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Big Ideas

Start Your Engines

Get started. Get better. Get ahead.

By Aaron Lazenby

Fall 2017

We’re off to the races. After nearly a year of thinking and tinkering (and a few short months of production), the new-look Profit is here. This latest version of the magazine is most obviously defined by three elements: a new design, a new publishing platform, and a new web experience.

Aaron Lazenby

But the process of shifting Profit to a digital business required more than a new logo and new design templates. I have often said that I view Profit as a small business operating within the (much) larger Oracle organization. We have some pressures that should be familiar to leaders at a startup or small-to-medium business (SMB): budget constraints, revenue targets (that our investors are tracking), compressed time frames, administrative demands that compete with our core mission, and an ad hoc technology strategy.

In this way, it feels as if our digital transformation parallels the challenges faced by the growing businesses we talked to this past quarter. Indeed, the Profit transformation process demanded that we completely revisit our production process. We had to review our staffing requirements to make sure we have the right skills on the team. We had to integrate the digital platform with other internal systems, such as Oracle Marketing Cloud and analytics. We had to reengineer our sales process.

We have crossed the starting line and are moving toward something better. We’re pleased to have our readers along with us as we refine and improve this new editorial product with the goal of getting ahead of where we were a year ago.”

The Profit editorial staff channeled those efforts into some of the content you’ll find in this inaugural digital edition of the magazine. For example, readers will find new “Perspectives” from Oracle experts (Steve Cox, David Goltz, and Jasbir Singh) bringing their experience to bear on the subject of growing companies. There’s coverage of the work being done by the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program in India (see the revamped “Inside Oracle” section) and the impact of integrated finance and accounting on companies moving toward IPO or venture funding. Payscout CEO Cleveland Brown makes a strong case for culture as the defining element of success for growing businesses. And various experts share their thoughts on the challenges facing SMBs and some advice on how to get ahead.

The dominant, common theme shared among these stories is the vital, liberating role cloud computing plays in growing businesses. Cloud provides an easier entry point for companies looking to embrace enterprise computing technology. The price point is right for the budget, and proven business processes help bring some discipline to an organization looking to evolve or expand. And having the option to add applications and ingest upgrades incrementally means cloud can move at the pace of the business.

Our digital transformation parallels the challenges faced by the growing businesses we talked to this past quarter.”

Working closely with the Oracle SMB team, we learned they have identified three critical stages in the development of a growing business. Get started. Get better. Get ahead. Feeding those concepts back into the work the Profit team has done over the past year, we have crossed the starting line and are moving toward something better. We’re pleased to have our readers along with us as we refine and improve this new editorial product with the goal of getting ahead of where we were a year ago. Please share your thoughts, comments, and suggestions as we race toward something new and different.

Photography by Bob Morris, iStock.com/Chernikov_Images