Earlier this week, our Director, Iain Flinn, had the pleasure of interviewing Justin Smith, one of the Co-Founders at jaam Automation.
Here is what we discussed:
What’s the idea behind jaam, and what’s the meaning of the name?
There are a few answers to this question. I’m glad that you asked it upfront! The first one is a nod to the initials of the founding team members of jaam and alternatively ‘Just Amazing Automation’ – used interchangeably and depending on who asks 😊
Cool, like a double acronym, then! So, what’s the purpose of the company? Why did you come together to form jaam?
We founded the business to identify and tackle automation projects and challenges within companies and solve their problems by creating a team who are experts in their fields and who are passionate about the success of people. Combining this with a suite of technology products, advisory, and delivery services, jaam makes it easy for teams to understand how to automate and deliver automation success within their business.
It sounds really interesting, and you’re working in the hot topic area of automation, a market that’s seen significant growth in recent years. What services are you looking to provide, and how are you looking to differentiate yourselves?
At the moment, and considering that we were formed relatively recently, we are working with prospects and customers across multiple industries and geographies, helping them achieve automation success. We’re fortunate enough to be working with some of the best technology providers and vendors in the automation spectrum. We’re currently partnering with technology providers including Nintex, UiPath, Synatic, DocFusion, Re:Infer, DocAcquire, and Druid Ai.
We believe that no single vendor has all of the technologies available to enable companies to truly automate. This is why we’ve carefully selected our technology partners to allow us to provide end-to-end automation across any company and for any business process.
Our core region is EMEA, which was the natural place for us to start, given both our physical location in the UK and the many years of expertise of the team within this region. However, we have imminent plans on our roadmap to expand our services to the USA. We spend a lot of time in the finance and healthcare sectors, as we see significant business demand and a need for automation within these departments and verticals. Still, we will continue to be industry agnostic overall. Watch this space soon for some specific areas of focus and go-to-market.
Starting a new company is never easy, especially during a global pandemic. What additional hurdles have you had to overcome?
All of the founding members at jaam come from a technology background; we found ourselves deciding to branch out and establish a new business after many years working within more prominent vendors, and as you’ve mentioned, in the middle of a pandemic. We have always believed that if you can invest in the downtimes, you will be ready to accelerate in the recovery and boom years. jaam see the hurdles in front of us as more of a venture than a challenge, and those challenges are something we’re excited about. The products and advisory services that jaam offers to the market are what we see as essential for almost every business to survive and thrive post-Covid-19 and in the new digital world.
What are your immediate objectives and long-term goals?
Our immediate objectives are simple – we have selected the best automation technology partners to go to market alongside, and we thrive on working with the best people to deliver success.
With these parts of the puzzle at our core, we want to showcase automation and the endless possibilities to as many businesses as possible, delivering outstanding service and value to their teams. We have deep, longstanding business relationships across the world with both customer and technical partners, which we will continue to support and grow in our new business.
Our long-term goal involves what we affectionately call ‘jaam Magic’ – Finding, building, or exposing new and exciting technologies worldwide to the markets that we operate in and ensuring long-term success for all stakeholders as part of the process.
It sounds like the start of an exciting and incredible journey. Culture is at the heart of every company. How do you define yours?
All of the founders at jaam come most recently from a company that had a great culture. That has helped us create our own positive cultural identity. It may sound a little clichéd, but work hard, play hard, make time for fun, and take ownership of your output. The days of clock-watching people do their work are not something we subscribe to – we hire people to do their job and then trust and help them get it done.
Similarly, having the right talent in place is key to success; tell us about the rest of your team?
We’re so fortunate to have an amazingly talented founding team at jaam, encompassing all the functional areas needed to run our business and strive for success.
The team comes with backgrounds in Sales, Technical Pre-Sales, Service Delivery, Customer Success, Finance, Operations, and Regional Executive Leadership – we’re fortunate to have our bases covered!
Additionally, we partner closely with several delivery organisations that are essentially an extension of jaam when dealing with our customers – this helps us scale within and across different regions.
It sounds like you’re off to a great start! What plans do you have for growing your team?
We plan to continue growing the business in 2021 and to build on those successes in 2022. We’re encountering companies across our region who face the typical challenges of knowing that they need to automate but are unsure how or where to start. We believe we have both the expertise and the technology to help these companies address these challenges, and we’re confident there is demand for our services in the market.
Part of continuously delivering a first-class customer experience is having the correct people on your team. Therefore, hiring the correct talent at the right times is critical for us to achieve our goals. There is pent-up demand in the automation market, and as we continue to tap into this, we will expand our team as we grow at the appropriate times.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
I wasn’t given this advice directly, but one of my favourite quotes is from Nelson Mandela, who said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
That’s such a great attitude and mindset to have! Following on from that, what is the best business book you have read and why?
I’m currently reading “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz, which was lent to me by one of my partners at jaam. It’s a great read, and so many of the stories will resonate with people who have worked in business or leadership – highly recommended!
I’ll certainly take a look. Thanks for your time today, Justin. I look forward to seeing how things develop over the coming years.
At jaam, we make companies, departments, and individual users more effective through automation by combining great people and great technology. Empower your teams to make end-users more effective and productive by removing the repetitive work, digitising workflows, standardising document production, and leveraging practical AI to intelligently incept work.
Animate is an EMEA-based Executive Search firm operating in the enterprise software, emerging technology, and digital transformation industries. With offices in the UK, Spain, and Sweden, we support companies who are fighting for a competitive edge. We provide that edge by ensuring companies can attract the very best in leadership, commercial, and technical talent, in order to devise a strategy, build a sales pipeline, and deliver world-class services. We do this by devising captivating go-to-market talent attraction and engagement strategies to entice the industry’s finest talent. Whether you are breaking into a new geography or sector, repositioning your brand, or simply building upon the great work you are doing already, our passion is enabling you to achieve your goals.