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Can You Save 80% on Software Maintenance?

Can You Save 80% on Software Maintenance?

Many of my Lawson clients are solid mid-market companies. As Lawson focuses ever more on healthcare, my clients ask me whether it’s time to move. And recently, clients have been asking whether they should switch to Microsoft Dynamics GP. GP is much, much cheaper. And for those who made their Lawson investment 15 or more years ago, they’re pleased and surprised to think that such a small package could fit the bill at a savings of 80% in maintenance costs.

I’ll be writing additional blog posts about the feasibility of replacing Lawson with Dynamics GP. But in the meantime, for those of your considering a switch, here are three questions to get you thinking:

1. Is Lawson “just financials” for you—or does it provide real ERP functionality?

Many of Lawson’s original mid-market customers use Lawson for General Ledger (GL), Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable—or “Just Financials.” They use other systems to process orders, coordinate merchandising and business processing.

One of my clients falls into this category. As a 3PL (third party logistics provider), they depend on their WMS (warehouse management system) and TMS (transportation management system). The company isn’t small—it has several hundred hundreds of employees and tens of thousands of feet of warehouse space. But they have less then 10 people in the finance function. Because they’re using Lawson primarily for “financials,” the feasibility of replacing Lawson with Dynamics GP is greater.

In contrast, another similarly sized client is a service business and relies on Lawson for all its key billing and revenue recognition activities. For them, Lawson is a true ERP and therefore much harder to replace.

2. What Lawson products do you own?

Lawson has some cool products that work well for larger customers. But many smaller customers (including the trucking folks referenced above) bought into a “sales vision” that wasn’t really appropriate for the company. Now they’re stuck with a large maintenance bill—and Lawson won’t negotiate price reductions, even if products aren’t being used.

3. How much work have you put into Lawson?

Some clients put a lot of work into getting their reporting just right. In this case, even if Lawson is more expensive than other solutions, replicating all that work in a new system is a barrier to switching.

In the case of the trucking company above, after working with Lawson for almost 20 years, they would require as much work again to do the same thing in a new system. (But what they could do is use the GL as a simple data warehouse.)

Are you considering switching from Lawson to another software? What options are you looking at?


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