About Pierre Van Dalen

I started my career in software support at the age of 10, when my father acquired an accounting package to run the family business. We lived in the rural southern Cape in the mid-1980’s, when access to mobile phones was limited, and where the nearest official software support person was hundreds of kilometers away. I discovered that my natural aptitude for understanding this software proved as an asset in helping establish my father’s business. More than a decade later, I joined SYSPRO’s largest customer at the time, Columbus Stainless, as a Graduate Trainee. During this time, I convinced the company to keep up with the latest versions of SYSPRO, and was responsible for numerous software developments around SYSPRO, in a highly complex manufacturing environment. I have been SYSPRO’s Product Development Manager since 2005, and I am responsible for the Financial and Enterprise Performance Management areas of the product. Since joining, the financial modules of SYSPRO have become more effective in terms of supporting customers’ businesses – with, for example, increased supplier payment efficiency and real-time general ledger integration. I am qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant, and added a postgraduate Informatics degree to my résumé, while I was working full-time. I am currently nearing completion of an MBA, and I have also inspired my team to broaden their knowledge, with more than 25% of them currently pursuing IT or Accountancy related degrees. I enjoy gardening, and appreciating clever design in architecture and automobiles in my free time.

Mining the Possibilities of a Green Cloud

I recently finished watching the new television series, Grimm. The lead character in the adventure discovers that he is a descendent of the Brothers Grimm. This led me to reread the Brothers Grimm fairytales and inevitably, I came across Mother Holly again. To cut a long fairy tale short, a widow’s stepdaughter ends up working for the devilish Mother Holly. However the quality of her work is so great that Mother Holly ends up sending her back to the ‘real’ world covered in gold. When the widow discovers this treasure, she sends her biological daughter to Mother Holly hoping for more gold. Unfortunately she is not as diligent as her stepsister and ends up being sent back home covered in coal.

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Change for the sake of change

After a decade of driving the same brand of car, I decided to make a change at the beginning of this year and bought something different. Functionally, the new car is great. It has cut my fuel bill in half, provides more interior space than my old car did, is a doddle to park, and has enough electronic features to keep me amused for hours. As a gadget-loving geek, working in the hi-tech software industry, I pride myself on being an early adopter who just “gets” new technology as it arrives. But this car may be just too much of a good thing. Even after two months of driving it on a daily basis, I find it difficult to use. There are just too many buttons and scrolling bars; too many ways to perform the same task, and too many features hidden behind elaborate menu steps…

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