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Last Post 5/3/2019 4:18 PM by  David Tashima
Wondering your thoughts on IPA and Lawson 10 or Cloudsuite
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Erik G.
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4/25/2019 4:02 PM

    Good Afternoon all,

     

    My hospital moved from Lawson 9 to Lawson 10 late last year and we are having conversations with Infor about moving to Cloudsuite.  Some of the things they have shown our materials and accounting staff revolve around using IPA which we don't currently use.  And as you might have guessed, they loved what they see and they want it right now.    

     

    My question to all of you what are your thoughts on IPA?  

    Are you using it on V10 or Cloudsuite?

    How hard was it to Implement?  

    What were some of the pitfalls to watch out for?  

    What do you like about it and what do you not like about it?  

    What does ongoing maintenance look like?

     

    Any information or in-site you can provide would be most appreciated.

    Thanks,

     

    Erik

     

    David Williams
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    4/25/2019 4:36 PM
    IPA is a great tool - I've been developing with the different versions (PFI, then IPA) for about 20 years. Between approvals, reports, interfaces, etc. you can do a lot of interesting stuff with it. I'm going to guess you'll be hosted in the multi-tenant cloud so Infor has imposed limits (SQL & Sys Cmd are not permitted) but if you haven't used it in the past then you more than likely won't miss them. More than likely you'll end up using IPA for interfacing (sorry, integrating) Lawson payroll to FSM (Finance/Supply Chain Management). You'll end up with ION and BODs as well which can be a bit much to get your head around at first.
    David Williams
    steve finger
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    4/25/2019 7:09 PM
    I was never introduced to Process Flow but took the Infor IPA class once and was tossed to the wolves as an IPA architect a couple years ago.

    IPA is a WONDERFUL tool that allows you to do many things that are useful and might be hard to do without it. Infor is pushing VERY hard to get their cloud folks into mult-tenancy. Some customers have been told that multi-tenancy is the only option. that is not exactly true as of a couple months ago, but that may have or be in the process of changing. Mutlit-tenancy was a much cheaper option and at the same time Infor makes a lot more money off of it. But as david noted, you gie up a lot of power....especially in giving up SQL.

    Also, there is a LOT of parts and pieces to IPA. More that can be reasonably taught with any depth in a 5 day course. Most of the things you need to know are touched in the class....but not in depth to the point where you know all you need to know when the class is over. If you don't already know Process Flow and have no exposure to IPA, be prepared to be lost in the jungle at first. But the journey is well worth it if you can take the time to learn all the little twists in the path. Don't get discouraged too easily and find some folks to mentor a little. This forum is a good place.
    JimY
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    4/26/2019 9:40 AM
    I am curious, what do they recommend you use instead of Sql? What if you want to access databases that are on premise? Thank you.
    David Williams
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    4/26/2019 10:58 AM
    If you have a large amount of data to pull, Infor had added a feature called a 'Replication Set' which allows you to dump data and store it on an SFTP site in JSON or CSV format. I have clients using it for Employee extracts and GL transactions. Otherwise you'd have to use 'Landmark Transaction' queries and they are a bit slow.
    David Williams
    John Henley
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    4/26/2019 11:11 AM
    Regarding access to on-premises databases from ipa in cloudsuite mt. It’s not allowed. Depending on complexity, velocity, and volume, etc., I have two patterns to suggest. Let me know if that’s what you desire
    Thanks for using the LawsonGuru.com forums!
    John
    John Henley
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    4/26/2019 11:14 AM
    PS the Infor answer is “just use ion”
    Thanks for using the LawsonGuru.com forums!
    John
    JimY
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    4/26/2019 1:05 PM
    Thank you John and David. We aren't in the Cloud yet, but are in the process of reviewing it. We have demos schedule in early May. It will probably be a couple of years before we move to the cloud. By that time I will be retired so I won't have to go through the pain of upgrading.
    Roy
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    5/1/2019 2:41 PM
    IPA itself is a tool. It is what you make of it. That being said, if you currently have Lawson v9 (or v10), and want to implement IPA, you will have to have a Landmark server that runs IPA. Now you will have _two_ environments to keep up with, LSF and Landmark. Learning how to work Landmark is something that may require a bit to wrap your head around. Of course, if you do go cloud, then a lot of that maintenance is taken off your hands. Or, you can do like we did and have Managed Services handle the Landmark side.
    IPA is great, though - we have used Process Flow since 2004, and upgraded to IPA when we went to Lawson v10. As previously stated, it is a separate environment, and in our case running on a different platform (Windows) while our LSF is on HP-UX, so you'll have to consider some education as you'll have to make changes to users and security in a new environment (use ISS, or IPA ;-) ), and maintain it (upgrades to Landmark, etc.).
    To answer your question about our set-up, we're on Lawson v10 (Financials/Supply Chain), while we have GHR in Landmark, interfacing back to S3 for Benefits/Payroll.
    Bill Ianni
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    5/1/2019 5:14 PM
    Most anyone who have watched Lawson "Workflow" evolved over the last 20 years would agree IPA is probably the best toolset Lawson has ever created, and there are countless processes that can be re-engineered around it. Here are some of my own experiences so far...

    1. Install on a virtual machine and develop and promote only from that desktop. That is to say, refrain from having this toolset proliferated on desktops throughout the organization. Make all developers work from the VM. This allows both product version compliance and process version control. You can also prevent windows and java updates from interfering with progress.
    2. Develop in a TEST environment where end-users can by removed from email bursts. Have a proper implementation methodology. Document as much as possible.
    3. Configure as much in Rich Client as possible when you install. For example, define attachment folders you will use, configure FTP, WEBACCESS, etc. This will give you the full compliment of tools in the IPA palette.
    4. Expect patches. Not everything is fully available for all delivered services on the initial install.
    5. There is a security prerequisite. All users must be Actors.
    6. Educate your Lawson steering committee about the capabilities of IPA in order to harness its full potential.
    Kidd Kasper
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    5/1/2019 8:41 PM
    Here are my own observations based on having Lawson 10/Landmark 10 currently while spending about 18 months trying to implement Global HR/Landmark 11.
    1. The Landmark 11 platform has more features. But a lot of bugs have been introduced with it as well, some things that worked fine in Landmark 10 now have issues in Landmark 11. The average time to resolution for Infor Support is 2 to 3 months after we report the issue.
    2. Infor Process Automation (IPA, process flows, etc) is the future engine for batch processing in Landmark. As others have mentioned, it's highly flexible and configurable. The downside is that it is far slower that COBOL. You won't really notice a difference in processing 100 records. But you will when processing 20,000. Executing SQL on the server is one way to sort of compensate for the slowness of the Lawson/Landmark Transaction Nodes. But as has been mentioned, you would have to be on-prem or single tenant cloud.
    3. The name " CloudSuite Financials" is a bit of misnomer. That's the name of the product. While Infor has focused on developing it for cloud customer, it's reported to work on-prem.
    4. Global HR/Landmark 11 doesn't seem to be a finished product really ready for rollout. I am fully aware that many organizations have already implemented it and are running their organizations on it. But there are too numerous bugs, functionality gaps, and performance issues for me to consider it anything other than still in development at this point. I suspect it will take at least another year (probably two) for it to really be a stable platform for medium to larger scale organizations.
    David Tashima
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    5/3/2019 4:18 PM
    Hi all - I thought I would chime in here on this conversation.

    A little background about myself - This is my 20th year of technical consulting in the Infor/Lawson technical space. I am currently with Avaap Inc (5 years) and previously as an ICS consultant for 15 years.

    IPA has grown so much in terms of functionality and tools through it's evolution that it has been a foundation for so much of the integration between CSF/GHR and S3 (for Payroll), WFM etc. That is not to mention, it is the key utility for approval processing in common areas such as Requisition, Invoice, and JE approval to name a few.

    With v11, the added functionality of using Document Storage now allows clients to have all supporting documentation for these approvals attached to the email itself so they can easily approve workflows via email action buttons. With the MT architecture, these email buttons are readily available and can be done via cellphones without any VPN hoops. It just works!

    I would have to disagree with Kidd's response about GHR 'not being a finished product' -- Global HR is the Landmark product that has been around the longest in conjunction with Talent Management and the ability to use Configuration Console readily gives the power Business Users to be able to make updates without having to code and without technical background.
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