About Phil Duff

With degrees in Psychology, French and Economics from London University, I seemed destined for a career in the Theatre or the Arts. One of my jobs was, in fact, as a stagehand at Plymouth Theatre. However, it was the age of the computer revolution and I, together with my brother Chris, identified a gap in the market for accounting software. In 1978, we took the opportunity and founded SYSPRO. Over thirty years later, I am still as committed to SYSPRO customers. As the CEO of SYSPRO worldwide, I lead a talented global team, supported by over 1500 channel partners. Together, we deliver cost-effective, scalable and customizable enterprise software and services to customers across six continents.

Innovative or Customer Centric?

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.
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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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The Changing Role of the CFO

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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Lights, camera, ERP

SYSPRO was featured on CNBC Africa last week when Chris Bishop interviewed me on the Entrepreneurial Edge Show. Besides the obligatory pre-interview application of make-up, I thought things went pretty well. I feel in a very fortunate position to love what I do and work with a team dedicated to delighting our clients and improving our products and services every day.

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Windows Reimagined

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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Location, location, location

Napoli, August 23 AD 79

Dear mum,

Location, location, locationI 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.

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