Biography and Background:
April Taylor began her career at ConnectWise in January 2006 as an Implementation and Support Consultant. She quickly became a Sales Executive and then served as the Sales Support Manager, where she supported and managed the sales engineering team and internal projects/initiatives for the sales team. Today, April has more than 14 years of experience in the industry. She currently serves as the Vice President of ConnectWise Manage and is focused on ensuring partners' voices are heard throughout the entire development process. She manages the product lifecycle and software development lifecycle of ConnectWise Manage, and leads product management programs, including the Partner Innovation Network (PIN). April's industry honors include being named a CRN Channel Chief (2015), selection as one of CRN's Women of the Channel (2017) and inclusion on the MSPMentor 250 list (2014). She earned an MBA from the University of South Florida, and is a certified Scrum Master and a Certified Leader in StratOp Management. In her free time, April enjoys international travel, scuba diving, hiking and baking.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
In the past year, I worked with my team to better meet the challenges of ConnectWise Manage users. This was done by expanding team and conducting extensive research that focused on the needs of partners and the challenges confronting their businesses. Increasing the number of team members by 20% has allowed the team to increase the pace of innovation and provide greater levels of support and education for its partners. The research project gave the team the insight required to make product improvements most desired by its users. For example, ConnectWise Manage can now be accessed from anywhere. This gives partners the ability to access ConnectWise Manage whether they are using a PC, a Mac, a tablet or a smartphone.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
To ensure we give partners a solution that allows them to be better able to meet their business goals and be successful, I will continue to build our team of experts, incorporate partner feedback more quickly, release software updates faster, and make the software simpler and faster for users. One way this will be accomplished will be by building new mobile app that will deliver partners the ability to quickly access ConnectWise Manage anywhere, anytime with ease.
What honors, awards, or commendations have you won over the past year?
I was honored to be included on the CRN Women of the Channel list in 2017 for my work as a Senior Product Manager at ConnectWise.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
J.K. Rowling overcame significant adversity early in her life, going on to achieve noteworthy success both professionally and personally. She established herself as a global philanthropic leader and serves as an excellent example that despite overwhelming challenges, a woman is capable of building a life that she wants.
What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
I would tell myself to keep things in perspective because eventually you will discover that what feels like a huge roadblock is actually just a blip on the radar. What isn't obvious at age 16 is that dealing with and overcoming challenges will prepare you for bigger hurdles down the road. So instead of letting a roadblock derail your goals and ambitions, learn and grow from each challenge you face. These experiences will make you stronger and more resilient.
If you could master any new job-related skill, what would it be and why?
I would like to improve my presentation skills. Although I'm comfortable presenting now, I'd like to be better at sharing content and ideas in a way that will inspire my audience to actually take action. I'd like them to walk away feeling that "I am you/We are you."
What's the best book you read this past year and why did you like it?
I have two books in mind: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal: This book focuses on user behavior and how we can develop products to help users achieve great things and be more productive and happier. I enjoy learning about user behaviors and this was a great book for that. The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive by Patrick Lencioni: The author explains how leaders can effectively communicate with their teams. For example, effective communicating requires being present, making sure the teams always have strategy in mind, and ensuring you're clear about your goals.
Unedited Content Provided By Participants