One of our official sponsors our March 28th edition of the Paris Startup Job Fair is clearly one of Europe’s prophetic tech successes. Jahia has steadily growing over the last 12 years to emerge as a leader in the increasingly important user experience platform space. One could describe them as prophetic as 12 years ago they saw what few else did. Namely that convergence across the various types of software, platforms, and, now, devices would be the key to accelerating the digital transformation of enterprises. Today, with clients, such as the European Parliament, Ben & Jerry’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Samsung, they’ve emerged as the enterprise world’s go to enabler of digital industrialization.
Given a notable $20 million investment and increased growth, bringing in passionate, highly motivated talent is a top priority for Jahia. I caught up with their CEO and cofounder Elie Auvray who talked to me more about their vision, growth plans and what their particularly looking for in new hires.
What’s the driving vision behind Jahia?
Jahia started 12 years ago with the same vision that we have today – to drive software convergence and, as a result help Enterprises accelerate their digital transformation. The fact is that different software were not made to work together. This complexity compels companies to undergo complex integration programs, which creates various issues for the organization. Business and marketing people want agility, but the responsibility for these integrations often falls to IT. Our collaborative platform and solutions not only deliver that agility but also make it easier for marketing / business and IT to truly work together.
Having a culture of delivery (for clients) is also an important part of our vision. The projects we work on with clients such as Samsung and Europcar are mission critical for their organizations. As a result, it’s of utmost importance that we deliver on what we say we will for clients. Upfront and throughout the project we are fully transparent, so our clients know that working with Jahia, you know what you will get.
You’ve recently raised a very impressive $20 million, which is your first investment after having been a bootstrapped company since your founding. What are your plans for this investment?
The first thing we want to focus on is visibility. We have great products and technology, now marketing and visibility are key priorities to reach new customers we haven’t before. We are also looking to our existing customers and key partners, such as Sapient and Cap Gemini, to also help on the visibility front by spreading the word about what we can do. They’ll be key to accelerating this visibility.
In terms of geography, the US is the main geographic expansion focus for us now. We’re already doing a significant portion of our revenues there, but we plan to do a lot more. Europe will continue to be important and our plan here is to strengthen our business. Finally, as we’re a global business, we want to work with our network of partners who will enable us to reach other global markets.
Finally, product development will continue to be a priority for us as we want to maintain our software excellence. This is an important part, as mentioned earlier, of delivering to the customer exactly what we’ve promised.
You’ll be recruiting at our Paris Startup Job Fair on March 28th. Beyond the obvious elements like specific skills or experience, what are the things you most look for in new hires?
We need people who are passionate about technology. We want people who have real interest in playing with the product and understanding how it works. Even if you’re not a developer, you need to understand how it works in order to explain that to a potential customer. We also want people who understand and can convey to potential clients the value Jahia can bring them.
It’s also important for us to hire people who are not afraid to say to a customer what Jahia can and can’t do for them. People who wouldn’t be afraid, for example, to say to a potential customer that Jahia isn’t the right platform for their particular needs. This is crucial because although that particular customer may take the product, if it’s not the right solution for them they won’t stay with us in the long-term. This is exactly why we have a really impressive attrition rate; we don’t try to sell potential clients something that isn’t right for them. We have a (yearly) subscription based model, so attrition is extremely important.
So, for us passion about technology, commitment, and having the maturity not to promise or say anything just to get the sale or please potential customers, are the elements that, irrespective of the position, are key to us.
Jahia is looking for great people to help write the next chapter in their story. If you’re looking to make your next career move, make sure to come out and meet them at the Paris Startup Job Fair on March 28th!