The Overview

ERP systems like Lawson are becoming increasingly complex each year, making them harder and harder to manage in-house.  This, along with the promise of easy scalability, quick deployment, and comparatively small upfront investment has led many companies to consider moving from an on-premise solution to the cloud. A national hotel management company we worked with in 2016 fell into this category. The company manages hotels across the country; although it doesn’t own the hotels, it staffs them, and has thousands of managers and employees nationwide. They rely on their Lawson system to handle all of the business processes that go into running a large, mostly remote, workforce.

The IT team responsible for keeping that Lawson system up-to-date and running efficiently consisted of four members, all working hard from the company’s central office in Indiana. However, their on-premise Lawson system had a number of problems — including old and poorly structured IT security, multiple processes that had yet to be automated, and a system that required the company to create two IDs for each user. When dealing with remote managers and employees placed across the country, this often made processes more time consuming than they needed to be and much more prone to human error. Recognizing that their existing on-premise solution was not ideal, they made the decision to move to the cloud.

 

“The migration had gone less smoothly than they had anticipated.”

 

The Challenge

When this client contacted Surety Systems they were almost done with the migration to the cloud but had yet to go-live. The migration had gone less smoothly than they anticipated. They were hoping to find a consultant who could come in and troubleshoot some of the issues they were having, set up and train their team on Infor Process Automation (IPA), and help to solve the problems with their security set up.

The initial implementation of their security system had been done in such a way as to force the company to create two IDs for each user, one for use in their Employee Self Service and another for use of additional core applications. Now the team was attempting to sync those IDs. Further, they were having an issue caused by a dedicated element group that was taking precedent over other security, and causing some serious headaches.

 

The Solution

Surety Systems paired them with a consultant who had an extensive background in security, was extremely experienced in troubleshooting these types of issues, and had been working within Lawson’s ERP system for more than 16 years. This particular Surety consultant had an advanced understanding of Lawson Security Administration, Role Based Security, Landmark, Infor Security Services (ISS) sync, and both ADFS and IFS servers. Over the course of several months she worked with their existing team to identify the dedicated element group that was causing problems and correct the code.

Once that was resolved, she helped set up and sync the duplicate IDs into a single ID. This allowed employees to use just one login, log into their core applications and access the Employee Self Service (ESS) system from there. Not only does this serve to streamline the end user experience, it also reduces the security risk that comes with multiple logins and passwords, and decreases the number of requests the IT team has to deal with related to issues like a lost password.

She worked closely with the client’s lead developer, helping him gain a better understanding of best practices surrounding Lawson v10, ISS, IFS, and Landmark. Over the course of several months she also worked to teach him how to program and tune Infor Process Automation (IPA), allowing the company to automate a good number of processes previously handled manually. But perhaps the most impactful role she played was as an independent, unbiased expert. While working with the hotel management company they had her review code written by another consulting firm. She had access to the backend of the new cloud implementation and was able to point out several potential issues so the client could have their Lawson partner correct them before the go-live. When needed she also helped correct some of the mistakes directly to ensure the go-live happened as smoothly as possible.

 

The Results

This national hotel management company originally opted to move from an on-premise solution to the cloud to streamline their Lawson system and shift some of the upgrade work, patch installation, and daily support from their small in-house team to the Lawson services team.

While the process wasn’t as smooth as they might have hoped, bringing in a Surety Systems consultant allowed them to temporarily add expertise in the areas their team lacked. They’re now live on the cloud and their new knowledge of IPA will allow them to continue to automate additional business processes.They feel confident that they’ll now be able to better utilize Lawson to it’s full potential.