Employee Spotlight: James Furney, Commercial Operations Manager
On a regular basis, we talk with our team members about their experience working at Canoe, and their future goals and aspirations. This week, we spoke with James Furney, Commercial Operations Manager.
Tell us about your background. What led you to Canoe?
I started my career in Operations but then quickly transitioned into Sales for several years at network security and travel technology companies. I realized selling was not for me, but I wanted to stay close to the commercial side of things. So when an exciting and tech-forward company like Canoe reached out to me about getting back into Ops, I couldn’t pass it up. Working on both sides has given me a unique perspective – allowing me to communicate effectively and understand typical pain points across the Commercial Org.
What does a Commercial Operations Manager do? What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day?
Leading Commercial Operations means wearing many, many different hats – whether it be solving deep-dive client issues, contracting and deal desk, or running commissions and reporting. On any given day I touch Legal, InfoSec, Finance, Partnerships, Product, and of course, the Sales and Client Success Teams. I enjoy working closely with our Executives and helping to make others successful in their roles.
How do you collaborate with other teams at Canoe?
Interacting with so many different functions means collaboration is key. I’m always happy to do anything I can do to help a deal progress through the lifecycle, assist a teammate to streamline an inefficient workflow that is causing a bottleneck, or really provide any value or insight I can, internally or externally. Since each deal runs through me at some point in varying capacities, I draw on past situations to help guide the deal towards close while still setting us up internally for success with the new client. Every day is different and brings new challenges – something I really love about my role.
Can you share with us any exciting developments or initiatives that you’re working on?
Perhaps the largest and most important tool I oversee is our Salesforce CRM. I led our launch for Canoe one year ago next month and think it is in a fantastic spot as our source of truth for our business. Our Salesforce instance now stretches across the company and has key users from every team. Today it enables not only Sales – but our Client Success, Partnerships, Support, Finance, Marketing, and Product teams across multiple use cases. Our next initiatives involve expanding the footprint, integrating more internal systems, and using advanced analytics to really dig into our data.
What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in fintech?
It’s a super interesting field. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t already work in the industry – I didn’t have experience in it but have enjoyed soaking it all in and have learned a ton. The future is bright for Fintech, especially for Canoe.