Stewart McKie PhD
Phone: +44 (0) 1747 812285
(c) Stewart McKie 2021-22
All rights reserved.
After about 5 years selling PC, LAN and UNIX accounting sys- tems to various misguided individuals and businesses around London, I joined Systems Union, developers of SunSystems (now owned by Infor).
It was 1987 and there were about a dozen people in the company, including vivacious receptionist Christina who found it easy to resist my charms despite my regaling her with gifts such as Mozart's Balls (Kugeln) from Vienna.
Today, Systems Union would be characterised as a 'cool' startup - occupying a London townhouse with the founder, John Pemberton, living upstairs in his 'penthouse' with his glamorous girlfriend Suzy.
Whereas many of today's cool startups simply make everyone in them millionaires within a few years, we had free sandwiches and the annual SU vacation - both of which were awesome - although we had never heard of that word at the time.
At the time, our fledgling 'channel' was called a 'network' comprising hand-picked 'agents' - a much more exciting concept than today's prosaic 'channel partners'. I spent a year or so at SU recruiting agents all around the world and selling many of our first multi-site licences to multi national corporations.
I racked up some air miles flying by plane and helicopter to Monaco and Cyprus, Kuwait and Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong - and that was just in the first 3 months. Apart from multi currency, we were selling 'two-tier' accounting and the 'global GL'. This was in the 1980's, which just shows you how old and tired those concepts are today as they breathlessly pop up in some vendors blog.
But even then many corporates were not ready to listen to that message perhaps because standardising on a single GL worldwide at tier 2 that feeds into the main corporate system at tier 1 wasn't considered very innovative despite obvious benefits.