Randall Bolten Blog
April 10, 2011In the mid-1980s, I joined Oracle as Corporate Controller. Not only was I hopelessly under-qualified for that job, but the entire finance and administration function was held in generally low repute and didn’t add much value to Oracle’s operations. The principal problem, truth be told, was simply understaffing in an area not appreciated in a newly public company where engineering and sales were kings of the hill.
April 06, 2011In one of my posts last week we met two amazing yet confusing numbers from the Website, “The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It.”
April 01, 2011First, the good news: there is a group of U.S. Senators called the “Gang of Six” – three Democrats and three Republicans who are addressing the federal deficit issue in a constructive, bipartisan, and I hope sensible way. They are filling a leadership void that has existed in every branch of the federal government. Uh, am I being too subtle here?
March 31, 2011If you are looking for a frighteningly fascinating Website to visit, I recommend “The Debt to the Penny and Who Holds It.” The site is operated by your and my U.S. Treasury Department, and if you’ve ever wanted to see what at an actual fourteen-digit number looks like (plus two decimal places), look no further.
March 29, 2011Have you ever been asked to make a decision based on numbers that you just didn’t understand? Sometimes those numbers were provided electronically or in a hardcopy report, but most likely you were in the audience for an oral presentation, with glitzy PowerPoint slides, loaded with impressive numbers, zipping past your eyes.
December 31, 2010NOTE: This piece was originally posted on the 121 Silicon Valley, Inc. Website on December 31, 2010 In my last post, we introduced the idea of a “value calculator” as a powerful sales tool. To refresh your memory: The XYZ Software Company sells an add-in solution for an enterprise’s ERP system, to address situations when a single order has to be fulfilled in multiple shipments. When that happens, the enterprise’s own end customers question the invoice, causing the enterprise to have to devote man-hours to documenting and supporting a perfectly valid receivable, and delaying collections...
December 09, 2010We all understand how critical your finance team can be in helping you negotiate and close your deals, but they can often be a huge help even earlier – in the sales process itself, by helping you make the best possible presentation of your products’ value proposition.
September 10, 2010In high-tech companies, and especially in the software industry, business models are becoming increasingly varied and exotic. That’s especially true in enterprises focused on cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
May 04, 2010When designing processes and setting goals and objectives, there is always at least some element of moral hazard. That’s why in business and any other walks of life, the players aren’t allowed to be the scorekeepers and vice versa , even though the great majority of us are fundamentally honest and ethical.
August 09, 2009In this post, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I am a big fan of the practice of over-assigning sales quotas as part of a company’s annual planning process. It’s a practice that provides reasonable breathing room for people at all levels in the company, and protects sales management from its own aggressiveness and over-optimism.