Fresh off of NetSuite’s SuiteWorld conference, I wanted to share my thoughts on the theme of the week:  DISRUPTION. The premise was – Do you want to be the disruptor or the one to be disrupted.  I think we all know which one we would like to be, but in reality, are we really prepared to make the tough decisions necessary to be the disruptor?   As one of the founders of a consulting firm, we were faced with such a decision a few years ago.

We had been a successful Oracle EBS implementation partner for many years before deciding to risk our entire business by making a complete switch to Cloud ERP.   NetSuite and other cloud based ERP systems were still relatively unknown and unproven in mid-market organizations.  The first few years were quite difficult and we took a big hit in revenue and income.  Our senior management questioned whether or not it was the right move for our organization.  If you think about it, one of the major value propositions of cloud ERP is that it is much easier to implement and maintain.   So, why would a consulting company want to reinvent itself in an environment that’s less dependent on consulting?   The answer became evident fairly quickly.  Although implementations are shorter in duration and our clients are less dependent upon us for basic implementation services, our typical client is a fast growing organization.   As a result, the breadth and depth of consulting we provide to them is greater. In addition, we are able to help these clients by being an extension to their internal capacity to perform NetSuite configuration and administration tasks while they are ramping up to support their growth.

Today, we have a thriving NetSuite implementation business and will soon surpass our peak earnings from the Oracle days.  I wonder where our business would be if we hadn’t made the decision to disrupt our own business model.  Thankfully, we won’t have to find out.  When your business is facing a similar dilemma, what path will you choose?  Disruptor or Disrupted?

– Brian Denham