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Predictions Series 2022: AiThority Interview with Jeremy Parker, Senior Vice President at Jitterbit

Tell us about your journey in the technology industry. What inspired you to start at Jitterbit?

I’ve spent my entire career in the technology industry – telecom, infrastructure, and software. Technology is everywhere and is constantly evolving and changing — likewise,  Jitterbit is growing and changing at a rapid pace.  I enjoy being part of a market and a company that moves quickly. I particularly like being a part of a market and company that is passionate for growing both organically and inorganically (via acquisition,) not just one or the other. For Jitterbit specifically, sitting in my operational role I see the power of iPaaS (connecting systems and data across a variety of platforms.) I also chose Jitterbit for its culture – Jitterbit has a  culture of innovation, transparency, collaboration, passionate employees, strong leadership, supportive and engaged ownership / shareholders….and having fun along the way.

What is the most contemporary definition of SaaS-based enterprise integration in the modern IT industry?

Integrating systems isn’t new — businesses have been connecting apps and services where it makes business sense for years. But these integrations have been mostly simple and straightforward, such as an employer connecting an expense management platform with their employee time tracking and management system. While these relatively straight-forward use cases are helpful, without proper oversight and support, businesses can soon start to build clusters of connections that are useful, but ultimately disparate when looking at the big picture. A next generation iPaaS platform is more comprehensive. Think of iPaaS as enabling a reusable 360-degree integration strategy to modernize a business almost instantly. In fact, many businesses experience this as an “a-ha” moment where they quickly wonder what took them so long to integrate the systems that support their business. Whether businesses know it yet or not, using an integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is the elixir they need to streamline internal processes, improve the overall experience for end customers, and drive revenue.

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How does revenue management strategy influence software industry?

Revenue management strategy isn’t unique to the software industry. Revenue, or revenue growth, is the ultimate outcome for any business. But the reality is it’s not just an outcome anymore.  Revenue is now a business process, no different than other related business processes – meaning,  it needs to be monitored, measured, and automated to drive efficiency and predictability. Historically the revenue generating, or go-to-market, functions (sales, marketing and the channel) have been viewed as, and tend to operate independently, most leveraging separate systems, tools, and reporting to run their portion of the process (lead-generation customer success, support, etc.) The importance of aligning each respective team around shared and understood sales and revenue goals cannot be overstated. It’s equally important to break down data silos and leverage unified data (for one source of truth) across the supporting technical stacks. And it’s important to operationalize the way the business reviews the end-to-end revenue process. All of these steps enable transparency and accountability to drive the desired business outcomes (growth, alignment & collaboration, increased win rates, improved customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and effectiveness, etc.)

How did you stay on top of your game during the COVID-19 months? Which tools / technologies did you use to manage your remote workplace activities?

I had never worked from a home office until Covid hit. For someone that was used to going to an office every day, and then suddenly learning to work in a remote environment and evaluating how best to ensure that teams stayed engaged and aligned to deliver a great experience for customers, was a shift for me and was a big learning curve. Face to face interaction was replaced by video conferencing, and the office drop-ins by colleagues were replaced with instant messaging. For the teams I was responsible for, I increased our communication cadences and meeting structure:  agendas, outcomes, action notes, follow-up reviews, time for open forum Q&A and knowledge sharing, weekly leadership meetings, one-on-ones with my direct team as well as 15-minute monthly check-ins with my entire organization, and monthly all-hands calls vs quarterly. Putting these measures in place ensured transparency of our goals, results, and overall company information. Each month we paused from the day-to-day and had a video call (Zoom) that was theme-based (high school photo share, pictures from favorite vacation, etc.) and injected a bit of fun, including weekly virtual trivia or games like bingo via instant messaging (Slack). Additionally, I ensured that I had standing time each week or month with key stakeholders to ensure communication on critical items remained open, and joined stakeholder team meetings to address questions or share information. We opened several Slack channels to increase our communications and document sharing, whether it be on key initiatives, escalations, recognition, or general Q&A. Over time, video conference fatigue set in, so we chose one day a week that we didn’t have meetings and focused on providing some space for the team to catch up and focus on the work in front of them. As a result of being thrown into the new remote reality, though the learning curve was steep and has proven to be a great change, I now prefer working remotely, or in a hybrid model.

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What are the best practices to identify and manage any type of Revenue Operation? How do you use your technology to identify with RevOps tools?

While there are specific “RevOps” tools in the market today, leveraging a company’s current GTM technology stack is sufficient in managing a revenue operations process, as long as you can get the teams aligned around who are in that revenue mix, and if you rely on integration technologies to connect all the data and intelligence you need to inform revenue operations decisions.  It really comes down to ensuring that there is alignment on the key metrics across all revenue functions and that tech stacks are set up to gather the data needed to support these metrics and can be reported on in a unified manner. The differentiator is being able to visualize the results against the metric (the “what”) and be able to “double click” into the details and the drivers of the results (the “why”.) Many companies have a lot of the “what” but are not spending time or putting the rigor around their intelligence into the “why”.

One event in 2021 that influenced your thinking:

Hands down: the pandemic.  I’ve been around awhile and just as the dot com implosion era, as well as the 2008 market crash evolved peoples’ thought process on how to approach the market and how business is conducted, so too did the pandemic. These types of events require you to really evaluate your business priorities, strategies and how to continue to engage with your employees and your customers. The lesson I took away from 2021 is: ensure the business doesn’t lose sight of the key metrics and the operational cadences that support those metrics. This enables you to understand where and when you might need to pivot if or when external market conditions dictate, and it arms you to be ready to act accordingly and with conviction based on what the data or your operational review process is telling you. Your employees, customers and shareholders will thank you.

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Your predictions for the industry in 2022 that you think would drastically affect M&A integrations: Why do you think so?

M&A can be extremely complex, and businesses face some of the biggest challenges leading up to, and after, mergers and acquisitions. With new and advanced integration technologies it is easier than ever to make software integrations the least of your M&A worries. I think we’ll see integration technologies support a mix of low code/no code capabilities (so business leaders can quickly yet properly connect their own data,) and deeper integration capabilities for more sensitive or complex integrations that need to be led by trained developers. I also think automation will be the name of the game for smooth M&A activity, making it necessary for integration platforms to leverage machine learning, RPA and other automation capabilities.

Thank you, Jeremy! That was fun and we hope to see you back on soon

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Jeremy Parker was recently named senior vice president of global revenue operations at Jitterbit, a new position at the company. A proven sales and operations leader, with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, Parker plays an integral role in the company’s go-to-market execution and M&A integration, focusing on operational efficiency and effectiveness to support scale.

Parker joined Jitterbit from Perforce Software, where he spent nearly three years as senior vice president of sales operations. He is a seasoned results-oriented operations executive with more than 20 years of experience and a passion for developing and collaborating with cross-functional teams to grow businesses.

Jitterbit, the API transformation company, makes it quicker and easier for businesses to exploit data from any source, empowering them to rapidly innovate and make faster, more effective decisions. The Jitterbit API integration platform enables companies to quickly connect SaaS, on-premise, and cloud applications and instantly infuse intelligence into any business process.

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