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Thoughts on Innovation – Paul Struthers


Paul Struthers,

Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Canada, Sage North America

Paul Struthers is executive vice president and managing director of Sage Canada. Mr. Struthers is responsible for Sage’s overall customer experience, community, product, marketing and sales strategy in the Canadian market, working alongside Sage’s cherished network of customers, partners, and accountants.     

Prior to joining Sage in August 2016, Struthers spent 15 years with Amdocs, a software solutions company servicing the world’s largest communications, entertainment and media service providers. During his time with Amdocs, Struthers served in progressively senior marketing, product management, strategic planning, sales, consulting and general management roles, culminating to his appointment as vice president and general manager.  During his tenure, Struthers worked closely with customers and partners across the world to understand, incubate and deliver high-value solutions and thought leadership, directly influencing billions of dollars in both pipeline and revenue while always putting the customer experience first. Just prior to leaving Amdocs, Mr. Struthers received its prestigious ‘customer executive’ of the year award.

Previously, Struthers also led and supported over 20 Enterprise Resource Planning systems projects for small and mid-sized businesses in the U.S. and Canada with RSA Companies, eventually leading the consulting practice.  Prior to these positions, Paul spent his student and early management years at Bell Canada, successfully managing business transformation initiatives, overseeing Bell’s terminal equipment contracts for small business customers, and working in the field as an installation and repair technician for small and mid-sized businesses. 

Mr. Struthers holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from York University. 

What is your definition of “innovation”?

To me, innovation isn’t something you turn on or off. It has to be part of your DNA, every waking moment of every day. It’s the lifeblood of how humanity has scaled such great heights with technology, medicine, architecture, art, and manufacturing. And although innovation is often connected in people’s minds to technology, I believe we need to look at it from diverse perspectives. Yes, part of that is about asking oneself ‘how can I create the next killer product in the market,’ but we also need to consider questions such as how can I radically improve that business process? How can I shake up my team to drive world-class results? How can I be the best team member, partner, or leader? Most importantly, how can I deliver the most breathless, memorable and impactful experiences for my customers? Innovation is a way of approaching the world, and the more we push ourselves to embrace it, the better off we’ll be.

Why is it important for companies to innovate and invest in modern technologies?

If you’re a company interested in growth, then you need to be constantly pushing boundaries, whether that’s developing the next big thing in a product, raising capital, entering new markets, or just creating the best company possible for you and your people. To do that an innovation mindset is critical. When harnessed properly, technology can help to unleash disruptive new ideas by providing eye-opening data insights, exposing new market opportunities, automating business processes, removing the administrative burden, and broadening your brand reach. Depending on your area of focus, data analytics, opportunity identification and nurturing, as well as order-to-cash technology (accounting, business management), payment and payroll automation can help to ease your day-to-day hassles so you can focus on what matters most – taking care of your business.

What advice can you give to Canadian businesses looking to make the most out of their investments in innovation?

Don’t’ try to do too much. You likely got into business to solve specific problems for your customers. Stay focused on that mission and allocate your investments to areas that will make the most impact. Hire the best people for your domain. Deploy technology and processes that will help you understand your customers in-depth so you can best solve their current and future needs. Provide the best training and development possible for your team, and keep them on the cutting edge of technology. Create a fun, challenging, continuous learning environment for your team – as well as customers and partners for that matter – that will keep innovation core to your company’s DNA

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