Lawson Buys Human-resources Specialist Enwisen

Lawson Software announced Monday it is buying human-resources software vendor Enwisen for US$70 million, expanding its existing presence in that market. The deal is expected to close by Dec. 31.

Enwisen's SaaS (software as a service) suite, AnswerSource, includes a knowledge base that provides employees with personalized HR information; a case management application that lets customer service representatives tap into the knowledge base; and an "onboarding/offboarding" software package aimed at helping new hires and those leaving the company.

The Novato, California, company's software is used by about 260 customers, including Microsoft, Nissan and Comcast.

The personalization features of Enwisen's software make it easier for employees to navigate HR policies, said Larry Dunivan, senior vice president of human capital management for Lawson.

For example, if a company has seven benefit plans available but an employee in the process of signing up only qualifies for two, they can be shown just the characteristics of those plans, versus having to wade through a mass of information, Dunivan said.

Onboarding has been a particular major pain point with HR systems, said Ray Wang, CEO and principal analyst of Constellation Research. Enwisen's software helps companies' HR departments save time and money otherwise spent answering questions from workers, he said.

Lawson had already partnered with Enwisen and resold its products. Enwisen's technology will be rolled into Lawson's Human Capital Management suite, but the software will also be available in stand-alone form.

The Enwisen acquisition will give Lawson a significant functional edge over its competitors in HR software, including Oracle, which is also an Enwisen partner, Dunivan said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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