The Lawson CUE conference was perhaps a bit more subdued this year with the Infor acquisition offer on the table. That said, the company’s leadership, employees, and customers projected a sense of continued value and partnership, regardless of the ownership outcome. Three things stood out as particularly special about Lawson:
- Deep industry expertise – instead of attempting to give just a little to everyone, Lawson has differentiated itself as the go-to brand for key verticals including healthcare and local government. The analytics strategy is a great example. Though Lawson announced a new analytics platform (ViewPoint), the focus is to deliver packaged, industry-specific metrics and intelligence leveraging both knowledge of the data model and the industry. Customers can deploy the package on their existing analytics platform (such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle) or they can leverage ViewPoint. The first solution in this area is Analytics for Healthcare, including labor, operational, and clinical analytics.
- Transformation partner at all maturity levels – Larry Dunivan, SVP of Global HR Products and industry luminary, believes that HR organizations transform themselves first around efficiency, then effectiveness, and then insight. It is not an overall transformation, but a series of transformations – one enabling another.
I saw this in action first hand in a session on business intelligence. Christopher Geers, a Lawson employee, led a highly interactive session in which he directed customers in the room to listen to experiences from each other. Many of the experiences centered around transforming efficiency through easy to implement “smart notes.” The discussion then shifted to effectiveness and ultimately, insight, as Christopher guided the group to use BI tools to answer questions and tell stories, rather than post data dumps online. The HR practitioners left the session with specific actions to transform their function as well as an accessible vision toward the future.
- Enwisen acquisition done right – Lawson highlighted Enwisen, acquired in December, not just as an add-on to the overall solution, but as a strategic enabler of transformation in each solution category. At the efficiency level, Enwisen reduces administrative support costs and enables resource re-deployment. At an effectiveness level, Enwisen serves the performance and development needs of the workforce. It was evident that with Enwisen, Lawson is adding passion and value to its HR applications, rather than just adding customers or checking off a box on an RFP.
Bottom Line: Based on customer feedback, Lawson re-vamped CUE to be more interactive and conversational and less about sales pitches. Customers appeared to be quite pleased with the changes. Though a possible acquisition looms, Lawson continues to deliver industry expertise, transformational partnership, and new value.
Your POV: What did you get out of Lawson CUE?