17 APRIL 2017 / BLOG

We live with several constants in this world, among them taxes and new software versions! Now that for most of you, your 2016 taxes are behind you, it is time to start thinking about how your organization might prepare to adopt Infor’s newest offering: often referred to as Infor Xi, or Infor CloudSuite Financials on the Infor Xi technology platform. Even for those still remaining on version 9.0.1 of Infor Lawson, or those deferring the upgrade until it becomes more mainstream, this is a good time to lean forward and start thinking about the new release.

First, there’s some new terminology to become familiar with. Here’s a primer on the Infor Xi platform:

  • Infor Xi is the technology platform underneath the new version of applications delivered by Infor now known as Infor CloudSuite Financials and Supply Chain Management. We will see this referenced as Infor CloudSuite Financials (CSF).
  • Just because the software title says CloudSuite does not mean you have to run the applications within Infor’s cloud. You have options. Even customers with a perpetual license who operate Infor on premise, or with a managed cloud services provider like Velocity, will use the product titled CSF and Supply Chain Management.
  • Lawson Business Intelligence is now known as Infor Business Intelligence. The software now includes an OLAP Cube delivered as standard.
  • Design Studio is replaced by a tool called Configuration Console.
  • The former environment upon which your S3 financial applications written in COBOL ran in v10 and prior was known as Lawson System Foundation. With Infor CSF, the technology stack is Landmark and the application code is now in Java.
  • Many end users love the ease of use that comes with the Microsoft Add-Ins. That same functionality will persist but with new features in the next version now called Lawson Spreadsheet Designer.
  • Whereas today we talk about accessing data in tables, with Infor CloudSuite on the Infor Xi platform, we will reference Business Classes which will be a select group of related tables that function as a program.

You may have noticed that one term is absent in all the above changes: Payroll. Infor Lawson is currently maintaining the core payroll engine that utilizes COBOL programs (think PR140) on top of the Lawson System Foundation. Organizations operating with all three main Infor Lawson suites-- Finance, Supply Chain, and HR with Payroll -- will operate with two systems; a set of modern products written in Java on landmark and the legacy payroll applications on an LSF server. The complexity for managing this type deployment for the stand-alone I.T. shop is increasing significantly.

One of the highly publicized features of this new modern version of Infor Lawson is the re-design of the General Ledger (GL). With Infor CSF, the GL includes dimensions of which some are defined by the software manufacturer, some by industry, but most by the end user organization. These dimensions will provide Customers tremendous flexibility for roll-up reporting.

Now that we have set the stage, look for our next post on the top five recommendations for preparing your pending move.