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Cookware firm upgrades ERP to cool SOX heat

The US Sarbanes-Oxley Act has forced a global cookware distributor into making a series of upgrades to its core enterprise resource planning applications.

Williams-Sonoma, which distributes brands such as Le Creuset and Dualit in the UK and across the world, said compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley required introduction of role-based security, but to make this work the IT department realised it would have to upgrade all its ERP applications.

Speaking at last week's Lawson user conference in San Diego, Heather Warm, Williams-Sonoma's corporate systems manager, said the project meant IT had to put all other business requests on hold "because we need to be on the latest level of application versions to migrate to role-based security."

Williams-Sonoma plans to migrate to Lawson System Foundation (LSF) 9 this autumn so it can begin to introduce role-based security. LSF  is the Lawson operating system necessary to run the supplier's ERP applications.

The cookware distributor will upgrade its human resources and financial applications as well as its core S3 Business Process Management system.

It will also introduce Lawson Portal to give staff access to its data. The applications sit on an Oracle 9 database that the IT department plans to upgrade to version 10 during the summer.

Warm said, "LSF 9 is going to take more space on our servers. We are expanding our hardware and our space. Our capacity problem is in the test environment."

Williams-Sonoma said it had lessened the impact of the upgrades on its server estate by virtualising some of its existing applications using VMware.

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