PODCAST EPISODE 6 – INTERVIEW WITH LYALL O'CARROLL

Podcast by Paul Ogier on December 2, 2020
Lyall cover

In today’s episode our guest is Lyall O’Carroll, Technical Account Manager for Seidor Africa.

With a background in electronics and a passion for engineering, for the past 14 years Lyall has helped companies and business leaders unlock potential and revenue within their businesses.

Lyall shares how, with an effective software solution, like SAP Business One, and big data analytics companies can grow their profits without having to grow their staff compliment. And how this allows their customers to employ their personnel in more rewarding roles that grows their business.

Who should listen to this episode?

  • If your company structure is management heavy.
  • If your company is a generational business and you’re looking for an effective way to manage the transition between founders and the next generation.
  • If your managers are policemen and micromanagers and not leaders advancing your business’ goals.
  • If the ineffectiveness of disparate systems is holding your business back from reaching the potential you see for it.

Show Notes

Seidor Africa on Twitter

Seidor Africa on Facebook

Seidor Africa on LinkedIn

Seidor Africa Website

Seidor USA 

Seidor UK 

Seidor Africa YouTube

Lyall O'Carroll on LinkedIn

[email protected]

More about Seidor and SAP Business One

Edited Transcript

Paul Ogier  

Howzit, Lyall? How are you doing?

Lyall O’Carroll  

I'm good, Paul. It's a lovely Friday lockdown morning. What can you say?

Paul Ogier  

Oh, well, you could say that it's a lovely Thursday; which is worse.

Lyall O’Carroll  

I suppose. I would have been on leave then too. So Friday on leave is good as well. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah. Well, I'm very impressed that you actually put on work clothes and you're on leave. That shows commitment. That's impressive.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Well, Paul, your podcast is important to me. So we make the effort, don't we?

Paul Ogier  

Okay, well, most people are just doing the audio podcast, they can't see how pretty you actually do look. The people who are watching the video will get the full Lyall experience. So that's something to point people over to YouTube for that.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Brilliant.

Paul Ogier  

Lyall, we always start with some quick questions. To get you going, get the energy up and let our listeners get to know you quickly. So quick questions to get to know you quickly. Okay, ready? Here we go. 

What is your most-used emoji?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Uh, sjoe, have to be smiley face if I use emojis ever.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, so you're not one of those that effusively use smileys and emojis?

Lyall O’Carroll  

No, I think the main reason is I'm a person that enjoys vocalizing. So I tend to find that my intentions don't always come over well, in tech speak. 

Paul Ogier  

Okay. Are you a good dancer?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Well, it depends on the time of the evening. It depends on the level of courage. And it depends mostly on how badly the other person can see.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, okay. I'm going to move quickly past that. And when someone finds out what you do, or where you're from, what question do they normally ask you?

Lyall O’Carroll  

It's a very interesting question, mainly because it's very hard for me to try and explain sometimes. So I'm in the business of helping people realize the money they've invested already. I’ve spent a long time with the company, I work for Seidor, selling new name business. So that's bringing new customers in and selling SAP Business One. I think now that I'm in the technical account management the new name sale is out of the way and what I really focus on is helping people realize the benefits of the investment.

Paul Ogier  

So what question do people ask you?

Lyall O’Carroll  

So it would be things like, so I have SAP ERP already or SAP Business One ERP already, what are the kind of areas that I can look to unlock in my business? I have these kinds of problems. How can you help me? You're a person who's been in the industry for X amount of time, have you seen this before? And how did you help other people? 

So a lot of what I do is helping people navigate their way through to an answer.

Paul Ogier  

What is your favourite piece of technology?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Wow, okay, that's a huge question. So I'm a bit of a techie. I look up over here and directly in front of me, I have my 3D printer, I've got a couple of network bits and pieces I've got two servers I'm busy playing with. I am the kind of guy who reads gets involved in things. I think if I have to talk about it as a concept, yeah, it would be connected technologies. Anything that connects or facilitates the connection to something else. So I have a lot of interest in automation. I have a lot of interest in getting things to do things without effort.

Paul Ogier  

Okay. If you had to pick as a superhero because that's obviously important question here. You're a superhero. You can either teleport, or you could fly,

Lyall O’Carroll  

Teleport or fly. I'd have to say teleport. Very hard to fly underwater.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, that is the arbest answer I've ever heard. I love it. If you had to leave one app on your smartphone, and you had to delete all the other ones. What would that be?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Um, sjoe. I'd have to say WhatsApp. The reason being that I use it to communicate with my family. Nothing else matters. All the rest of the stuff can bugger off communicating with the people I care about is probably the most important thing to me.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, and WhatsApp does the messaging and it does the voice and the video calling. Yeah.

Lyall O’Carroll  

I'm not endorsing it anyway, though.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, no that's fair. 

Okay, so getting into the meat of this. You are working with Seidor and you are working with SAP Business One. When I hear SAP I go, well, that’s massive pieces of software. What is the difference between SAP and SAP Business One? Is there a difference? 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So I think it's easier to understand the similarities. So the similarities are just three things, the S, the A and the P. There is no other similarity between the products. There are massive benefits, though. 

So SAP's been around for 40, 45 years. And they've been doing large ERP. ERP being a way of connecting all the different aspects of your business together in a way that benefits the different sides. So we've got 40, 45 years of SAP doing that. 

We all know the fortune 500 businesses. The key part of that is that there are only 500. So if you really want to expand your business, you need to start to look at the SME layer. The SME layer being small to medium businesses. We’re talking businesses between a million to 10 billion Rand. 

So SAP Business One caters specifically for the small to medium business. It takes the benefit of those 40 years of best practice, SAP pouring millions of dollars into R&D, and delivers that in a cost-effective way to the smaller business. 

A good example of this would be we all heard of kind of big data.

Paul Ogier  

Ja.

Lyall O’Carroll  

One of the key things about big data is knowing what to do with it. Now you've got all this information, you need to be able to present that. So a couple of years ago, SAP released a product called SAP HANA, SAP HANA is an in-memory solution that actually allows you to be able to actually use that data.

Paul Ogier  

Okay. 

Lyall O’Carroll   

And in the LE space or the large enterprise space, it's a couple of million Rand, in our space it ships free of charge. 

Paul Ogier  

Okay. 

Lyall O’Carroll 

So there are massive benefits to what the large product is doing and those benefits trickle down. But in terms of similarity, as I said, just the S, the A and the P.

Paul Ogier  

Okay. So what is the typical profile of a client?

Lyall O’Carroll  

So they are typically coming from what I call accounting only solutions. So the typical business is a business that’s been trading for a couple of years. They've spent a lot of time working on the operational model of the business, making sure they're profitable, cracking the market and making sure that the product that they’ve got has a clear and distinct target market. 

They've now got to the place where they're spending more time managing than they are actually running the business. 

The story I tell is no one ever woke up in the morning and was sitting at school as a six-year-old and someone says, what do you want to do? And he says, geez when I grew up, I really want to be a manager. Bugger being an astronaut, I don't want to be an astronaut, I want to be a manager. You know, that's just not something that happens. 

What we find in business is that people are really good at particular things. We tend to find that businesses promote them away from what they're good at and turn them into policemen. And that is the kind of businesses that we start to get involved with. 

So typically they have more people managing or policing the business. What our technology really does at its base is it frees up those people to be able to concentrate on moving the business forward. So use the skills that the business saw in them, use the potential the business now has in them, and actually realize that benefit into growing the business.

Paul Ogier  

The thing that people might possibly not be clear on, is when when you say big data, big analytics, it might be 1000 rows in an Excel file. What is big data to you? What are the benefits of using SAP Business One for managing your big data rather than having a nice big graph in Excel?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Big data really is just simply the collection of multiple sources of information, regardless of the benefit to the business. And that's what we do, we’re collecting information.

Earlier I spoke about accounting only companies. So this is where they just had financial information. And we've all heard of month ends and year ends. And, and the real driver for that was was actually hard drive space. So what would happen is companies would acquire this information, and in this instance, it's financial. And the computers couldn't process enough of that information, they couldn't hold enough information. What they needed to do was like any excel sheet, create a total on the different sections and restart the next month or year. 

Now that allows you the ability to start creating budgets for business it allows you to understand what you bought last month, so you don't over-purchase this month. And that was the start of using data in the business. Now as hard drives and technology grew, we were able to collect data for a whole month, and then a whole year, and now multiple years. And we needed a term to understand that and that was called Big Data. 

The output of big data, what big data really does for business, is it allows you to make good decisions. 

We're now sitting in the year of COVID. So let's have a very simple example. So I looked at my buying cycles last year, and what did I buy? I have bought certain commodities, I needed to buy nuts and bolts or PCs, whatever it is. And I say, well, listen, last this time last year, this is what I was buying. So based on my information, I should be buying this.

Paul Ogier  

Absolutely. That's just the way projections work.

Lyall O’Carroll  

So, you can't make money if we don't have product to sell. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

Now in the world of COVID, what you've had to do is say how long does it take me to get that? That stock? So at the moment, if you buying things out of different countries, the shipping is four to five times longer. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So you need to be making that decision four to five times earlier, to be able to meet your customers demand. 

I'd like to believe that customers are loyal. What customers really are is hungry. So if a customer wants a PC, they will come to you because they trust you. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah, 

Lyall O’Carroll  

If you don't have it, they will go somewhere else. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So what we need to do is have their PC for them when they need it. 

So what big data has really done is its helped businesses reduce the amount of money invested in the business. So we're either reducing our stock or the amount of staff that we have and trying to utilize or turn our money better. 

The real output of big data is what I've started to call big analysis. So big analysis is where we say we've had this data from last year and that tells us that during December, certain clients have this behaviour. And in January, other clients have this behaviour. And we also can tell that year on year we've got X amount of growth or certain products. So how does that influence our decisions? 

So to me, the big difference is big data tells us historical information whereas big analysis will help us understand future information. So the one is to substantiate a decision and the other one is to make a decision.

Paul Ogier  

Very cool.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Does that answer your question?

Paul Ogier  

It answers my question and takes the next 15 questions off the page. We'll carry on talking about your childhood and how you were potty trained. I'm very excited about it.

Lyall O’Carroll  

It's stood me well my entire life.

Paul Ogier  

Okay, the potty training. Yeah, you use at least once a day. 

And so the companies that are looking to move, the companies that you are targeting, the companies that might be listening to us. When is actually the time that we should be looking at moving to this kind of thing? 

We said we've been using a financial software a Pastel a Sage, a Fresh Books or whatever? What's the optimum time for it?

Lyall O’Carroll  

So it's a balancing act. In a perfect world, you want to do this when it's not going to affect your business. 

These kinds of projects last between three to eight months. And during that time a lot of effort is required from the business. So you need to be able to have the time to be able to actually concentrate on making this kind of project effective. 

The problem with that is exactly the kind of business that is looking for the solution doesn’t have time. They typically have massive overtime because people in management are having to make decisions outside of operational time to run the business. 

They are people who have a feeling that things could be easier. They typically are running the business financially, but operationally they are probably gurus in Excel and have 50 different Excel sheets that are actually running the business. They may have five or six other solutions which are effective in their own right but they need them to talk to each other.

They feel they're overstaffed. They've probably for the past three to four years, been fixing problems with people. So, we've got a problem, fine let's employ someone, and that's his job. So they tend to be management heavy, they tend to be overstaffed. And they tend to have this feeling of frustration. 

This is the kind of metric that we see in speaking to our clients five, six years after going with Business One. The vast majority of businesses will double their turnover in the next five years without taking on extra staff.

Paul Ogier  

Okay.

Lyall O’Carroll  

And that's a very good indicator. So that's telling us that they were overstaffed, to begin with. So our return on investment is minimum five years in just staff alone, which is it's a very scary place for people to be. 

I think anyone that's been in business for a number of years, realizes that having good staff is key to growing your business. Being able to trust someone, having people that are innovators in the business, having people that really can drive concepts and understand them and be left alone to run them effectively. Acquiring that talent is a very difficult thing and nurturing it and keeping it is twice as difficult. 

Paul Ogier  

Absolutely. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So not having to bring new people in the business to grow. It is a huge plus for many of our clients. And, secondly, being able to actually unleash those people's potential is - the value is incalculable.

Paul Ogier  

Look the thing is that if you if you're looking at good staff, they possibly will be doing the work of three people. And I think that's always the problem with good staff is that you go, well, I can trust them with this and now you palm more stuff onto them. The bad staff get half the amount of work. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

Correct. 

Paul Ogier  

But if we could actually focus on the good staff, those are the ones that actually are going to grow business, those are the ones that you're going to put your trust in, those are the ones that are hen's teeth, sometimes.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Exactly. We have these people with this amazing potential ability to really invest themselves into the business and to take the knowledge, the insight, and to really evolve the business in their particular departments or industries or verticals. And we take these growers of the business and we turn them into those managers and policeman. We tie up all their potential, managing people who have less potential or potentially less potential. And what's important is to really release these people. So they can realize what usually the people above them have realized already. 

Paul Ogier  

Ja. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

This has a ripple effect on staff longevity because they stick around because they feel valued and are doing the things that they really enjoy.

Secondly, we see this in business value, in that these are people that have got new ideas in the business that are unique. And what is typically evolving is just simply allowing them the time and the space to be able to do that.

Paul Ogier  

You've been at, Seidor, which was previously called Blue key, for 14 years. Firstly, 14 years is a hell of a long time. How are you still interested in one particular product? How are you still interested in one particular company? And you can't fall back on loyalty, that doesn't work for me. You and I go back a long, long way you may be the definition of an ADHD kid. 

As you said you want to take things apart, you want to play with the technical things. You are the person who takes the remote control car apart, and hopefully, puts it back together and works properly. But it will first go much faster, it will have bigger tires, and it will be bright red because that's cooler. 

So how have you actually stayed interested in one particular product for 14 years?

Lyall O’Carroll  

I think it's not the product, the product for me is a tool. For me, it’s probably the reason that I got into this. 

So I worked for a number of smaller home-based businesses, in my early career. Very much in lines with technology and connected technologies, and engineering and that sort of stuff, which are my real passions. I was lucky enough to work with people that really cared about people and that that really left a really solid impression on me. 

The second thing is, I saw really good businesses, making maybe not the best decisions, and I was at the grassroots of the effect of those decisions. 

I took about six months off, which meant I didn't earn anything for about half a year in my early 20s and I sat and thought to myself, well, what am I going to do? And where am I going to go with my life in a business sense, where I can really make a difference to those people. And I started looking for businesses that concentrated on securing other businesses. Securing the longevity, the profitability, the people, the meat and potatoes of other businesses. 

And it was at about that time when I heard about Blue Key and what they were doing, and I didn't really understand it but I knew that they were a business that was pioneering ERP in South Africa that they had a small business family, feel about them, that they wanted to make a difference and help other businesses and I pretty much hounded them for 11 months to get the job. 

Paul Ogier  

Okay.

Lyall O’Carroll  

I started in Cape Town. I spent 10 years working and growing the Durban office, and now I am in Johannesburg. 

SAP Business One is something I really, really believe in but it's, it's about what we offer and it's about the effect that we have with our customers. That they feel better off, they feel that the business is secure. 

In South Africa, we see a lot of businesses are handed from a homegrown older generation to a well educated, but less practical, new generation. 

Paul Ogier  

Okay. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

And there's a lot of difficulty in translating that knowledge and that historical know-how into business acumen. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

And a lot of the companies that we've had a lot of success with has been around leaving that knowledge behind, having a repository to allow new, well educated, pioneering type individuals to operate a uniquely, maybe a little bit risky, but to have that safety net of good decision making. 

We don't work with anyone kind of business. This week alone, we've worked with hospital groups, I've worked with engineering businesses, I've worked electrical businesses, right through, so anything from engineering, to manufacturing, from people management, to care management. So the type of businesses keeps changing. 

But the reality is the problems are typically the same. How do we make good decisions? I like digging into that and helping people understand that. And I'm really tapped into the engineering and that connected technology side that I so enjoy.

Paul Ogier  

So basically, it keeps you on your toes.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Pretty much. 

There’s always something new. There are always customers who've got great and grand ideas that we'd like you to investigate for them. And that really plays into who I am as a person. And that keeps me really interested and motivated in the new technologies and the new things that we can help our customers with

Paul Ogier  

14 years ago, you when you started, pretty much everyone had an on-prem server, and everyone had kakkie Internet. We are now in 2020 and, thank goodness, we have better internet because, with this lockdown, I don't think I would have been still a little bit sane if I was in the 90s and lockdown.

Lyall O’Carroll  

No, no, we do. We'd all be sitting next to our little our telephone tables. Yeah. Probably with a queue of our siblings waiting to fight us for the next phone call.

Paul Ogier  

I remember in the 90s you and I would like spending a good couple of hours playing Oregon Trail and civilization and things like that. We didn't have any internet for that. So maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it would have been fine.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Yeah, I think I'm one of those people that still starts to laugh when I hear dial-up tones from the old US robotics modems,

Paul Ogier  

Ah, ja, 14400s. Okay. Enough, enough of that. 

So, 14 years ago, everyone had on-prem, when did SAP Business One move to the cloud? What was the impetus that moved it to the cloud? 

Lyall O’Carroll  

It's a very interesting question. I think the first thing is probably to define what in the cloud means. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. Someone else's computer.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Yeah, basically in the cloud means you take the convenience of your computer that was next to you and you put it somewhere else and inconveniently connect to it. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So in the cloud is a very nice way of explaining that you're now connecting to the same piece of tin or hardware that’s now not at your location. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So I think the thing to understand is why have we taken something so practical and turned into something so impractical. Living in South Africa, there are two key reasons. The one is our state-owned organizations and their commitment to electricity. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

If you and I are having a chat now, and my fibre shuts down because I might not have electricity running it, it means that I can take my laptop which I'm currently chatting to you on put in a 3G dongle and carry on working.

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So when you put the belief of someone who's done A+ or N++ course, and you bring them into your business to look after the central nervous system, the architecture, the arteries and veins of your business and it turns out that they haven't taken a backup for five months or worse if they are taking backups, but they haven't tested it. That is a real risk to the business. So what the cloud really does, for 90% of businesses, is you're balancing the inconvenience of having on-premise architecture versus the risk of not managing that. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So what we've seen is in our businesses, as businesses grow, we've gone from businesses, which had 80% of personnel at a single location, and 20% of them remote. So either branches, or outbound salespeople to having a 20%, administration staff, and 80%, in either production environments or in outbound sales or service management. So it no longer makes sense for those people to have an on-premise solution. Because if the internet went down, or connectivity went down, 80% of their staff couldn't operate. 

Paul Ogier  

Ja. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So by having a cloud solution, we mitigated that risk and we were able to carry on trading.

We live in a world now where data needs to be effective, we need to be able to get to it, we need it to be achievable. We rely so much on data, and simply removing it leaves us almost impotent, where we're unable to make any decisions. And we've also trained ourselves and we've trained up technologies, and we've trained up customers and suppliers, that they can communicate with us in this way that it's effective. And simply not being able to get to the information and make those decisions or be effective or respond leaves us in a very, very tough decision. 

So the cloud has really kind of taken care of that for business but it's left us with new problems. 

Paul Ogier  

Ja. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So the new problems operating specific. So either you've only got a Microsoft front end, or IOS front end, or what we see more is mobile or Android, or Huawei front ends. So we're moving away from more traditional client-server environments, that's where there are direct connections into a server web front end or app environment. The problem that we're seeing as a business is that these applications are very, very focused, and there's massive value in that but having them talk to each other, and cross-linking real-time information, I think is the hurdle that we're all at now.

Paul Ogier  

Okay. Ja, that is really the utopia of data, that everything communicates with everything in real-time. And you have decisions made on that data in real-time. 

So, you guys are running on-prem solutions, you're running in AWS, you're running in Azure, you're running pretty much on all the cloud platforms, aren't you?

Lyall O’Carroll  

Yeah, so included on that, is Huawei. 

Paul Ogier  

Okay. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

We also run both traditional SQL environments, as well as Linux or SUSE Linux environments. 

So it depends essentially on what the customer wants. We are very much spoilt for choice in today's technology, but with that choice, comes budget constraints, comes the growth of the business. 

And we need to have a look at what a business can actually consume. There's no point in giving them all the options in the world which come at a particular price point but we need to also make sure that that customer is able to consume the information in a way that makes sense to them. 

It's pointless giving them the Rolls Royce or the or the Platinum version of what's available and the ability to use that, the price to use that just consumes their business.

What we don't want to do is create roadblocks to them as a business. So it's very much about meeting a client where they are in the journey or lifecycle of the business.

Paul Ogier  

For me, with the cloud-based solutions, AWS, Azure, 10 years ago, that wasn't around. We're in COVID, times and we are all working remotely. Have you found that there's much of an impact of you guys? I mean, with everything in the cloud, with your teams with your salespeople has it changed? What kind of things has changed for you in working remotely? 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So I think these two key things are really stood out for me. 

The one is, we certainly are all capable of working remotely. I saw an article, the headline was the cat's out of the bag. It simply talked about how we all thought this could happen but businesses were a little bit sceptical, a little bit worried. And there was no real need to trial it. What COVID did is it forced everyone to do it. 

As a business, we are really looking at how we will deploy people, how we will look at new work and what that means to us as a business and the technologies we need to actually do that. 

On the back of that, we see very clear types of problems. So the first he talks about as the watercooler conversations. People hear other people's conversations. Just put them on hold for two minutes. Listen, John, what you need to do is just chat to so and so and tell him we do you have a solution. It's that ability to just converse, and we look after each other as a community and family. Now, how are we going to replicate that? 

And whether or not that is still going to be something we talk about in the new norm is something I'm looking to see and how it will play out. It’s a very valuable part of the business and that's what we talked about. 

There are team dynamics, people caring about people in the office, that intrinsic knowledge that just travels. So that is the one component and something that's become very real, especially to me. 

The second thing is I literally had a call from a customer this week that said, listen, we've got X amount of money, we want to have a sit-down and talk about automating as much as we can in our business. So the reason for this is, people want to be able to pick up a mobile device, they want to be able to say, listen, John, I've just sat with you, or here's a quote, I've just done it, just check your email. It's either in your email or if you're happy, can you just sign my device? 

So we talked about a paperless society, and we have been talking about it for many years and we're now moving towards a very technology intrinsic society, where it's no longer just about getting information. It's about completing the task. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

It's also about metrics. So people say, well, you know, what have you done today? Because you haven't been at the office? 

Paul Ogier  

Ja. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

I could have been shopping. It's about have you been effective. Have you spoken to John lately? What did you chat about, it's about you, maybe being ill, and someone being able to pick up what you've been doing. So there's this massive automation that I think we'll see more and more of, and actually just leveraging on existing technologies. And I think there's the other side, which is the real people aspect of us moving away maybe from a people-based business to more these these these automated businesses or these more automated businesses but trying to find a balance between the two.

Paul Ogier  

What's actually happening now is it's it makes me believe that people were very focused on the micromanagement. Have you done this? It's more about what is the effectiveness of what you've done? Has the person bought the thing? Has the person been satisfied with your service, rather than each individual tasks? And I think when we start looking at that as a, as a business overview, rather than the micromanaging, it actually might be more positive. And it will also weed out the bad workers versus the exemplary work that you spoke about earlier. And because, instead of micromanaging them, go okay, well, you did 15 tasks today, but you still achieved nothing. And you actually basing it on achievement, you're basing it on how they actually work. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

Yeah. I think we've been a very reactive society for a long time. I think we're going to see is we're going to move into a business-centric society where we're going to be doing more planning. So we're going to say, you know, I don't have these three tasks, but in five, six days, a month time, five years times, these are the things I need to have achieved. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

And we don't need to be monitoring all the things that are going well, we don't need to be monitoring or seeing all the information our staff is doing accurately, we just want to effect, make a difference where people are battling. 

I think in doing that will free up a lot of our time for a lot of customers.

Maybe they get sick of it, but they will certainly understand my phrase I call them coffee cup reports. So these are the little reports or pockets of information that you typically sit with, you get to the office, you have your cup of coffee, you take the next five to 10 minutes to just look at what's not going well. 

I don't need to spend 20 minutes understanding that my production environment is working well, I don't need to understand that my staff are doing all the things they're supposed to do. I assume that's part of their KPIs. 

What I need to do is understand is where I can be effective, and help them. And that's the key part. I think we are moving away from being policeman, and we're going to start becoming confidants, we're going to start to grow our staff. 

I think what you're really going to do is move towards what we probably think of as leaders, are people that have information, and are going to help and deploy that.

Paul Ogier  

I think people listening might go that's a wonderful thought but I've got this idiot back at the office who I will never trust and I am going to micromanage the hell out of him because he is stupid. I think that basically, we just need to realize who the people that we need to count on and who the people that we can't. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

There will always be people you need to micromanage, there'll always be people that require more effort. 

Paul Ogier  

Ja.

Lyall O’Carroll  

I think the key is, is having the time to do that. So if I didn't have to micromanage everyone, and only need to micromanage one or two people, then that would be great.

I'm certainly not infallible. I have managers just like everyone else. 99% of the time, my manager will trust me to get on with what needs to be done. But like everyone else I have weak points, and without doubt, there'll be one or two things, he'll phone me or message me hey, Lyall, just a quick reminder to get this done. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

Now he has time to follow up on that. He understands that I'm a person, that I'm concentrating or I have interests or that my priorities lie in different areas, and that he does need to let me know that there are certain things that still need to be done. And because he has the time to do it, it helps me become more effective. And it helps him be more effective and shine. So, you know, happens in all aspects of the business. It doesn't matter how good you are. Whether you’ve been in the business for 14 years or if you've been there for two months. 

What it does do, it just allows the people around you to make sure that you're as effective as you should be, and to really reach the potential that we all really do have.

Paul Ogier  

So what is the next thing? Is automation the next big thing in SAP One Business One? 

Lyall O’Carroll  

We’re certainly moving more and more to a mobile workforce. I think we're going to see a lot more investment into areas that are more communication-based. So we talking about things like integrating communication platforms, to being able to access fringe data to make decisions. I think we're going to see a lot more of KPI and analysis-driven information to help us make better decisions. I think we we're going to move more away from operating systems, and more to consumer-driven interfaces,

Paul Ogier  

More agnostic in terms of an operating system, if you're on Mac if you're on a phone if you're on Chrome.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Yeah, what we're going to see is customers are going to want to find easier ways to consume information, and also easier ways to plug the little bits of extra information in and to be able to do that their technologies need to change, and there's gonna be a lot of work there. 

In terms of business and customers, I think, again, we're going to see more community type solutions, so business to business, end to end. So if one of your customers wants a quote, that there would be a piece of technology, they ask for a quote, and it would deliver a quote without communicating internally within your business. 

Making it easier for your customers to deal with you, making it easier for your suppliers to understand what they need to supply to you. So we're going to see a lot more automation, there's a kind of Community Solutions now. And I think we're going to see fewer salespeople or buyers in businesses, and we're going to see more accounting account type people, so more people actually concentrating on communicating, actually concentrating on relationships. 

Paul Ogier  

Yeah.

Lyall O’Carroll  

Because that’s going to be far more difficult for the computers to handle. And we're going to see computers actually look at the automation of the processes or the outcomes of those conversations. You know, the same thing I said earlier, our customers are going to be able to do twice the turnover without taking on more people. 

I think people's focuses are going to change and I think the systems are going to free up time for them to focus on those relationships. So I think it'll be very interesting to come close to the world of AI artificial intelligence. I don't think artificial intelligence will mean where Terminator, in the end, the robots will take over the world. I don't think that will ever happen.

Paul Ogier  

Well look, if SAP starts disseminating my information into sort of like a sentient being, and thoughts attacking me with my own data, I'm going to be upset

Lyall O’Carroll  

Ja look so will we. 

At last SAP summit, there was a great example of a little robot that ran up a piece of railway track. And while it's running up the railway track it was doing these little soundings and found out that a piece of rail was starting to age or become too thin or weak, automatically created a service card and then all of a sudden from this little robot. A whole bunch of work happened and a lot of businesses now got work and value. 

Paul Ogier  

Yes. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

So I think that's what you're going to see. I don't think businesses will change. I think how we acquire data will change. I think businesses will become safer. I think they will become easier to deal with. I think that we're not going to have customers and suppliers who are shouting and angry because we going to have technologies that will address or find those issues before they happen. 

So I think what you're really going to have is a far more beneficial society. And that's where AI is going to fill the gap. But it's certainly going to be interesting to see how that happens. 

Paul Ogier  

Well, I think that's all the questions I have for you. And I think that you have broken down your love for technology quite beautifully. And thank you so much for joining us, and where can people get hold of you.

Lyall O’Carroll  

So I think the easiest places is to grab me on my email or my LinkedIn pages, the details of which I understand will be attached to the podcast. And you're, of course, welcome to find our offices at Seidor and reach out directly. I'm always happy to have a chat and to help people. I'm interested in building relationships, even if initially, they aren't financially beneficial. What interests me more than anything at the moment is just helping people understand and unlock the potential in their businesses. And maybe if we have to do that over a beer, or a cup of coffee, and really understand where other businesses are at I'm in I'd love to share my knowledge and my passion for the industry.

Paul Ogier  

Beautiful. Thanks so much, Lyall. And I will speak to you soon. I'm sure. Thanks, man. 

Lyall O’Carroll  

Excellent. Thanks, Paul. Have a Good Friday. Stay safe.

Paul Ogier  

I will you too.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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