Lawson Software announced an expanded relationship with IBM to better serve small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in select industries. Through the agreement, in North America, IBM will co-develop, sell and implement solutions based on Lawson's enterprise software for SMBs, specifically designed for the needs of banking and insurance companies and for manufacturing firms in the fashion and food and beverage industries.

According to leading IT analyst firm IDC, the worldwide SMB opportunity is $404 billion, with the mid-market alone representing roughly half the total.1  The objective of the expanded relationship is to allow both IBM and Lawson to capture a larger piece of this market opportunity by leveraging both companies' software and industry-specific expertise. Under the agreement, IBM Global Business Services consultants will apply their knowledge of financial services, fashion and food and beverage manufacturing, and midsize businesses to develop industry vertical solutions based on Lawson enterprise applications. Lawson will collaborate with IBM hardware, software and sales experts to solve critical business and technology issues for SMBs in these targeted industries by developing and selling end-to-end packaged solutions.

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