As Business Development Managers at Microsoft, we like to crow about the exciting work we do with our ISV partners, and how it impacts their business.  But what about the work that our partners do and how that impacts life on the streets?  How does this work affect the quality of life for the people around us?

I happened to be at Lawson Software’s customer conference, CUE, this past week.  Lawson utilizes a lot of the Microsoft platform, and Dean Hager, Lawson’s Senior Executive Vice President of Product Management gave a very entertaining and insightful mainstage session.  His primary focus was how Lawson SmartOffice delivers a ton of information power to every user of Lawson’s ERP system.  SmartOffice is completely built upon Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) and integrates Lawson legacy applications with Microsoft Office in a very meaningful and unique user interface.

clip_image002Lawson, like other partners we manage, is a complex global company that serves many different customers in various geographies and markets.  At CUE, I happened to randomly sit at a table for breakfast and struck up a conversation with the woman next to me.  Turns out she is in charge of the Business Systems for the Portland Development Commission (PDC) in our neighboring state, Oregon.   The PDC focuses on urban renewal, revitalizing blighted areas for “economic prosperity, quality housing and employment opportunities… available to all.” 

About 4 years ago, the City of Portland embarked upon a citywide initiative to implement an ERP system from one of Lawson's competitors.  The PDC resisted the city's agency-wide solution and kept an optimized solution at a much lower cost, from Lawson.  Fast forward to today, millions of taxpayer dollars later, the city agencies are just now getting some basic functionality.  Meanwhile, the PDC agency which resisted has been able to deliver real results in the same amount of time at a fractional cost, compared to the citywide ERP system.

Here’s the kicker and my point of this:  with the PDC running SQL Server Reporting and Analysis Services in conjunction with Lawson’s Business Intelligence, they are able to deliver all the knowledge contained in the data directly to the users so they can make actionable decisions.  Every day.  Without having to go to IT for every report, every change, every chart.  Complete empowerment. 

Microsoft collaborate with our partners to drive technology innovation.  Our partners create and deliver a vision of the solution that is meaningful to their customer, in this case, a public agency.  That agency in turn uses the solution and technology to benefit the broader community, the people who live in an urban area, improving the way we live, every day.  That feels good.

Best,

Paul Burstein

Senior Business Development Manager