Conversation with Jitterbit - Image credit PIxabay/TumisuBill Conner, CEO of Jitterbit, recently gave the keynote at the AI Accelerate London 2024, giving a glimpse of the Jitterbit AI vision and strategy. There was also a teaser for new products and a view of the new services offering that was recently announced. Enterprise Times had the chance to talk to him while he was in the UK. Conner became CEO in only February but already has made significant changes.

As with most interviews, I asked him to give a 30-second pitch for Jitterbit. Conner succinctly replied, “Jitterbit is a global SaaS leader focused on accelerated business transformation, using application development, integration and automation.”

Why Jitterbit?

Bill Conner, President and Chief Executive Officer. , JItterbit
Bill Conner, President and Chief Executive Officer. , JItterbit

Why did you join Jitterbit? Your background is within the security sector and, before that telecoms?

“My focus has always been on digital transformation or evolution. I spent almost 30 years in security. Then, as I took a year off from security in my last CEO role, I looked at the next horizon. It was around automation, orchestration, and artificial intelligence.

“The next piece is going to be around integration and platform, starting with infrastructure. That’s why I see all Nvidia, AMD and physical pieces being done. Businesses are now quickly trying to realise the potential of AI, and data and consumers as well.

“As I looked at that, I became really attracted and was offered an opportunity with Jitterbit. I liked what Jitterbit had in terms of its iPaaS, digital application integration, and workflow capability. They also had APIM (API Management) and a digital low-code development capability around that. They had acquired a company around EDI cloud, and have now taken that inorganic piece and organically built it into the platform.

“Jitterbit is uniquely positioned as the only firm I saw that had iPaaS, API Management, EDI, and app development. If you look at a typical enterprise they have almost 1,000 applications, but only 28% of them are integrated. A lot of the reason for that is those applications need to be developed and put in a digital format and the workflows integrated on a digital stream.”

And Conner has already started that transformation

In your appointment announcement, Timothy Mack of Audax said it signalled a strategic shift in leadership. What did he mean?

“Several things. I’m now taking this platform and building it for the next generation, which is an AI-infused technology platform. I brought in a new leader of global services. A week ago, we announced our premium support model. It offers customers the ability to phone in around the world and get advanced support. Next, we have started to build out a global model around ‘follow the sun’. I brought in a new head of marketing and delivered our first global marketing campaign.”

Conner has also inspired Manoj Chaudhary, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) whom he tasked with turbocharging and infusing AI into the low-code platform. He added, Manoj, the CTO, did a marvellous development piece of thinking of how to evolve that and roll that out as an infusion of our product as opposed to a net-new product. There has been a lot of work done since I got here in February. It’s been a great partnership with the technical leadership here.

“It’s not about the AI hype. It’s how do we infuse AI into low-code. It’s an evolution, not a revolution, and customers can travel at their own choice, at their own risk and their own speed or pace. That’s where we focus, where it all comes together, not just from the product, but also in how you deliver the product and how you sell and market it.

What is impressive is that in a very short time, Conner and his team have made significant changes that improve deliverables by bringing the technology together and will increase revenues with new services. These service changes are a solid step toward globalising the business.


What’s your vision for Jitterbit?

“Our vision is to take that integrated application development, integration and automation and infuse AI into that. So you have a hybrid platform with low code, and AI capabilities that can be from a novice user up to an advanced user. Think of it as AI-infused being a feature group on top of low code.

“Now I can take advantage of low code with AI, for integrating that particular persona for integration or IPaaS. Take the existing UI/UX use cases of that data, and infuse that with AI learning, and data and use cases. I can now simplify somebody’s activity from development and ultimately, the maintenance and management of that.

“At the same time, off the same platform, take a different persona, let’s say application development, and our Vinyl product there with a different persona, UI/UX, and data stream on low code and infuse AI into that at either a novice or expert level. I can go from low code to basically AI use, using bots to build applications much, much, much faster, and even prototype them without having to go all the way with low code. Then the same thing will be true for EDI or APIM.”

State of the nation

Could you provide a State of the Nation company update for Jitterbit?

“As a private company, we don’t share that information. We have been reshaping our employee base to take advantage of and redistribute globally by function. We have repositioned our skill set to take advantage of all the integrations that we’ve done acquisition-wise and organically, so we are positioned for the future. On an employee base, think of this as plus or minus 450 people.”

Conner described Jitterbit as almost virtual. It has an office in Brazil, which is required by law and its headquarters in the US. There are small offices in the Netherlands, Australia and the UK, but most employees work remotely.

What differentiates Jitterbit?

“First, the platform itself, because we have all the capabilities that I talked about from iPaaS to APIM to EDI to application development. Second, we’ve got a good global and customer and geographic footprint. Third, we’ve introduced a new capability around low code across that entire platform that is now AI-infused. You will see we will increasingly compete on our service offerings. Customers will be able to find service the way they want it, with the level of support, they want and more personalised.”


What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2024?

“We’re going to execute on the plans that we’ve announced. We’ll have a few more announcements between now and the end of the year that will start the realisation of some of the things we talked about, like ‘follow this sun’. Some new capabilities as our roadmap uncoils and some new go-to-market capabilities as well.”

What do you determine as your strategic horizon is for the company? And what do you hope to achieve in that time period?

“I tend to focus on annuals, to be honest with you. Owned by PE (Private Equity) they usually have a horizon of four to five years. I didn’t come in at the beginning of this. My role here is to globally scale and operationalize the company and lead it to this next step over the next couple of years.”

How would you define the target market that Jitterbit is looking to add?

“That’s a good question. We’re a global company. So there’s no specific Geo. We’re about 60% North America. 30% EMEA and then 10% Asia. We are globalising our processes, structures and offerings underpinning that.

“We’re not targeted at any particular vertical. We’re stronger in some than others in certain GLS. Most people would know us as SMB and mid-market. But increasingly, and one of the areas we will start to focus on, and we’ve got some base there already is enterprise. We expect to grow that enterprise space under my leadership.”

Are there any plans for acquisitions?

“Probably not in the next three to six months. Our focus is on globalisation, and some of the net new offerings and underpinning that structurally. Audax has been an excellent PE firm, rolling off assets as they make sense.”

Challenges and priorities

What are your priorities?

“Just focusing on execution and our customers, and making sure we’re delivering upon their expectations and the quality and the levels we need.”

What are your challenges?

“Normal operation, anytime you’re going from multiple acquisitions to globalisation and scale, it takes time and process and sometimes different resources. Those are the kinds of operational excellence that I’ve done, this is my fourth CEO and third PE firm. It’s nothing we haven’t seen and haven’t done, but it’s the same model with a little bit of uniqueness in that AI ushers in a brand-new way to develop, sell and service.

“Having that infused in your product is a very different motion in development, sales and service. Some people have already realised this. I’m trying to do a pragmatism real AI approach instead of a hype product focus because we’re an infrastructure software company. AI, by nature, is a learning product, so it doesn’t always get it right. If you’re in infrastructure software, and the business goes down, that’s not exactly a good place.

Conner has made an impressive start, making significant changes at Jitterbit in a very short space of time. Audax seems to have found the right CEO to take Jitterbit to the next level. All the pieces were already in place, which is what attracted Conner in the first place, but he appears to have been instrumental in putting them all together and heading in the right direction. Time will tell whether he is successful.


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