with SAP/Business Objects—on a technology basis—but still compete on an application basis, just like Lawson does with Microsoft and Oracle, and as does SAP with Microsoft, Microsoft does with Oracle, etc.But let’s not forget about Lawson’s agreement with IBM. In the long run I would expect Lawson to re-work LBI to leverage some products in the IBM portfolio, which ones I can’t even hazard a guess.
Had this happened to Lawson a few years ago, I suppose they would have tried to replace Crystal components with their own home-grown parts in order to avoid working with SAP. But there’s a new sheriff in town—Lawson’s CEO Harry Debes. And thus far he’s been hard to predict.
Of course it’s still early though, so it’s anyone’s guess. What do you think will happen?