Enterprise Software and Cloud Computing Blog

Ten Tips for Achieving Your Goals in 2015

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Jim Estill started a tech distribution company out of the trunk of his car and grew it to $350 million before selling it to SYNNEX where he was CEO for 5 years, driving their sales from $800 million to $2 billion. In his classic humble style, Jim says, "we grew from 0 to 2 billion dollars and we never had an original idea." Jim has learned that execution is a lot more important than having a great idea and notes that, “many people fail not from lack of ability or brains or even courage – they fail because they have never organized their energy around a goal."

If you do not have an action plan to go with your goals, then you really just have dreams.

I have the privilege of championing one of Communitech’s Peer2Peer groups and when we were thinking about a session on setting goals to kick off the new year, I immediately thought of Jim Estill. Jim wrote the book on time leadership (literally) and is an advisor to many tech companies, so I asked him if he would do a goal setting seminar for our Peer2Peer groups. There was one catch though… in the spirit of Peer2Peer groups, I needed him to do the seminar for free. Always the gentleman, Jim graciously agreed; although not without noting that I owe him “big time”.

People tend to overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a decade.

The seminar was well attended by about 200 business professionals, and needless to say, Jim left us with some great tips on setting and achieving goals. Here are ten things that I learned:

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Guess What Version of Google We're On

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Ever notice how updates to Google Apps and the Google website often show up without any fanfare? After being involved in enterprise software development for nearly 30 years, I notice these things because it is so different from the way updates used to be done. It used to take months of development, testing and implementation planning before new versions ever saw the light of day. Things are a whole lot different for today's leading enterprise software companies. There have been more than 30 releases of our software over the last year and I have no idea what version we are on now. With a new release arriving more weeks than not, we don't bother keeping track of versions and our users have come to expect continual improvements, just like we all do with Google.

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This Just In... Local Servers are Out... IT to Follow

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I've seen many news articles about the advantages of cloud computing over traditional local enterprise infrastructure, but the claims are getting more and more bold lately. We were early adopters of cloud technology, because we believed businesses were only involved in local infrastructure because they had to be. It was the necessary evil in order to take advantage of great enterprise software that empowered your business to grow. Nobody actually really enjoyed replacing hardware, installing patches and backing up data, except for those 'special' few called IT.

In his recent article, Peter Coffee calls the local server a relic of a time that’s almost unrecognizable today. Peter Bruzzese goes a step further and banishes the entire IT department.

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The Living Nativity

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In the spirit of the Christmas season, I thought I would share this hilarious and heartwarming mockumentary that tells the story of an actor performing in a living nativity who takes his role way too seriously.  Wishing all of you a safe and prosperous 2014!

Wealth Without Risk for Purchasing Groups

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About 20 years ago, I read a book called Wealth Without Risk, by Charles Givens. It covered a lot of great financial principles, and provided insight on how to increase wealth by simply making smarter decisions on things like obtaining life insurance and paying for vehicles. In a similar manner, I thought I would share some smart decisions that purchasing groups are making to increase wealth without taking on a lot of new risk.

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How to Build a Legacy of Excellence

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Interprise Software has always had a strong commitment to excellence.  Having launched just two years after the genesis of ecommerce, I might have suggested that we have a legacy of excellence.  That was before I was asked to present an Award of Excellence at the Canadian Franchise Association’s Gala Dinner in April.

Lousy photo of Matt announcing the nominees.

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Free Electronic Transaction Benefits

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In my last post, I talked about how you can use electronic transactions to Negotiating Prices like the Big Guys.  The concept is to improve efficiencies for suppliers and share those costs savings.  Although the supplier benefits may justify the use of electronic transactions, it’s interesting to note that there are also a wide range of potential benefits for your member companies that come for free, creating a true win-win scenario.  Let’s look at how electronic transactions could benefit your member companies.

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Negotiating Prices like the Big Guys

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We all know that the big guys tend to get better pricing, but it’s not just because they are better at arm twisting, and it’s not simply due to their large purchasing volume.  Sure, size does matter, but only to a certain point.  Purchasing discounts are available and the key is knowing what the big guys do to earn them.  In my last post on The Golden Rule of Group Purchasing, I talked about using electronic transactions to create value for your suppliers.  The resulting benefit is detailed and accurate purchasing data for head office, but electronic transactions can also significantly improve the pricing that you get from suppliers.  What supplier would not be interested in sharing the savings, if you can improve their efficiencies and reduce their costs?  Here’s four ways you can do both using electronic transactions… and one secret weapon as a bonus.

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The Golden Rule of Group Purchasing

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Whether I am speaking with the executives from a buying group, cooperative, or franchise system, the greatest need for any group purchasing organization seems to be information.  Without good information about what the members are purchasing from suppliers, it is very difficult for head office to manage performance targets, reconcile rebates and negotiate the best purchasing discounts for the group.  As important as it is, timely and accurate purchasing data has been surprisingly elusive for many groups.  Purchasing data supplied by members and suppliers is out of date or inaccurate at best, and intentionally manipulated in the worst cases.  Top-notch purchasing data is truly difficult to achieve as an end unto itself, but it comes for free if you follow the golden rule of group purchasing.

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How to Cut 70% of Your IT Budget

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I can just imagine the early conversations following the invention of the telephone… ‘It’s pretty interesting, but I’m not sure that it will have much impact… I could talk to my cousin in Toledo, but then again, I’m going to take a trip to see her in the fall’.  World changing technology is seldom recognized as such at its inception.  Having been involved with the world wide web from its infancy, I had the opportunity to hear these types of comments first hand.  I spoke with a colleague about the importance of the Internet and how it will change the world and he insisted that it would not have any significant impact.  He was already a user of email and an occasional web surfer, but he argued that he could easily function without ever having a need for the internet.  Several years had passed when I was copied on an email that this colleague had sent to his CFO.

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Enterprise Software, Necessary Evil or Saving Grace?

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As printed in the Spring 2012 issues of TheFranchiseVoice, Volume 13, Issue 2

Success rates for traditional enterprise software implementations are abysmal, yet all but the smallest franchise systems rely on enterprise software to be successful.  Should we just resign to the fact that enterprise software is a necessary evil that must be endured?  In the past, you may have been tempted to do so, but today there is a whole new breed of cost-effective enterprise software that is offering new hope.  In fact, through resulting cost reductions and increased purchasing rebates, enterprise software may actually be the saving grace for franchise systems during difficult economic conditions. 

 How Traditional Enterprise Software Measures Up


Traditional Enterprise Software

Software as a Service (SaaS)


large upfront capital investment in software

all-inclusive, predictable monthly subscription

Routine Updates

purchased from vendor by contract or per update

all routine updates are included in subscription fee

Program Maintenance

deployed by client to affected local servers and

automatic program updates managed entirely by vendor

Technical Support

purchased by contract or paid per incident

unlimited technical support included in subscription


costly standalone server hardware and server

multi-tenant infrastructure managed by vendor


costly and slow document printing for direct mail

electronic communication by EDI, or email


varies with backup/restore procedures and in-house

professional maintenance included in subscription


depends on skill-set of internal IT compared with

regularly tested for threats and vulnerabilities


increase in usage requires costly hardware upgrades

add users or increase transactions at any time


downtime can last for days depending on the problem

24x7 network monitoring included in subscription fee


only internal employees and some limited remote

staff and business partner access from anywhere


no vendor obligation after initial implementation

vendor must continually ‘earn’ the subscription fee


information is often posted daily or weekly

information is updated in real-time

Learning Curve

proprietary interfaces with steep learning curve

standard html web pages with very little training

The new breed of enterprise software has been written from the ground up to take advantage of cloud computing.  Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server.  At this point, you may be thinking that sounds a lot like a website and wondering what all the cloud computing hype is all about.

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How to Train Your Dragon

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Last week I had the opportunity to congratulate Dragon’s Den celebrity Jim Treliving on his Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA).  Among many other businesses, Jim owns Boston Pizza, recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies since 1993.

Dragon's Den Jim Treliving with Matt Bondy from Interprise Software

Jim is well recognized for his exceptional achievement, leadership and contribution to Canadian franchising, but there is something special about meeting Jim in person.

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Cloud Computing Stats to Blow Your Mind

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Here's a video from AMD that shows some pretty amazing cloud computing stats.  Although Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon run a lot of servers, they barely represent a blip on the radar when compared to Google.

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Christmas 2.0

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Check out this digital nativity story and let me know how many social media properties you recognize.

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What is Cloud Computing?

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Because cloud computing is such a new and revolutionary approach to enterprise software, we talk about it quite a bit on our web site.  For those of you who prefer to watch a quick video overview, I’ve got just what you’re looking for.

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