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Phil Duff

Phil Duff is CEO of SYSPRO. Together with his brother Chris, he identified a gap in the market for accounting software. In 1978, they took the opportunity and founded SYSPRO. At the time, many technology entrepreneurs felt that success was dependent on a quick initial public offering (IPO).

Over thirty years later, SYSPRO is one of the longest standing independent vendors of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. The company is operational in over 60 countries across six continents. Phil has stayed true to his values, and those values are evident throughout the company.

Phil has always believed in continuity and the long term, rather than quick profits. This philosophy is one of the cornerstones bolstering the robust performance and affordability for which SYSPRO is renowned. He believes in being fair: customers have never been sold software they didn’t need, nor have sales people engaged in pressure tactics, but rather in nurturing relationships for the long term.

Phil leads a talented global team, supported by over 1500 channel partners. Together, they deliver cost-effective, scalable and customizable enterprise software and services to customers across six continents.


Innovative or Customer Centric?

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Phil Duff

innovation-or-customer-centricDeveloping ERP software is a tricky business, especially if the software is not being developed for any specific customer but rather for a range of customers, some of whom have yet to purchase your product. A software product needs to evolve, be constantly updated and advanced, if it’s not to fall into neglect and disuse, and that can happen all too often in the software market.

Henry Ford is widely, if erroneously, credited with the quote “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” While Mr. Ford was correct NOT to listen to customers when he famously started his assembly line, he should have listened a little harder to trends about the types of cars people actually wanted. The problem Mr. Ford faced was that his customers didn’t know what they didn’t know – I’m sure you all know what I mean. We continually get asked for a product change, with the customer often providing the solution. But the customer can only provide a solution in the context of his or her experience. If Mr. Ford had actually asked a customer what they wanted and then probed the reply, he might have discovered that he or she just wanted something that was faster, not necessarily a horse.

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Topics: Software development, innovation, Business software, product development, ERP, Technology

Taking stock and looking ahead to 2013

Posted on 20 December 2012 by Phil Duff

Taking stock and looking ahead to 2013

Regardless of what business you happen to be in, the end of the year is a natural time to reflect on what’s happened in our lives, our organisations and around the world. Although the global manufacturing sector has shown erratic and generally slow performance this year, the economic powerhouses of the US and China managed to register slight improvements in manufacturing activity in October. However, many other economies around the world suffered further contraction or flat growth across their manufacturing industries.

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Topics: trends, Business software, Technology

The Changing Role of the CFO

Posted on 22 November 2012 by Phil Duff

In a recent article by Paul Taylor in the Financial Times, he discusses the changing dynamics of the C-suite. He looks at the strong trend towards collaboration among roles as opposed to the multiple silos that we have seen in the past. Taylor talks to how CIOs, who have in the past focused primarily on IT, now need to be well-versed across a myriad of business responsibilities. In turn, the CEO and CFO need to understand IT and its role in the company.

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Topics: SYSPRO, Business Strategy, Executive Responsibilities, CFO, ERP, business needs, Accounting

Future trends in ERP

Posted on 27 September 2012 by Phil Duff

The rapid consumerization of technology over the past few years has led enterprises, some kicking and screaming, to incorporate elements of it for their brand strategies and internal processes.

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Topics: mobility, app store, innovation, consumerization, trends, Business software, ERP, collaboration

Lights, camera, ERP

Posted on 31 May 2012 by Phil Duff

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Topics: Business Strategy, entrepreneur, innovation, Business software, ERP, Technology, YouTube

ERP Product Map for the Road Ahead

Posted on 29 February 2012 by Phil Duff

Are you lost and looking for a guide…? Well then, follow me on an exciting journey as we discover what lies in wait for our customers.

I want to share with you some insights into what is being developed for our SYSPRO ERP product during 2012 and ahead.

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Topics: Business Strategy, innovation, product roadmap

Windows Reimagined

Posted on 27 September 2011 by Phil Duff

I was fortunate enough to attend the Microsoft BUILD conference in Los Angeles recently, along with one of my colleagues. Now, I don’t make a habit of regularly attending such conferences as I have a number of talented developers who would get great value out of these sorts of events. But I have to say that I am really pleased (no, read ‘delighted’) that I made the effort to attend this particular event, especially considering that it took me about 28 hours to get to LA (it’s a long way from Johannesburg).

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Topics: innovation, Windows 8, Technology, Microsoft, Best Practice, cloud applications

Location, location, location

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Phil Duff

 

Napoli, August 23 AD 79

Dear mum,

Location, location, location

I am so excited. I have just signed the tablet with the local estate agent to purchase that villa I told you about in Pompeii. My estate agent says it’s a fantastic property with great views of the mountain and you can also see the sea. He says that I cannot go wrong with the location because the villa is right in the heart of the town, not far from the market. I thought we could move in today but my estate agent says he cannot give me the keys because he’s been told that there’s a big barbecue going on today on the mountain and he doesn’t want to miss out. There’s certainly a lot of smoke coming from Vesuvius – they’ve clearly started cooking the meat - so perhaps it would have been fun to be there as well. But me and Fulvia have rather decided to spend the weekend relaxing on the Amalfi coast and we’ll move in on Monday.

Yours, Marcus.

Amalfi, August 25 AD 79

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Topics: big data, application erosion, product champion, Technology, Access control, seeker of value, ERP software

Coming out of the (book) closet

Posted on 24 May 2011 by Phil Duff

Coming-out-of-the-(book)-closet

I like books. You know, the kind that are made out of paper and have words typed onto a page. You may remember them. That was before we had eReaders which I really don’t like. With a real book you can feel the pages and turn them with your fingers. I cannot remember a time when the battery on my book ran out, and if I drop my book on the beach by accident I don’t have to worry that its casing may be broken. In any case, I like my bookmark.

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Topics: hosting, business applications, Business software, software-as-a-service, ERP, Cloud computing

 

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Phil Duff

Dear Diary,

Invasion of the Body SnatchersMy friend David popped round for dinner the other evening, deeply troubled. He told me that when he woke up last Thursday he noticed a change in his wife’s demeanour. It wasn’t immediately obvious, he said, but he just knew something odd was going on. It wasn’t just the unblinking stare that worried him (although that normally would have been sufficient cause for concern), it was the newly acquired interest shown in anything related to computers. Almost obsessive, he said, to the point he was seriously thinking that she had been taken over by some alien. Now David is not one to exaggerate and even if I privately thought that perhaps he had been watching too many movies, still he is my friend and deserves a considered hearing. I tried to calm his unease, told him that he was worrying unnecessarily and sent him on his way.

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Topics: Software implementation, Simple English, Business software, Technology

 

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