At a Glance
Michael Fauscette, CEO & Chief Analyst, Arion Research LLC
Focus Areas: Sales, Digital Transformation, Customer Experience, CRM
Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio: Michael Fauscette
Thinkers360 Leaderboards: CRM Thought Leader & Influencer Leaderboard (Live)
Thought Leader Interview
Thinkers360 thought leader interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Michael Fauscette, CEO & Chief Analyst at Arion Research LLC.
Michael is a high-tech leader, board chairman, advisor, and software industry analyst. He is also a published author, blogger, and thought leader on emerging trends in business software, digital transformation, digital experiences, and customer experience strategies and technology. He is featured in the CRM Thought Leader & Influencer Leaderboard (Live) from Thinkers360.
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Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background and areas of expertise
MF: I’m an ex-US Naval Officer surface line engineer, which is what led me into the software industry. I didn’t start in engineering though, my undergrads are sociology and history, and I was an avid musician and a commercial photographer before ending up in the Navy. After ten years in the Navy, I moved into software vendor professional services, managing large software implementation engagements and subsequently professional services and customer service departments. I’ve worked for several software vendors including PeopleSoft and Autodesk. I’d been on the executive team of 4 venture-backed startups, including unicorn G2, where I still serve in an advisory role. I’m the chairman of an IoT startup as well. I moved into the tech analyst community about 17 years ago and managed IDC’s global enterprise software group for ten years before I joined G2 as a chief research officer. I started my current company, Arion Research, last year and serve as CEO and chief analyst. I focus on SaaS and cloud software, particularly customer experience, sales tech and CRM, subscription management and experience, digital transformation using digital-first business strategies, and emerging trends in enterprise software and related tech. From an industry vertical perspective, I have both technology industry and professional services expertise.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
MF: Currently I spend a lot of time developing my new business, delivering consulting, advisory, thought leadership content development and research to my clients, and generally managing the day-to-day activities of the business. I work with several software vendor clients from large enterprise vendors to startups as well as companies looking to solve specific business challenges with technology. I’m also still engaged with the research team at G2 in an advisory role, and of course, spend time on my chairman role at LocatorX.
A “typical” day is pretty variable depending on several factors. From a personal perspective, I spend 1/2 to 3/4 of my time as a digital nomad, traveling around the country in a converted sprinter van with my 3-year-old border collie. I started that during the pandemic, I’ve always loved camping and generally being outside. I still have a home base outside of Philadelphia though. Work-wise, I do a lot of advisory and consulting so many video meetings. I save some amount of time every day for business development and a good chunk of time for writing and research which is the fuel for my business’ growth. I’m also getting ready to launch a web show produced by a partner on technology innovation and startups (stay tuned, launching in Oct).
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
MF: I love learning new things, figuring out trends, and new ways to solve business issues and challenges. I’ve spent a lot of time in tech startups, and have a passion for building and helping them find good product market fit, understand the competition, and successfully scale. The ability to combine those elements in my new business is very fun and exciting.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
MF: I’ve only been actively engaged with Thinkers360 for a few months after I was invited to join. I had looked at the platform several times in the past and thought it would be a good way to grow my audience, but it took a little nudge to start really digging into all that’s offered. Currently, I use it for exposure of my work, business development, and growing awareness of my services. It’s an excellent platform with a lot of reach and the staff is extremely supportive in providing exposure for my writing and other work across social channels.
Editor’s Note: See Michael’s Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio.
Thinkers360: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
MF: The simple answer is to engage in a conversation to understand the needs and the type of services that would help with their current challenges. Expanding on that a bit though, at least from a thought leadership perspective, I can engage in content development, webinars, keynotes, and executive sessions on trends, markets, and how emerging tech could help them accelerate growth and competitive advantage. Developing business strategies around these emerging trends and how to use them in a digital-first business strategy is an effective way to engage and deliver value. And of course, brands can engage with me on developing primary research projects from survey development and execution to delivery of content based on that research.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
MF: Curiosity is probably the biggest driver for me in how I got here. I was that kid that was always in trouble for taking things apart to see how they worked or buried in a book trying to figure out some new mystery. Life-long learning is the fuel for developing your unique perspective which in turn feeds your ability to have a voice in whatever field you find exciting. You have to have passion for whatever area you want to develop, building a personal brand is hard work and you’ll need passion to get you there.
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