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Lawson Payroll and HR Software Review


Lawson HCM Software - Additional Capabilities

Additional Lawson system capabilities that are typically reviewed during the Payroll/HR software selection process include:

Compensation Management

Yet another transplant from the system’s Talent Management Suite, Lawson Compensation Management assists with incentive compensation challenges—allowing companies to pay for performance and work to individual benchmarks and organizational objectives, as well as performance. Delivering budgeting and analytical tools that help to forecast and measure the effectiveness of given compensation programs, organizations can leverage this module to support variable, complex salary structures with whatever criteria has been deemed critical. Of course, aside from the higher-level objectives of forecasting this module also aids in the management of salary structures (and step-and-grade progressions) to ensure pay equity; the determination of commensurate variable or incentive-based compensation; and the administration of comprehensive incentive compensation (i.e. pay-plan definitions, rules automation, eligibility determination, and automated-payout functionality).

HR Analytics

From personalized reports and dashboards to more advanced level business intelligence, as expected the Lawson Payroll/HR software solution is robust when it comes to its analytics capabilities. With regards to reporting the system offers over 100 standard, native reports (formatted in XML, PDF, TXT, or CSV) and a custom report writer (Crystal) that can be leveraged quickly and repeatedly through Lawson’s Job Scheduler Utility. Of course Lawson also has the capability to satisfy novice analytics users as well though—providing add-ins for Excel and Work that work off step-by-step, wizard-driven instruction. Where the system truly lets loose though is when a more advanced analytics approach is taken. Specifically, Lawson's Business Performance Warehouse (BPW) can take multiple data sources and build a multi-dimensional database for use with other analytical tools. Through this, BPW can implement extraction, transformation and load (ETL) via simple point-and-click functionality (though advanced coding can also be utilized). In turn, this allows for data that is stored either in Hyperion Essbase or Microsoft’s OLAP data marts to be analyzed. The only downside with Lawson’s solutions is that few options exist outside of these capabilities. For a vendor as large as Lawson (and now tapped into the even larger vendor Infor), you would expect to see elements such as data mining or predictive modeling as part of the analytics cadre. Unfortunately though, it would seem that these best-in-class feature sets are only supported by solutions such as Oracle, SAP, and Workday.

Lawson Mobile Functionality

Somewhat surprisingly (pleasantly) Lawson’s mobile Payroll and HR functionality is advanced. Indeed, for a company that seems to have lagged the competition for some time in the innovation realm, Lawson’s mobile applications (available as both native iOS and Android apps) offer a remarkably rich UX (User Experience) that has clearly been designed by a business with a "commitment to keeping pace with mobile trends". Aside from the form-factor appropriateness that Lawson’s Mobile apps embody, their scope is also something of an anomaly in this market (and for this company). Specifically, with feature sets that cover a range of functionalities from recruitment (i.e. extending the Lawson Requisition Center to allow users to access/create job requisitions) to Customer Relationship Management (i.e. extending the Lawson Cloverleaf Global Monitor for organizational monitoring, analysis, and response), the system’s capabilities are light years beyond how many competitors are simply looking to only browser-based functions. Still, perhaps the most impressive (and consequently widely used) area that Lawson’s mobile prowess shines through is in its Mobile Employee application—an extension of the company’s Employee/Manager Self-Service function which allows employees to view and manage their own personal information (entirely online and asynchronously); managers to track information on direct reports (and initiate personnel actions); and online collaboration to take place between managers and employees for competency maintenance, certifications, and keeping skill proficiency levels up.

International Capabilities

As is the case with other elements of the Lawson Human Resource Management suite, international capabilities are somewhat puzzling. To begin with, though the system is capable of supporting both multiple currencies and languages, those functionalities appear to only be accessible through the Global Human Resources software module—a module that is packaged as part of the Talent Management suite. For those organizations already leveraging a best-of-breed talent management application then, adding an additional package from Lawson could be overkill both functionally and financially. That said, for those organizations that are in the position to leverage additional talent management capabilities, the Global Human Resources module does have a set of impressive infrastructure elements that are geared towards supporting the complexities of the international business. For instance, both organizational and reporting structures can maintain multi-country differences. Plus, the fully-international employee record does include capabilities for global employment contract management; integrated 3rd-party localization tools; and comprehensive employee designation definitions.

Employee and Manager Self-Service

A newer standard across many HR software solutions, Employee/Manager Self-Service software allows users to review, modify and act upon relevant HR data from a single, online access point. Lawson Employee and Manager Self-Service is no different and features the basic capabilities for employees of: personal information access; benefits enrollment; career exploration; credentials management; and payroll information viewing (including the ability to craft "what-if" statements based on variable total compensation factors). Managers have the added functionality of: on-demand access for direct report data; job requirement gap analysis capabilities; streamlined requisition and hiring process approval routing; time/attendance tracking and approval; competency updating; integration with analytics, training, performance, and compensation management modules (including Lawson's Compensation and Headcount/Turnover data marts); and the ability to initiate personnel actions in accordance with organization-defined standard processes (through the ProcessFlow Integrator).

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