Lawson Software Inc. will jump into the customer-relationship management market this week when it introduces a set of applications that automate sales, marketing, and customer-service operations. Lawson is the latest enterprise resource planning vendor to target the CRM market, following recent moves by rivals such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP.
Lawson Insight II Customer Relationship Management, the company's initial CRM product, includes a customer-tracking application that provides a graphical view of the interactions a customer has with a company, from marketing and sales to service and support. The application is shipping now and is the first in a series of relationship- management components that Lawson plans to roll out; upcoming modules include partner, investor, and vendor management. Pricing was not disclosed.
Analysts say Lawson is entering a crowded market with formidable competitors that wield a lot of marketing power. "They really have a visibility issue," says Joshua Greenbaum, a principal at Enterprise Applications Consulting. "The problem for Lawson is getting seen and heard above the noise in the market."
Lawson, which targets companies in the retail, professional- services, and health-care industries, is counting on demand for its CRM offering to come from customers that use its accounting and human-resources applications.