Visionary Founder of Global Partner Organization Passes on the Baton
The world’s first – and to date largest – global partner organization specialized in Microsoft Dynamics was created by the Dane Poul Kjaer. In 2001, his visionary idea was to build a global organization that solves the ERP challenges of international companies. The business model consisting of one global solution, one global management lead and dedicated, external partners has been successful. On March 31, Poul Kjaer will pass on the CEO baton.
Poul Kjaer was ahead of time when he founded Partner Power International in 2001, today Pipol A/S. Pipol designs, builds and implements Microsoft Dynamics 365 for international companies and has managed to navigate in an ERP market in constant development for 20 years. Poul Kjaer can celebrate his exit leaving a global delivery organization in 85 countries and over 500 international Dynamics implementations behind. In the most recent financial year, earnings have grown by 45 per cent.
A market gap
As Business Development Manager in Navision Software from 1996-2001, Poul Kjaer identified a gap in the market. Navision and their resellers focused exclusively on local customers and had no delivery model that supported international customers’ ERP needs. The partners in each country individually had to manage the entire process, implementation and make data flow between subsidiaries. They needed a business model to support a uniform delivery across all countries.
“We thoroughly mapped the customers’ needs, wrote down a requirement specification and decided on what our partners should deliver, and how we should contribute. Both the partners and Pipol have relevant entrances to the market and therefore a shared responsibility to find customers and leads. The partners are good at implementation and local support and are subcontractors to us, while we as the main contractor take care of international sales, development of the partner organization, contract management, and project management. This is how it has worked from day one, and it is still a very value-creating and well-functioning model. Customers get one overall solution, one global team, one global contract, one delivery model and one contact to place the responsibility,” says Poul Kjaer, founder and CEO of Pipol A/S.
“We established a common mindset through ‘committed partnerships’, which has enabled us to deliver as one company. No matter where in the world companies have a subsidiary, we can service them locally with competent and professional Pipol resources. We ensure that there is no competition between the partners, and our economic model is based on openness and fairness, which are key concepts if we are to create trust and a common spirit in a global delivery. These values have guided our behavior towards our customers, our partners and internally towards each other,” he says.
From ERP to business transformation
Pipol benefits from being the only global partner organization that provides comprehensive Microsoft Dynamics 365 solutions to international companies. But Pipol has also helped change the perception of Dynamics from an ERP product to a key business tool for implementing major change processes.
“ERP is no longer an IT solution, but the foundation for digital transformation. Today, customers demand solutions to business challenges and better operation of their international business. So our initial conversations with a new customer are not only about ERP as a product, but ERP in the context of visions, opportunities and optimization of business processes,” he says.
We must embrace all technologies
The ERP delivery is constantly changing – from product to services and from on-premises to cloud. Business transformation consists not only of ERP, but is often an integrated solution with e.g., Business Intelligence, AI and CRM in focus.
“We must be able to embrace it all and deliver integrated solutions globally, which are developed centrally, but localized and adapted to local language, legislation and practice. In addition, we must ensure good central management and good local support,” he says.
After April 1, Poul Kjaer will continue to be part of the board of directors of Pipol but will also spend time on start-up companies.
“I have a great passion for entrepreneurs and look forward to spending time with committed and creative young entrepreneurs. And then I look forward to spending lots of time with my family and friends as well as doing boat trips around the world. Life must be lived, and for a curious person like me, there are so many facets of life that I still have to explore.”
Poul Kjaer, Founder, Pipol A/S
- Pipol A/S was established in 2001 under the name Partner Power International by Poul Kjaer.
- Pipol A/S is represented in +85 countries globally.
- Pipol A/S is headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, has 14 permanent employees and a global partner organization of over 4,500 people.
- Jesper Vang is appointed CEO of Pipol A/S as of April 1, 2021.
- In October 2020, Pipol A/S was acquired by BE-terna, one of Europe’s leading integrators of business solutions.