Lawson Drops CRM Plan, Will Resell Siebel Apps

FRAMINGHAM (03/24/2000) - Lawson Software Inc. is dropping plans to develop its own CRM (customer relationship management) applications and will now resell Siebel Systems Inc.'s sales, service and marketing software instead.

The deal with Siebel was detailed yesterday at Lawson's annual user conference in San Diego and is due to be formally announced by the two companies next week, Lawson said.

The Minneapolis-based business applications vendor last fall announced that it was developing a sales force automation tool as the first component of a planned customer relationship management product line. The sales application was scheduled for beta testing this spring and shipment in the summer.

But Dean Hager, vice president of e-business marketing at Lawson, said the company decided it would take too long to build the CRM suite internally. The sales automation package only addressed one-fifth of the functionality needed to match an existing suite such as Siebel's, he added.

Lawson had assigned five developers to work on the sales software. Hager said they're now focusing on integrating Siebel's software with Lawson's back-office applications, although some basic integration was already done for an individual customer and can now be applied more generally.

Lawson is the second business applications vendor to sign a reseller deal with Siebel in San Mateo, California. Denver-based J.D. Edwards & Co. has resold Siebel's sales automation software since last spring and in February said it would also start marketing the rest of Siebel's CRM packages.

At its user conference, Lawson also announced an upgrade of its finance, human resources and supply-chain applications with full support for using all of the functions from a standard Web browser.

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