It's incredibly hard to believe but exactly 25 years ago today I started at a little known software company of 150 people called Great Plains Software. Fargo wasn't exactly the Silicon Valley, but I certainly was excited to start my new job in tech-support. With a six-week training schedule in front of me, the thought of getting paid for learning, to this recent college graduate, seemed too good to be true.
On a more personal note, June 15, 1987 also serves as the day that I met my wife. And I claim we had the first 100% Great Plains baby; We met at Great Plains, started dating, got engaged and married and had a child all while working for a very young and vibrant company.
There's been much learning for me personally and professionally and an incredible amount of change in the industry. One of Great Plains Software's claim to fame was being one of the first Hardisk Accounting Software packages in the market, as it ran on a 5 MB Bernoulli box. The "original" Dynamics, with it's ability to run on both Mac and Windows OS and the upcoming Web/Cloud capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013 highlight the largest technologies changes that I've seen.
It's often been said that change is the constant in our industry and I'd have to agree. Since software comes from the minds of people, there will always be the next great technology changes. Zach Nelson of Netsuite was quoted as saying "I think the cloud is the last great technology architecture". Well, I couldn't DISAGREE with him more. In fact, it bodes of arrogance in my view. Today's world of mobile\tablet devices with a "there's an app for that" thinking is directly contrary to having ALL your software in the cloud. You see, the point is not "I sell hammers, therefore the best solution for driving in a screw is obviously a hammer". The value that software plus a partners' domain expertise provides is the ability to listen to customers and deliver a compelling solution based on their needs. That has also been a constant.
With all the change, the best thing about my time in the industry, however, has definately been the opportunity to travel and meet so many wonderful people. It's the reason I get up everyday and think about how we can be better at what's important to our customers. Convergence and our Partner Conferences continue to invigorate me as we applaud our past accomplishments and look towards the future.
Well, here's to the future . . . perhaps not another 25 years for me personally, but the not too distant future looks equally as enjoyable as the past 25 years.