5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley

The In-depth Case Study of What Became Microsoft's First Billion Dollar Acquisition outside the USA.

The book about how two small Danish software companies became global market leaders and were acquired by Microsoft for 1.45 billion dollars.
"5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley" by Hans Peter Bech
"5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley" by Hans Peter Bech
COPENHAGEN, Denmark - June 11, 2018 - PRLog -- Companies worldwide use ERP-systems Dynamics NAV and AX from Microsoft to run their business. But only a few know that these products originate from two small startups founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1984. The book 5,460 Miles from Silicon Valley tells the full story of how this came about. Not only is Copenhagen 5,460 miles from Silicon Valley, but how the two companies, Damgaard Data and Navision Software started and grew is also miles away from the standard approach in the San Francisco Bay area.

"Denmark is a small country representing less than a half percent of global demand," says Hans Peter Bech, author of the book, "and English isn't the main language. In addition, the type of software that the two companies developed required substantial localization for each new country they wanted to enter. Nevertheless, they managed to expand internationally at a very early stage and grew to become the most attractive acquisition target when Microsoft decided to enter the ERP-market."

Damgaard Data and Navision Software bootstrapped through their startup phase (requiring no external investors) and quickly grew to become local market leaders. Global expansion, however, didn't come easy. Both companies had joint ventures with IBM that failed to deliver any significant international impact. The breakthrough came when they took matters into their own hands. Both companies did their IPOs in 1999, and in 2000 they merged to form one of the strongest ERP-vendors in the mid-market with annual growth rates way over their competitors.

By 2002, the company had grown to 1,200 employees, had an annual turnover of $355M, showed a 22 percent net profit margin and was one of Denmark's most popular places to work. These results were driven by global ambitions, the ability to identify and swiftly execute on the market and industry opportunities and by applying a Scandinavian leadership model.

The baton passed to Microsoft in July 2002 included a modern and competitive product portfolio and an ecosystem with more than two thousand business partners serving well over a hundred thousand customers across 30 countries. By then the total turnover of and around Navision's products was in the order of DKK 17 billion (USD 3.4B) and the entire ecosystem employed over 20,000 people.

The book is written for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, business development and leadership.

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Published by TBK Publishing® and distributed by Amazon and IngramSpark.

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Hans Peter Bech


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