Reach the Summit of Digital Sales Success with Juniper
You may think that rappelling is as risky as adventures get.
But really, rappelling – while admittedly exhilarating -- is as fundamental as physics and as risk-managed as a July of summer camps planned by any working mother you know. It’s also emblematic of the most desirable traits in executive leadership.
Which is why Bill Furlong becoming CEO of Juniper – IMC’s division currently forging a path through the great digital divide – is like finding the Captain Picard for the stellar crew already manning its starship. Besides his experience rappelling (and 11 years with Expedia Group that included oversight of the Americas business for the Vrbo/HomeAway vacation rental marketplace), Bill brings to Juniper an attitude and aptitude that has scaled mountains, traversed continents, fledged start-ups, and even hitched rides on the jet stream to the future for businesses already at the forefront of their industry. Like IMC.
Juniper by IMC Swipes Right for Their Innovative New Leader
So, it’s easy to see why Bill and IMC now share a trail. (Mountain or contrail, it’s pick-your-own-metaphor month!) As IMC Chairman and CEO, Bob Maricich, put it, “the time is right to add an elevated leadership position with unique perspective and a bias for innovation and growth.”
But exactly what brought Bill and Juniper together? When Bill tells the story from his side of the new partnership, he explains more about the shared values that led him to say, “I want to be a part of this organization.” He talks about “seeing in Juniper the potential for online software solutions to help buyers and sellers in B2B gift and home connect more easily with one another – just as happened in the vacation rental business.”
Then citing “Purpose, Potential, and People,” Bill details how he also realized that his penchant for making things better for businesses large and small, his pursuit of a resource both unique and uniquely needed, and his passion for working with like-minded, equally committed people were all alive and blossoming at Juniper.
“Purpose, Potential and People”
“I saw the values they have, the commitment to that purpose of doing something great for IMC customers – that was something I saw that I really wanted to be a part of.” And, in the rise of B2B e-commerce, Bill grasped the huge opportunity for brands and retailers alike. “Done right,” Furlong says, “online tools and marketplaces can really make it easier – and consequently more rewarding – for buyers and sellers to discover one another, connect, and transact.”
His recent first exposure to IMC’s physical presence, at Market in High Point, emphatically reinforced this perception. The energy of Market brought a familiar rush for one accustomed to mountaintop highs, and the electricity generated there seemed almost Ben Franklin-esque as it highlighted all the possibilities that the digital viability and vitality of Juniper is bringing to the industry. He could see how his years of experience listening to the customer and developing thoughtful business solutions had a kinship heartbeat with the Juniper ethos of Human-centered design.
“I heard from many customers who love the solutions they have from [Juniper] today – hearing a rep shout out ‘I love your product’ across the floor of their showroom was definitely a highlight of Market for me.”
Banishing Fragmentation with Cutting Edge Connectivity
Bill also saw firsthand how his experience in the highly fragmented vacation rental industry mirrors some of the complexities of the B2B gift and home industry. He heard directly from customers about how Juniper’s omni-channel solutions are starting to answer those needs and can envision it in full fruition, with digital solutions working alongside – and not in conflict with –the success of existing sales and marketing activities.
“Juniper’s solutions will save time, not absorb it. No more redundant data entry, for example. And we’re unequivocally committed to building that future with innovation now: world-class websites, online sales tools, and our upcoming multi-line marketplace.”
Marrying the epic presence and energy of the physical markets and sales relationships with the personalized and permissive soul of e-commerce is only for the most intrepid. So, it’s not farfetched at all to understand how a man who sees the world as a virtual backyard for living a life without boundaries can see himself leading a team looking to create the same opportunity for every business, large and small, that wants a future as broad as that beckoning and endless horizon.
As a matter of fact, it’s a match made in heaven. Welcome to the IMC family, Bill!