Northgate Information Solutions
Northgate provides technology solutions and services for human resources management through their NGA Human Resources business.
The NIS group originally consisted of approximately fifteen legal entities running the Lawson system on an Oracle database. This number of Lawson companies was deemed to be too unwieldy for day to day operational and reporting purposes. It was therefore decided that as certain areas of the business were combined for reporting purposes, they could be merged together both legally and systematically.
Due to the size of the task in hand the merger took place over planned phases. The most complicated phase involved ten legal entities being merged into three new ones.
System Requirements and Solution
Legally the merger of the companies was set for a given date which meant that systematically the merger needed to happen simultaneously. There were other legacy NIS systems external to Lawson that would also be directly impacted by these changes. These included mission critical operations such as Sales and Purchase Ordering. This involved the Lawson hive-up project having to run and be managed concurrently and in tandem with a similar in-house NIS project around the effected legacy systems.
The primary modules to be merged were Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Book and General Ledger. All transactions had to retain their integrity both within the module they resided in and those they related to. For example an Accounts Payable transaction has a relationship with the General Ledger, the Tax Module and the Cash Book so all these transactional links needed to be retained even though key relational information was changing.
A further complication was that inter-company transactions existed between hive-up and non hive-up companies along with their associated off-setting balancing transactions.
The conversion had to be completed over one weekend in order to keep the disruption to operational processing to a minimum.
Prior to the hive-up a clean-up exercise was performed on common suppliers and customers in order to ensure that any records that were essentially the same organisation were not copied across to the new company more than once.
For reconciliation purposes standard Lawson reports (e.g. balance sheet, open payables, aged debt etc.) were used to identify the pre hive-up position of the source companies. Then the same reports were used after the event to confirm the post hive-up position of the new companies.