The future constantly demands our attention. One of the reasons I love this time of year is because we can take a break from focusing on the days ahead and reflect on the moments that got us here.
In my eyes, 2018 was one of the most significant years in Jama Software’s history. From launching new products to developing key partnerships, connecting with customers around the world to improving our employees’ qualify of life, I couldn’t be prouder of the strides we’ve made.
So, before 2018 is officially over and we welcome the fresh energy of a new year, I wanted to call out some of the most impactful Jama moments from the past 12 months.
Investing in the Future
This was a year fueled by expansion for Jama. Like our customers, our teams live to push the boundaries of what’s possible. Creative and strategic stagnation simply isn’t an option.
Before 2018, we knew we had an amazing software platform that was helping some of the world’s most innovative teams develop groundbreaking products. One of the things we kept hearing from customers, though, was that they wanted more data and analytics to help them better manage their product development process and decisions.
That’s why we kicked off 2018 by announcing our first-ever acquisition of a fantastic product development analytics company called Notion. This move resulted in the April launch of Jama Analyze™ — an innovative solution that gives product leaders a far-reaching view into team performance — and the reintroduction of our flagship product, Jama Connect™.
These two outstanding offerings combine to create the Jama Product Development Platform — which helps enable Predictive Product Development — and are bolstered by a constantly growing ecosystem of integration partners and optimization opportunities from our professional services team.
On the heels of those announcements, we received a $200M growth equity investment in June from Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investor Madrona Venture Group. Not only did the new funding fortify our business with additional fresh capital to unlock incremental growth both today and in the future, it also delivered the option of liquidity to Jama’s earliest investors. From the beginning, Jama’s vision has been to succeed as an independent, high-growth company headquartered in Portland, Oregon – this investment supports that.
Adding Value for our Customers
You will often hear me say that we live vicariously through the incredible work of our customers. And that’s why we want to provide teams with the best solution for developing complex products. Period.
The many new capabilities we’ve added to our platform this year have advanced that goal, but we’ve been simultaneously opening our doors to a wider array of external solutions and organizations that complement our technology as well.
Through new integrations with complimentary product development tools to our latest partnership with ANSYS, Jama is constantly building our alliances. And it’s our customers who will reap the biggest benefits, as they continue to see an ever-expanding ecosystem of compatible technology solutions and service providers to choose from. This partner ecosystem that works harmoniously with Jama will help transform today’s ideation sessions into tomorrow’s game-changing products faster than ever before.
Of course, it’s never been enough to simply give our customers better partnerships without strengthening our relationships with them directly. That’s one of the reasons why, in November, we held the first-ever JamaCon Europe — a one-day event organized by our team in Amsterdam and devoted to interacting face-to-face with our customers from around the globe, while sharing our vision, platform and company values. And there’s good news for our North American customers too, as JamaCon will be hitting Portland in September 2019 with a multi-day event. Stay tuned for more details on that soon.
Creating a Better Environment for our Employees
Lastly, a better customer experience starts with our employees. This year Jama HQ was named one of the Top Places to Work in the Portland-area, and we work extremely hard to ensure we’re creating a culture and an environment in which people want to invest their time and talents.
One of our goals is to help foster the next generation of technology superstars. To that end, we participate in several programs to cultivate that talent locally.
One example is our incredible relationship with Portland State University, through which we participate in the PSU/PDX Cooperative Education Program as well as the Capstone Program, which gives students the opportunity to get firsthand experience working on many of the projects I’ve detailed in this post.
Jama also directly supports local youth organizations like Rosemary Anderson High School. This year, we welcomed Rosemary Anderson students into Jama HQ for a tour and panel discussion, and spent some time volunteering with their robotics team — the Rosemary Rebels. In fact, I personally joined the Rosemary Anderson Board of Directors because I believe so strongly in its mission of reconnecting alienated, at-risk youth affected by poverty, family instability and homelessness with high school education.
We’re also a proud participant in the TechTown: Diversity Pledge, which is a commitment by Portland-area tech companies to increase diversity within their walls. Additionally, our employees underwent training around fostering a respectful workplace and recognizing unconscious bias in 2018. Through these efforts and more, we’re making Jama a better place to work and a stronger partner for our customers.
Reflecting during these remaining days of 2018, I want to thank every single one of our customers, partners and employees for helping make this such an incredible year. We have a lot of ambitious plans for 2019, and the hard work on those begins soon. Before all that, I hope you’ll take some time to appreciate your friends, families and the collective momentum we’ve built together.
Have a great holiday season, a happy New Year and get excited because the biggest moments in Jama’s history are still on the horizon.