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SMB Nation has been serving the Bainbridge Island area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Friday Afternoon Club with: Rick Faulk, CEO, Intronis

Earlier this week, we reported that Intronis completed its search for a new CEO. Most of you in our community know that the BDR provider’s previous CEO, Kent Plunkett departed last fall. Since then, Jay Bolgatz, Intronis’ VP of Engineering had been filling in as interim CEO while a search committee sought out a new leader.

On Monday, we received a press release from Intronis that they had concluded their search, formally announcing that Rick Faulk, a seasoned leader with an IT background, would fill the post. Since we of course wanted to learn more about Faulk, and what his plans (at least within his first few days of taking office) would entail for the company, we spent some time chatting with him on the phone yesterday.

Even though he is just getting acclimated to his new digs at Intronis, Faulk told me, straight away, that the focus of Intronis as a company is, and will always remain to be one that’s completely devoted to the channel and the partners that serve it. “As the new person on the block, you really don’t want to make any big changes for a bit until you first learn, listen and understand everything you can about the company as a whole,” Faulk told me. “One thing I can tell you though is that we are a channel-centric company, and that is something we will always continue to focus on, and we will remain that way.”

Faulk was quick to tell me that as the new CEO, Intronis partners are a top priority and focus for him, as well as support, sales and products. “We will continue of course to always beef-up support, as well as other items on the product side of the business to make our partners successful,” he said. “We are always focused on becoming an even more partner-friendly company, both on the product, and sales and marketing sides.”

You could possibly say that Faulk is a triple threat to Intronis’ competitors; he hails from a background that’s based on IT, channels and SaaS/cloud. Prior to joining Intronis, he served as President and CEO of Landslide Technologies, the provider of Landslide CRM, a SaaS-based customer relationship management solution. After the sale of Landslide to j2 Global in 2011, Faulk became the General Manager of Cloud Services for Sales and Marketing at j2.

And Faulk is definitely is no stranger to the SaaS world, having served from 2001 to 2005 as CEO of Intranets.com; he was also credited with the fast-growth turnaround and sale of the SaaS collaboration service to WebEx Communications in 2005.

“What we are trying to do, and the value I can bring at the end of the day is to help our partners be more successful, and to continue to focus on new products so they can be more successful to their customers,” Faulk said. “Our partners don’t have 100 percent penetration of backup services, and we can help them with that so they can become a better partner for their SMB customers.”

I also asked Faulk, what drew away from his last position to take the CEO position at Intronis; he said it wasn’t one, but three specific items, which enticed him to make the move. “This is a very dynamic market segment,” he said. “The SMB space is fast-growing, and under-penetrated; everyone understands the value proposition and it’s pretty straightforward that bad things will happen if you don’t backup your data. In addition, I took the position because Intronis is a terrific company with great business model and staff, and has a strong channel presence and a recognized brand inside the partner community. At the end of the day, it’s all about the partners…as they grow, we grow.”

Before our conversation came to a close, I asked Faulk if he could share, on a personal level, the best advice he ever received when it comes to conducting business. His response was simple, yet logical: “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with good people who are smart…they will help you,” he said.

Faulk added that listening and learning were also two pieces of advice that he has taken with him throughout his career, and will likely come in handy as he spends his next few weeks listening and learning from Intronis staff, partners and customers. “At the end of the day, if you listen and learn, you will generally do the right thing,” he said. “When I am talking, I am not learning. It is amazing what we can all learn if we just took the time to listen.”

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Monday, 23 October 2017