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Christophe Derdeyn’s Path from Military to ERP Innovation

Christophe Derdeyn's Path from Military to ERP Innovation
Photo Courtesy: Christophe Derdeyn

By: Christophe Derdeyn

With overseas postings throughout his upbringing, adaptability was ingrained in Christophe Derdeyn from an early age. Even as he initially set out to follow in the footsteps of generations of military men in his family, an entrepreneurial calling was already stirring inside.

Derdeyn reflects, “I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My uncles had construction firms, hotels, all kinds of different stuff.” Surrounded by self-made businessmen, he gained early exposure to the thrill of enterprise building. However, coming of age in Belgium in the late 80s, technology rather than tradition first captured his imagination.

Early Passion for Technology

At just twelve years old, Derdeyn demonstrated his early entrepreneurial spirit by earning funds to purchase a computer. “This is in 1986 or 1987, or something like this. So, this is very, very early days in the computer age,” he explains. Enamored by the brave new world of IT, he devoted countless hours to teaching himself the nascent yet immensely promising technology.

Academic Pursuits and Military Training

By seventeen, family legacy called as he left academics behind to enroll in military college. Yet over time, back injuries eroded his ability to meet the army’s stringent physical demands. By twenty, he pivoted once more to university—this time BioChemistry captured his attention, even if his love for informatics remained ever present.

Christophe Derdeyn's Path from Military to ERP Innovation
Photo Courtesy: Christophe Derdeyn

Corporate IT Roles and Growth

Degree in hand, Derdeyn responded to the call of the dot-com era in the late 90s. He landed in the Netherlands undertaking intensive IT training before scoring  WINTEL system administrator roles at major aviation and event management brands.

“You have a big creative team and so forth, and they organized, every month, one big event. Like, something like a Tomorrowland with 30,000 to 40,000 people coming to have a grand party,” he describes. Maximizing uptime for publicity-hungry clients, Derdeyn honed his technical mettle.

Transition to Entrepreneurship

Yet over time, the gnawing entrepreneurial impulse persisted, stifled by the constraints of salaried corporate life. At twenty-eight, a timely consulting opportunity perfectly aligned with Derdeyn’s blend of global outlook and software expertise. “I started my own company in Belgium. I became an independent consultant,” he affirms. For over a decade, he traversed Europe as an IT advisor parachuting into complex enterprise implementation projects.

Managing Director at Delaware Singapore

By 2011, observing booming Southeast Asian digital growth firsthand, Derdeyn identified a promising niche to spur his next entrepreneurial leap. He took on the role of Managing Director to launch Delaware’s new regional headquarters in Singapore.

Within a remarkable twelve years at Delaware, he stewarded the firm to a valuation of $30 million with over six hundred employees scattered across four nations. “I started it up in 2011. There was nothing here. In 2023, when I left, there were over 500 people,” Derdeyn quantifies. Yet despite this resounding success, he once more felt the entrepreneur within pushing him towards new frontiers.

Christophe Derdeyn's Path from Military to ERP Innovation
Photo Courtesy: Christophe Derdeyn

Preparing for the Next Entrepreneurial Chapter

The rapid pace of technological transformation across global industries informs a sense of urgency around his new startup. As juggernaut software provider SAP prepares to sunset support on legacy platforms in 2027, Derdeyn knows unease is spreading in executive suites worldwide. “The current SAP market is already very constrained. Because of the migrations that need to happen, the demand is going to be on the rise,” he highlights.

Yet through decades of guiding organizations across IT migration waves, Derdeyn recognizes most ERP consultants adopt reductive approaches, ill-suited for future-proof success. “The emphasis in the cloud world is on building scalable & maintainable ERP platforms, led by process improvement and supported by the cloud software. Most ERP Consultants act more as order takers than as process leads” he remarks. To address this, in his new startup, he seeks to nurture what he terms “new age ERP consultants” focused on leading conversations &  crafting adaptable frameworks that comply with cloud design principles, leading to scalable and future-proof platforms..

To learn more about Christophe Derdeyn, visit his LinkedIn profile.


Published By: Aize Perez

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