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Episode 5: Mike Mahony
Mike Mahony is on the hot seat today. Mike has been working as a technology expert for more than 30 years and has held every position possible from programmer to Chief Technology Officer. He currently heads up The Web Scientists, a digital agency, and is the CEO of Your Virtual CTO. In 2006,, Mike built a new, innovative technology platform for the restaurant delivery industry – and GrubHub purchased his client for $85 million in large part to obtain that platform. Known to his clients as the most user-friendly technologist on the planet (thanks to his ability to translate technical issues into plain English), Mike is married and has 4 children.
Mike discusses why Netsuite could be a great fit for your business. He explains how his company, Your Virtual CTO, can help you get the most out of Netsuite right from the start. He describes his vast experience with Netsuite.
Download an Unedited Transcript
Below is a link to an unedited transcript of this episode. We provide this as a convenience to our listeners, but we must warn you that this transcript was created automatically by Otter.ai. While the transcription is nearly perfect, there will be some small errors that we did not correct.
Michael J. Mahony 0:01
There are a whole host of ERP software's available to help you run your business. Listen into today's episode as we discuss why NetSuite might just be your number one choice.
So welcome back to the technology alchemists, your source for technology advice, strategic technology, planning, and technology coaching. Our sponsor today is your virtual CTO, your virtual CTO is a technology services company specializing in increasing your revenue and profit through a close examination of your technology engine. Your virtual CTO offers exclusive coaching for business leaders. That is the only business coaching program that includes technology as part of the program. If you want to learn more about how you can make money by tuning up your technology engine, you can head on over to get your virtual cto.com. Now normally, I'm the one asking the questions. But today the tables are turned. And I'm going to be interviewed by Ellen malko. More. So thanks for being here. Alan.
Ellen Melko-Moore 1:12
I'm glad to be here. Mike, should I tell the kids at home who you are?
Michael J. Mahony 1:15
Sure why not?
Ellen Melko-Moore 1:16
All right. Well, Mike, Michael Mahony has been working as a technology expert for more than 30 years, he's held every position possible from programmer to Chief Technology Officer. He currently heads up the web scientists, a digital agency, and he is the CEO of your virtual CTO. In 2006, Mike built a new innovative technology platform for the restaurant delivery agency and grub hub wound up purchasing his client for 85 million, in large part to get their hands on that platform. And that technology known to his clients as the most user friendly technologists on the planet, thanks to his ability to translate technical issues into you know, plain English. Mike is married and he has four kids. So, Mike, today, I believe we're going to talk about NetSuite. And I got to ask because, you know, I barely even know like, I sort of know, but not really just tell us what is NetSuite and how is it used? start us off there?
Michael J. Mahony 2:18
Sure. Well, well, NetSuite is a CRM slash er P. platform. So it's customer research, map management. And it It helps manufacturers, distributors, retailers, manage their inventory, all their all their sales, you can do marketing with it, you can have project management built into it, accounting is built into it. So it's a single cloud based tool for managing your business.
Ellen Melko-Moore 2:49
What types of business businesses are, would benefit from using NetSuite?
Michael J. Mahony 2:55
Most any business could be helped by it, but it's more for people who have products that they're selling, or parts that they're distributing. So manufacturers and distributors, it's very common to see those people using NetSuite. Some retail organizations also use NetSuite, but it depends on their size and how they're running their operations. Okay?
Ellen Melko-Moore 3:20
And how did how did you get involved in in NetSuite development?
Michael J. Mahony 3:25
Well, years back, I was invited to manage a revamp of a company's website. And they had gone down the road of fixing a problem they were having, which was they were using NetSuite for their phone operators. And they were using something different for their website. And there'd be like one of an item left and the phone, people would sell it. And then someone would come on the website. And because the sync had an updated yet, the inventory would say, there's still one of the item and they were running into all sorts of headaches. And so they're rather innovative solution was to use NetSuite as their database. And so first of all I was exposed to as the back end part of NetSuite the things that you wouldn't normally see. But from there, I realized that, wow, there's a whole ecosystem here that I could learn, and it's based off of technologies I already know. So it's, it's kind of like, you speak Spanish from with people who are from Spain. And then you go and speak Spanish from people who are from Mexico, it's pretty much the same language, but some of the slang is different, where they say some of the words is different. So it was kind of the same thing for me. I just had to tweak my technology knowledge a little bit and learn NetSuite. And so that's how I that's how I got involved. And since then, I've I've learned how to be a NetSuite administrator and NetSuite developer NetSuite implementer.
Ellen Melko-Moore 4:45
I was about to say, do you have certifications for NetSuite is that what is that what those things are that you just said?
Michael J. Mahony 4:51
Well, no, I actually I'm not a big fan of certifications because I find that people are they're their papers smart book smart, but they're not actually you know, functionally smart. But I do have one certification that's actually split into two NetSuite as a program called Sweet success. And I'm certified in that. And from there, there's multiple, they call they call them industries, but they're basically types of businesses that you can be certified to work with.
Ellen Melko-Moore 5:22
What is sweet success? Exactly?
Michael J. Mahony 5:25
So previously, you know, NetSuite and expensive, expensive software, it costs a lot of money, because it does, it replaces a lot of things. So it does a lot of things that, you know, other software doesn't do, and they were running into a problem or customer would pay a lot of money for the license. And then it would take a year, and they still wouldn't be using the software. And now it's time to renew the license. And so people were people were literally walking away from their investment and saying, I'm not paying another year of this when I'm not using it. And so Oracle purchased NetSuite, and they own NetSuite now. And the Oracle president said, Hey, we need to get this done faster. So we're going to we're going to disqualify people right up front, from using NetSuite. We're going to find out if there's processes that they do procedures that they follow that are musts that they have to have. But NetSuite can't do it. Because that way, if we figure that out, we can move on to the next customer. And then after that, it teaches the developers to use a phased approach to rolling out NetSuite. And it's a very regimented system of asking questions. And then here's phase one process. Here's phase two, here's phase three. But the guarantee when you use sweet success is that you'll be able to use NetSuite. And you'll be up and running with the basic functionality in 100 days, that's a lot better than a year,
Ellen Melko-Moore 6:49
I guess. So Well, now, how does it help a business to get deployed on that? So you call it deployed?
Michael J. Mahony 6:55
Yes. Yes. So so it helps because it for one thing, it asks everything, like, one of the things if you're a manufacturer and you ship products out, you're probably no doubt using ups, you're probably using FedEx, you're probably using USPS. And NetSuite has a really cool feature that you can determine what's the cheapest shipping, and let me use that. And, but in order to do that, I have to add your ups accounts. Well, the sweet success process before we even get to that point, has already collected that information from the customer. And so it makes the deployment so much smoother, because you have all the information you need up front. And then you can just sort of go away, do what you have to do come back, let them test it go back fix it, is keep going round around, but it gets that's how you get done in 100 days is you have the basics, you know, what's my bank account information, etc? And you just put it all into place?
Ellen Melko-Moore 7:53
Yeah, I've heard that. Is it true that the sweet success is expected to disqualify more potential clients, then it actually closes? Is that true?
Michael J. Mahony 8:03
Yes. And that goes back to the whole super expensive licensing. So you know, if you're going to spend $100,000 on something, you don't want to find out six months in that there's a process that you have that you like your business lives and dies off of NetSuite can't do it. Because what people are doing is they're either abandoning their investment, or they're changing their business, to work with NetSuite. And neither one of those is desirable. You want to find that stuff out, before you start deploying. And that's what suitesuccess does. And so yes, it will disqualify more clients than it closes. But the ones that close are going to be happy with the tool. And that's really the key.
Ellen Melko-Moore 8:45
Now help me get why would you want to disqualify a company from NetSuite?
Michael J. Mahony 8:51
Well, again, you know, if they have a process that they have to have a certain way, and for NetSuite, it's like taking a round peg and shoving it into a square hole, then you don't want to you don't want that company to try to use NetSuite. There's other solutions you can guide them towards. And really, it comes down to the company themselves, they really appreciate it because they know the huge investment that they have to make. Yeah, he's NetSuite. And by running them through sweet success, you can say to them, you don't want to spend this money because you've got these five problems that are insurmountable, we can't get past these. And I've actually had clients thank me for, for not trying to push them down the road. And I think that's, that's why you would want to disqualify them. It's just make the customer happy.
Ellen Melko-Moore 9:41
What do you think people could do overall, or perhaps in detail to have a better Netflix experience? Why do you think people don't do that they shouldn't do don't know that they could. No, I'm
Michael J. Mahony 9:54
learning that you can customize almost anything. You know, NetSuite is like any other Other software that you get out there, you, you, you get your login, you log in and you're presented with an interface, every single screen you see, is customizable, that's the amazing thing about it is that you're sharing the computing resources of the cloud with other customers, which sometimes can be an issue. But you're able to take, let's say, there's a screen for entering an order, and it has all these fields and your employees are getting confused by it. So you no longer want these 25 fields and copy that form. You can remove the 25 fields, you can make whatever you want mandatory, and then you can release that as the order entry form. And NetSuite doesn't care. You can even do things like maybe the form, you need 25 fields taken away, but there's one field that it just doesn't have. And you need that you can add that field as well, you can customize it down to granular level, a big thing I've seen happen with manufacturing companies is they, they build a product, and they ship it and then it's defective until it gets returned. And when the person is receiving the return, they have to categorize like which department, is it going to? Is it going to electronics department? Is it going to the design people and they make selections inside of NetSuite? Well, that might mean that they have to make a second selection over here and a third one over here and a fourth one over here. But the customer will tell you Well, look, here's the thing, every time they pick B, well, then this one should check this box that one should check that box. And that one should check that box. Well we can customize your NetSuite so that when you pick B, it does all the check boxes that you're supposed to do. Okay, takes out human error. You can route things. So like if you're my supervisor, and I'm trying to order new products, yeah, maybe I'm maybe I'm just not paying attention. And I have an entire row in my inventory. And I didn't see it. Well, instead of it just going to the supplier and having us get more it goes to you for approval. And then you can say, and you can say Hold on, I was walking in the warehouse, and there was a whole row of that stuff
Ellen Melko-Moore 12:05
raw those damn things, Mike,
Michael J. Mahony 12:07
I Exactly. And it avoids human error. So I think the main thing how people get a better experience with NetSuite is hire a professional to help you get through it, and not to diss NetSuite. But I've constantly heard that you're better off hiring an independent professional than someone directly from Oracle, because they're their implementation teams are awesome, but they're super busy. And so you don't get the personalized attention. Because like me, if I do two implementations at a time, that's the max, I can't do more than that. And so I only have two clients to worry about at a time with with NetSuite implementation, they might have 15 or 20. And it's just problematic.
Ellen Melko-Moore 12:51
So So is that what happens? I mean, people pay for this stuff, but they, and maybe they pay for the people from Oracle to come teach them how to use it. But in truth, they don't really learn how because it takes too long. And it doesn't come about that people are paying a lot for this but not actually using it effectively.
Michael J. Mahony 13:09
That has been the rap that NetSuite has gotten for a long time. And then people work with an independent professional and they find out that Oh, like I had a client once perfect example. They were an interior design company, but for businesses for corporations. So why would a business needed an interior design company? Well, maybe they go in, they either buy a building with three storeys, or they lease three floors in a building. And they want a reception area. They want a main conference room, they want an executive conference room on the second floor, they have a certain look and feel, yeah, they want to make it look nice. Well, they hire these people for that. Well, these people then want to send out an invoice that looks fancy, because you know, they're they're a designer, they want it to look like it's been designed. Well NetSuite doesn't out of the box, do that. And I had a customer come to me and say, everyone tells me it's impossible to do this. Well, I love the word impossible. When someone says something's impossible, my wheels turn now. And so I gave them was a fully colored invoice, quote and statement for their customer that they can generate from within NetSuite, but instead of being limited to what NetSuite does, because it's a web technology, anything you can do with a website you can do with NetSuite. So I gave them some really nice looking forms that they loved. And you know, they had like pink logo on there and all this stuff and NetSuite is typically black and white stuff so their customers were amazed then we took it to another step and another step and that's what happens once once people see what you what the possibilities are. They suddenly have all these other desires that they need to get
Ellen Melko-Moore 14:52
all that stuff that they really desire they thought was impossible. They didn't know So, Mike if people are you know have questions about NetSuite have questions about whether they should deploy it already have it are struggling with it? How do they get in touch with you to ask questions and talk about this?
Michael J. Mahony 15:08
Well, I actually offer a free consultation for that. So if they go to get your virtual cto.com and go over to the contact page, they can fill out a form, and it will get to me and on the form, it'll ask them what technology they're interested in, they'll check off NetSuite and then we'll set up a zoom call, and we can talk about NetSuite or they could just send an email to Hello at get your virtual CTO calm, and it will get to me and we can get a call setup. It's always a good idea to explore the possibilities before you dive in all the way.
Ellen Melko-Moore 15:44
Okay, so that you do offer that as part of a complimentary service to have a discussion about does this work with that with that entrepreneurs aims with that, okay, all right. Perfect. Was there anything else we want to say about NetSuite to the kids at home before we go,
Michael J. Mahony 16:00
should we move on? Um, well, I mean, the one thing I will say about NetSuite is, you know, I've talked before about focus and how using your technology to improve your business overall. And NetSuite is a great tool for that. And it also, you know, if you're, if you're an e commerce person, and you're using Shopify, maybe, or even Amazon, you can integrate NetSuite into those platforms and not have to do the Okay, I got five orders from Shopify, let me key them into NetSuite. You can just have them pulled in automatically. We work on all that we can discuss that in discovery call. Find out if you're, if you're a good fit for NetSuite. Other than that. I mean, I just want to say, you know, thanks for listening to the technology alchemists, we're here to help you understand technology, the trends, and maybe I'll give a little advice to people on how to improve their business.
Ellen Melko-Moore 16:53
Well, thank you, Michael. It's been lovely being with you. And I look forward to the next installment the next episode. All right, well, thank
Michael J. Mahony 17:00
you for your time, Alan.
Unknown Speaker 17:01
Okay. Bye bye.
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About The Technology Alchemist
The Technology Alchemist is your source for technology advice, strategic technology planning, technology coaching, time-saving advice, and a pragmatic look at increasing revenue and profit through your technology engine. Sponsored by Your Virtual CTO, this show is the only one of its kind that blends business coaching and technology advice. The show is hosted by Mike Mahony, the world’s most user-friendly technologist.