Company News

Looking Back, Looking Forward

The next chapter at Jama Software

I can’t believe Jama turns nine this summer! I started the company to solve a problem that frustrated me personally — the amount of time and money wasted when product teams built features nobody used. It seemed simple: connect stakeholders with engineers and get everyone on the same page. Problem solved!

While we’ve made tremendous progress and built a great team at Jama, we’re just getting started. Today’s products are driven by software, connected to the Internet and evolving rapidly. Complexity is increasing, development cycles are shrinking and the pressure is on to get it right the first time. To solve today’s product development challenges, we’ve got a lot more work to do.

Thinking back, I didn’t expect Jama would help our customers resupply the international space station, create breakthrough medical devices, build autonomous cars or ensure billions of dollars flow to the right accounts.  I wanted to help connect teams so they made fewer mistakes and find ways to scale product management best practices. But these customer stories make me the proudest of what we’ve accomplished.

So, here we are about to close our fiscal year 2016 and start a new year on May 1 (yes, we have an odd fiscal calendar, but that’s another story).  As we finish out the year, I wanted to share my thoughts on Jama’s growth and evolution.

This year was our first as a fully recurring revenue company with 100% year-over-year GAAP subscription revenue growth. The conversion from perpetual to subscription took two years and tons of hard work across the company — but it was worth it. The SaaS/subscription business model aligns us to our customers’ needs and requires that we deliver value for them every year. When they succeed, we succeed; it’s that simple. This is a strong foundation for building a company that delivers long-term value to the people that rely on its products and services.

We added over 100 new customers including NASA, United Technologies, Zoll, Eaton, John Deere, Samsung, NVIDIA and Estes. It’s exciting to see the products our customers are building. They truly are building the impossible products of the future, and that’s what our vision is all about. Working with our customers is what inspires me, and I love hearing the stories of these amazing projects that are changing the world.

This year, we doubled down on companies building connected products. Today’s complex systems are software-driven, with more options and new regulatory compliance challenges. These companies need new tools to help manage the complexity inherent in connected products, product variants and component reuse, and to achieve compliance — all while accelerating development cycles.

Jama has been preparing for this for some time. We committed a multi-million dollar investment in R&D to deliver on new capabilities to help customers innovate more efficiently. We are delivering a new Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) multi-tier, horizontally scalable platform built on REST APIs. Translated into English, this means that Jama can scale to meet the performance needs of the world’s most complex global product development initiatives, from medical devices to spacecraft, to intricate enterprise software systems.

We also know that many of our customers require the security of an on-premises solution. We will soon be launching the next generation of Jama On-Premises. Jama’s enterprise private cloud bundles our multi-tier cloud platform, packages it for delivery behind the firewall and automatically replicates our scalable platform and auto-provisions the platform in our customers’ data centers. This is specially designed for companies that require top-secret product development protocols and an on-premises option, but includes the scalability benefits of the cloud.

Our product development team is also delivering on our feature roadmap and releasing new capabilities, including actionable traceability, which simplifies real-time requirements decomposition. And, these traceability updates will launch this Spring!growth

Jama launched solutions for the medical, semiconductor, aerospace and automotive industries, as well as Scaled Agile (SAFe™). Software drives rapid innovation in these industries, and companies must accelerate development cycles in order to compete. To be successful, it’s critical that companies manage the complexity of concurrent software and hardware development, all while achieving regulatory approval.

As we look to the future and continued growth, I am excited to share that after nine years leading Jama from startup to scale up, I have hired Scott Roth to lead Jama’s next phase of growth.

I’m excited for Scott to join Jama for several reasons. He brings fifteen years of SaaS experience including executive roles in product, marketing, sales and service. Most recently, Scott was EVP and General Manager of Return Path’s global 250-person email optimization division. Prior to Return Path, Scott spent six years in executive leadership for ExactTarget prior to and after their $2.5B acquisition by Salesforce.

Scott’s industry experience and business acumen, combined with his passion for growth, made him my ideal candidate to lead Jama.

But beyond the resume, I’ve gotten to know Scott personally. He’s warm, caring, wicked smart and brings a bias toward action. Most importantly, we share views on the importance of culture and people-first leadership that have made Jama a unique and rewarding place to work.

Hiring Scott enables me to transition into a new role as Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman, a position that will allow me to dive deeply into the company strategy, engage directly with customers and partners, and evangelize the benefits of collaboration within product development.

This is an energizing and exciting time for all of us at Jama, and I look forward to doing big things together as we execute on our vision to make possible the impossible products of the future.