By Lyle Ekdahl - Oracle JD Edwards Sr. VP General Manager
In the closing of part two of this 5 part blog series, I
stated that in the next installment I would explore the expected results of the
digital overdrive era and the impact it will have on our economy. While I
have full intentions of writing on that topic, I am inspired today to write
about something that is top of mind. It’s top of mind because it has come up
several times recently conversations with my Oracle’s JD Edwards team members, with
customers and our partners, plus I feel passionately about why I do what I do….
It is not what we do
but why we do that thing that we do
Do you know what you do? For the most part, I bet you could tell me
what you do even if your work has changed over the years.
My real question is, “Do you get excited about what you do, and are you
fulfilled? Does your work deliver a sense of purpose, a cause to work for, and
something to believe in?”
Alright, I guess that was not a single question. So let me just ask,
“Why?” Why are you here, right now? Why do you get up in the morning? Why do
you go to work? Of course, I can’t answer those questions for you but I can
share with you my POV.
For starters, there are several things that drive me. As many of you
know by now, I have a somewhat competitive nature but it is not solely the
thrill of winning that actually fuels me. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like
winning occasionally. However winning is only a potential result of competing and is clearly not guaranteed. So why
compete? Why compete in business, and particularly why in this Enterprise
Here’s why! I am fascinated by creative and building processes. It is
about making or producing things, causing something to come into existence. With the right skill, imagination
and determination, whether it’s art or invention; the result can deliver value
and inspire. In both avocation and vocation I always gravitate towards the
I believe one of the skills necessary for the create/build process is
not just the aptitude but also, and especially, the desire and attitude that drives one to gain a deeper
understanding. The more I learn about our customers, the more I seek to
understand what makes the successful and what difficult issues cause them to
struggle. I like to look for the complex, non-commodity process problems where streamlined design and modern technology can provide an easy and simple
solution. It is especially gratifying to see our customers use our software to increase their own ability
to deliver value to the market. What an incredible network effect! I know many of you share
this customer obsession as well as the create/build addiction focused on simple and elegant design. This
is what I believe is at the root of our common culture.
Are JD Edwards customers on a whole different than other ERP solutions’
customers? I would argue that for the most part, yes, they are. They selected
our software, and our software is different. Why? Because I believe that the
create/build process will generally result in solutions that reflect who built
it and their culture. And a culture of people focused on why they create/build
will attract different customers than one that is based on what is built or how
the solution is delivered. In the past I have referred to this idea as
character of the customer, and it transcends industry, size and run rate.
Now some would argue that JD Edwards has some customers who are
characters. But that is for a different post. As I have told you before, the JD
Edwards culture is unique, and its resulting economy is valuable and deserving
of our best efforts.