2021 Competitive Advantages: Community and Connection

Vertex offers tax technology to help enhance and automate tax for procurement.

The phrase “ecosystem” does a perfectly adequate job describing the environment in which a company operates. That said, I prefer the term “community,” especially when I think about how the Vertex team, our customers and partners worked so well together to respond to strenuous conditions in 2020. 

Whereas “ecosystem” is a bit clinical sounding, “community” gets to the heart of the connections – the trusted relationships – we forge with our stakeholders. The term, of course, refers to the areas in which we live and work – places that we’re proud to support through our Global Day of Service and philanthropy partners. Yet, “community” also describes the shared interests and common purposes among our employees, customers, partners, shareholders, regulators and local communities. Vertex is privileged to interact with the members of our broader community every day.

I’m proud of how our 1,200+ Vertex employees adapted during the pandemic while ensuring that our organization sustained these valued connections (often digitally via our webcasts, special interest groups and learning platforms) with thousands of customers and partners around the globe. 

I also appreciate the impact of the pandemic on our community and the new challenges it’s created in the regulatory, business and technology environments. We’re committed to addressing those shared issues in 2021 through the ever-expanding community we’ve developed over the past four decades and the connections we continually nurture. In the coming 12 months, we’ll strive to make the Vertex community:


  • We’ll continue to expand our partnerships and invest in integrations to the systems that are essential to help customers manage tax liability and stay compliant with tax regulations – on a global level. We’ll also continue to extend our support for industry groups and partner associations. 

More Unified

  • We will continue to invest in our vision to create a unified experience with end-to-end capabilities to support the entire indirect tax compliance process. With sales tax, use tax, VAT and communication services all on the same platform, customers experience consistency in results regardless of their deployment model (cloud, on premise or a hybrid model). Our unified approach to software design and development lets us help customers quickly transform their businesses as needed. We strive to create an improved customer experience through a deep understanding of our customers’ business, the problems they need to solve today and where their business and industry are headed tomorrow. Soon, we will be introducing a single support and customer community portal, which was designed based on customer feedback and provides fully reimagined self-service and an enhanced knowledge library. 

More Adaptive

  • It was inspiring to witness so many companies adapt their business models in the face of grueling conditions during the pandemic. Organizations made these changes to support revenue growth through e-commerce and diversified channels while driving greater agility and efficiency into their supply chains. COVID’s impacts also accelerated the move to the cloud and the adoption of best of breed applications in e-commerce and procurement – shifts that require tax departments to support a more diverse and increasingly hybrid IT environment. Vertex also adapted in 2020: after 40 years as a privately held organization, we became a publicly listed company. This change helps us expand our capabilities, accelerate time to value and deliver a more unified customer experience. 

More Innovative

  • An important way Vertex accelerates time to value for our customers is through our co-innovation efforts. Many customers already have participated in our innovation labs, where we work side-by-side to tackle complex business challenges. We have deep appreciation for the Taxpreuners within our community who have innovative ideas to solve compliance challenges at their company. Key to our investment in innovation is turning their concepts into commercial grade solutions that benefit the entire industry. Through our community mindset and adaptive platform, we have a pipeline of capabilities we are developing at speed. We’re excited to collaborate with more customers to develop and drive forward the solutions they need and inspire. 

For over forty years we have differentiated ourselves in the market by thoughtfully listening and learning from our customers and partners, boldly making the investments that will address tomorrow’s challenges, not just today’s problems, and relentlessly building trusting relationships with our community through employees who care and are passionate about making a difference. Being part of the Vertex community means that none of us confront challenges on our own. Instead, we move forward, armed with the knowledge that with a clear purpose and unwavering commitment to support one another, all of us can succeed. This community and the connections that foster it will help all of us respond to new challenges and opportunities in 2021 and beyond.

Blog Author

David DeStefano: President, CEO and Chairperson of the Board at Vertex Inc. Vertex delivers the world’s most valued tax solutions for companies to connect, transact, and comply while growing their business.

David DeStefano

President, CEO and Chairperson of the Board

See All Resources by David

David DeStefano became our President and Chief Executive Officer in November 2016, joined our Board in 2016 and was appointed Chairperson of our Board in 2020. Between 2015 and 2016 he was an Executive Vice President and a member of the Company’s Executive Council, which monitored our long-term strategic and financial viability, corporate brand, and culture. Mr. DeStefano previously served as our Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. DeStefano was Principal, and Vice President at The Mid Atlantic Companies Ltd. Mr. DeStefano is also on the Advisory Board for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Satell Institute and is on the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Fund in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. DeStefano received a BS in Finance from Lehigh University.

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