Lawson Rolling out Analytics App for Health Care

Lawson Software will soon release a specialized analytics application for health care organizations, which make up a significant portion of the ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor's customer base.

Set for release in May, Lawson Analytics for Healthcare pulls in and crunches data pertaining to areas such as personnel, financials and the supply chain, from Lawson ERP systems as well as other sources, according to the announcement made this week during Lawson's CUE user conference in Boston.

Armed with the information, health care providers will be able to look for cost savings and improve the day-to-day management of their operations, Lawson said.

Customers will be able to implement the software in mere weeks, compared to the "year-long business intelligence projects with niche 'tools' providers," Lawson's website claims.

Lawson Analytics for Healthcare caught the interest of CUE attendee Karl Danielson, system director for material management information systems at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky. The nonprofit organization includes five major hospitals along with roughly 100 physician practices and other locations, according to its website.

Right now, Norton is using Lawson Business Intelligence, but is managing to deliver reports to end-users only on a month-end or weekly basis, Danielson said. The delay limits the value of the data, since users can't necessarily use it for day-to-day decisions, such as to stop buying a certain item to avoid going over budget.

But with the new analytics software, "it looks like you can get [information out] down to the day," he said.

Danielson envisioned other ways the software could help the hospital improve its operations, such as by crunching daily patient census figures against workforce data. That could help managers find ways to optimize the balance.

Meanwhile, the long-term road map for Lawson's broader software portfolio is uncertain, given the pending US$1.8 billion acquisition offer Infor submitted last month.

Lawson executives have maintained a public silence on the deal since Infor's announcement, and it's not clear whether other vendors, such as Oracle, will submit counter-bids for the company.

For his part, Danielson said he hadn't formed an opinion on Lawson's potential sale.

CUE continues this week in Boston through Wednesday.

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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