Top Gun 51 Profile: ConnectWise’s Craig Fulton on Technology and Transformation
There’s an increase in demand these days for MSPs and technology service providers (TSPs) to deliver value to the customer and help them transform and mature their businesses in accordance with industry shifts. Throughout his 20-plus years in the industry, this has always been the focus for Craig Fulton, chief customer officer at ConnectWise.
Fulton, named one of the premier leaders in the indirect IT and telecom channel, oversees the support, consulting and education, and IT Nation teams as one unit to support the growth and success of ConnectWise’s customers.
It’s this approach that caused industry experts to perk up and take notice, placing Fulton on the 2019 Channel Partners/Channel Futures Top Gun 51 list. The new award recognizes channel executives who have demonstrated commitment to their partners’ success.
We interviewed Fulton about his career and his customer-focused accomplishments at ConnectWise. The transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Channel Futures: What’s different about the ConnectWise structure (software built for TSPs to run their as-a-service businesses), and how does it reflect what’s currently going on in the industry?
Craig Fulton: ConnectWise’s structure supports the changes that are happening in the industry. Our colleagues have decades of industry expertise and we’ve helped TSPs build recurring revenue in their businesses. Now we’re helping them transform that into a higher level of value. We have invested in customer success this year to provide that transformational assistance. Our consulting, education, support, customer success, and IT Nation teams are gearing up to deliver content to the TSP community to help them mature their businesses. That’s the demand we see coming for the industry and we want the IT Nation to be prepared for it.
|We recently unveiled our “Top Gun 51,” a list of today’s channel executives who deserve recognition for building and executing programs in a way that drives partner, customer and supplier success.|
Channel Futures: What are your thoughts on the current channel ecosystem?
Fulton: The current channel ecosystem is maturing quickly. Vendors and TSP’s are working together closely to deliver value to the customer. The days of selling solutions based on technical feature sheets are coming to an end as the customer wants to know the value it brings to their business.
Channel Futures: If you could give one piece of advice to partners, what would it be?
Fulton: Know your customer. No matter what business you are in, you have a customer. Knowing your customers deeply will allow you to deliver products that change the way people do things. Technology is moving faster than ever. The customer doesn’t have time to research, find and test solutions. Provide the customer with enablement content and tools so that everyone is successful.
Channel Futures: What life lessons or career lessons have you learned from working with the channel?
Fulton: I’ve learned that the work we do is impactful to the world. We enable businesses with technology so that they can grow and achieve their dreams. But what I really learned is that it’s more than businesses — it’s people. I’ve seen what we do provide great opportunities to people, whether it be in their business or personal lives. I can see that what we do makes a difference.
Channel Futures: Any other thoughts on this award?
Fulton: I’m very honored to have received this award. The first thing I did was tell my mother. I know, it’s corny, but this award means a lot because it shows me that people see how much I put myself into what I do. The values I hold closely have been recognized and rewarded. That means a lot.