Case Study

Business Leader - Syntax, ERP Solutions Service Provider

Strong senior leadership needed to provide ERP solutions with knowledge of cloud-based services

By William J. Farrell


Syntax is a 40-year-old Canadian ERP solutions service provider with a strong client base in North America, held by Novacap. Global expansion came by way of the acquisition of a European firm in offering similar services. The acquisition provided not only a footprint across Europe but also a presence in Asia with a business in China. At the time of the acquisition, the acquired firm had had a presence in China and Asia for about 5 years, but regional annual revenue was less than 5% of global revenue. An evaluation of the situation determined a new business leader was to lead, make the business profitable and provide growth.


Identify and recruit a well-qualified candidate that was able to and interested in taking on this senior leadership and business development role in a very completive market. Also, facing strong local and international competitors where price pressure and top-level service quality were important market forces. The fact that this was a small business was a deterrent to some candidates.  Simultaneously, the client required an experienced P&L with hands on experience in sector, an ability to develop relationships with local customers, build the foundation for Asia expansion, and work effectively with corporate headquarters.


Boyden focused the search on identifying potential candidates in companies that provide ERP solutions that have knowledge and understanding of cloud-based services, and have the ability to manage and grow a sales team, plus expertise in managing a Professional Services organization was required.


The selected candidate was a PRC national that had studied and worked in Japan. In addition to his native Mandarin, he is a fluent Japanese and English speaker. He was able to quickly develop a strategy to build a local business, increase revenue and develop plans for the Japanese market. The team was stabilized and the company’s credibility in the China market increased considerably.

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