Chrome River is successfully taking on Concur (now SAP) in the expense reporting SaaS space. Find out how.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go to the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Dave Terry: I was born in Texas. I went to school at the University of Texas. I have a degree in Computer Science and Math. I came out of college spinning the propeller on my head. I was a program developer and moved to software programming field.
Sramana Mitra: What year was that?
Dave Terry: This was 1987. I began developing software. My first job was in programming. Fortunately, I fell into a job where I was developing software for large ERP systems for law firms. There was this company out of Dallas that was doing that. I was a software developer developing back-end, time billing, financial management, and AP automation for large law firms around the globe.
I did that for several years and then began watching how the business was growing. I noticed that the sales guys were making all the money. At the various conferences, I would raise my hand to say, “I’d like to speak at a few of these things.” I would take the knowledge that I had gained in having the back-end infrastructure development and I moved more into the business side. I moved towards the revenue-based side of the business. That’s how I began to move out from using my back-end programming knowledge to sales.
Sramana Mitra: In the same company though?
Dave Terry: I did that in the first company I was with. Eight or so years later, I had moved to sales and marketing for that organization. I then moved to a smaller startup to head their sales. That’s where I met Alan Rich and we have worked together for a number of years. This company also sold ERP systems to large law firms. I worked there with a number of other folks including Alan and we grew this business. It was called Elite Information Systems.
We grew that organization to around 600 people and had the largest presence around the globe. We were, ultimately, acquired by the Thomson Corporation out of Canada. That’s when I became employee number 43,000. Following that, they merged with Reuters and I was now employee 90,000. It’s a fantastic company. We have a tremendous relationship with those folks. We stayed there for another four years after the acquisition and helped them through the transition. They’re still doing fantastic today. That’s when Alan and I decided to depart and build a new company from scratch.