Infor and Lawson Software have said the direction of the M3 product line is strategic to the growth of Lawson and that the development plan is to deliver complete industry suites built around the core M3 application. Lawson M3 solutions are designed for companies that make, move and maintain products or equipment.
The Infor and Lawson M3 product development teams have initially focused on three levels of adding value to M3 customers: 1) the user experience; 2) technology and 3) applications.
"We are truly looking to bring the best of both companies to provide immediate value to M3 customers," said Henrik Billgren, vice president, Lawson product management. "One example is the user experience with the Lawson Smart Office and Infor Workspace products. We see Lawson Smart Office as ideal for the power users within an organisation, while Infor Workspace is great for the day-to-day workplace user. We are also looking to bring Lawson's mashup designer capabilities and Lawson Enterprise Search into Infor Workspace."
Among the planned benefits to the user experience include a unified look and feel, single sign-on, improved navigation and in-context business intelligence.
At the technology level, the development teams have focused on using Infor ION, an innovative interoperability architecture, as a bridge to M3 Collaborator to create a unified and uniform middleware stack. This major advancement in M3 architecture will connect and deliver end-to-end processes across disparate applications, whether they are M3, Infor, home-grown or third-party applications.
Lastly, at the application level, the initial work has focused on building out industry suites for the core M3 verticals: manufacturing, distribution, fashion, food and beverage, and equipment service management & rental. First examples are targeted at the process manufacturing and distribution verticals with Process Supply Chain Scheduling, Process Product Lifecycle Management, Corporate Performance Management (leveraging M3 Opportunity Analyzer) and Warehouse Management integrated with the core M3 application.
"Over the past five years, the Global Association of M3 User Groups (GAM3) has witnessed significant improvements in the functionality and technical advances, such as Smart Office and Enterprise Search, to the Java-based M3 ERP software," said Graham Maxfield, general manager of GAM3, which represents all M3 customers worldwide. "Following the acquisition of Lawson, GAM3 anticipates that these advances will continue and will accelerate to the benefit of M3 customers, both existing and new."