The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology

, , ,

Lawson – Moving Core HR to The Talent Suite

systematicHR Avatar

Lawson’s introduction of their new Strategic HCM product heads into an interesting direction.  I got the change to talk to Larry Dunivan at the Lawson CUE conference and also to see the product briefly.  While I’ll admit that I’m never really negative when I see new product (hey – it should be good if it’s new, right?) I definitely like the approach they’ve taken with SHCM.

I’ll start with the negative – I would not call any software product “strategic.”  Software is never what makes an HR organization strategic.  It can make you more effective, more efficient, more accurate, etc, but it’s probably not making you more strategic.  That comes for the staff and leadership.  My only other criticism is that it’s not quite a completely integrated product, but more on that below and why they are pursuing an interesting model.  While I’m not really versed at all in the internal workings of their code, they elected not to use AJAX or Flex to code the product, instead electing to use a tool developed on their own.  My simple opinion is that the fewer development platforms there are out there, the better.  However, since I don’t know much about what went on and what their tool does, it’s not really a negative.  After all, it’s not like you’d throw away PeopleTools in PeopleSoft thinking that AJAX solves the problems around building tables.

What is right about the product?  A lot – at least there’s a lot that I am really interested in.  First off, they have separated the HCM application from their popular S3 ERP suite.  This means that they can easily add their HCM product to their M3 suite that is provided to manufacturing companies, and they don’t need to develop 2 sets of code.  Second, they decided to use their own proprietary development tool.  Wait! You say.  Yes, this was mentioned above as a negative, but it seems that they have cut development time and the need to actually write code with this tool.  That makes it much more supportable, makes their development organization more scalable, and makes managing customizations eventually much less costly (when/if they roll this tool to the client base).

What was really interesting to me was that the S3 application is primarily a talent suite.  Currently offered are talent acquisition and compensation, and performance and learning are on the way.  What’s really interesting here is that they have decided to take core HR out of the S3 application and house it in SHCM.  This is a major departure from the rest of the industry where Core HR, benefits and payroll are housed together and talent is considered a module that is bolted on.  Not so here.  Lawson takes the opinion that its more important to have perfectly integrated organization, hierarchy, job, competency, etc with talent than with benefits and payroll.  From an end to end process perspective, this is probably true, and in fact, this is what intrigues me about this product.  I think it’s a complete philosophical rethinking of the HR application that the industry needs to go through.  Good for Lawson for being the first there.

Tagged in :

systematicHR Avatar

2 responses to “Lawson – Moving Core HR to The Talent Suite”

  1. Lawson – Moving Core HR to The Talent Suite

  2. Gijs Houtzagers Avatar

    I don’t agree with you. The major players in the HR market, especially SAP has an excellent integrated talent management environment. The integration extends to all parts oh HR, including e-recruitment, but also to reporting environments, like SAP BW, Balanced scorecard etc etc.
    PeopleSoft is far less integrated, but the components are mature in itself