Lawson Sways BPCS Consultancy to M3’s Reseller Rolls
April 20, 2009 Alex Woodie
Lawson Software last week announced a reseller partnership with PHOENIX Business Consulting, a Greensburg, Pennsylvania, IT consultancy that focuses on ERP systems for manufacturers. As the latest addition to Lawson’s channel, PHOENIX–which previously specialized in Infor ERP LX/BPCS consulting–will sell and work with Lawson’s competing product, the M3 ERP suite.
PHOENIX Business Consulting has more than 20 years of experience helping manufacturers across the U.S. to develop and maintain their ERP systems. The company, which has locations in western Pennsylvania and Virginia, today focuses on the IBM Power Systems platform, which has a loyal following among manufacturers.
For many years, PHOENIX specialized in servicing installations of SSA’s BPCS ERP suite (now called Infor ERP LX), one of the top-selling ERP packages on the AS/400. The company will continue to support its existing ERP LX/BPCS customers (it is not an Infor partner), but will encourage new customers to adopt Lawson’s M3, which surpasses ERP LX/BPCS in usability and technology, Sean Kissane, vice president of business development for PHOENIX, said in an interview.
The M3 suite brings several advantages in terms of technology, integration, and usability, Kissane said. In particular, several M3 components stood out to Kissane and his colleagues at PHOENIX, including Lawson Smart Office (which integrates ERP screens with Microsoft Office), ProcessFlow Integrator (which allows users to choreograph business processes in and out of M3 using SOA technology), and Lawson Business Intelligence (which includes technology from SAP‘s Business Objects division).
Lawson has been reaching out to resellers lately in a bid to improve North American sales of M3, which stands for “make, move, and maintain.” The product, which is written in Enterprise Java, was originally developed by the Swedish ERP company Intentia, and has stronger sales in Europe. While M3 can run on any server platform that supports Java, it is closely associated with IBM i platform, and most installations involve that platform.
Lawson’s reseller program was very welcoming of PHOENIX, which will sell M3 to manufacturers across the country, according to Kissane. The affinity was mutual, according to Jeff Farris, strategic alliance manager for Lawson. “Our two companies share industry-specific expertise, which means we understand the challenges and emerging threats that our customers face,” he stated in a press release.
“General manufacturers as well as food and beverage producers, face growing challenges–from managing supply chains effectively during a tough economy to responding to food safety threats that can destroy a company’s brand and reputation overnight. We offer solutions that can help companies address these challenges more effectively,” Farris continued.
In other news, Lawson this week is holding its annual user conference, CUE 09, in San Diego, California. IT Jungle convinced one of its editors to take the assignment in this tough locale, and we’ll bring you full coverage in next week’s batch of newsletters.