A devotion to customer centricity. A passion for innovative technology. A love of hiking and soccer – meet Jonathon “Jono” Coleman, JRNI’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) general manager.
In the nearly two years Jono’s been at the helm of our APAC operations, he and his team have helped us to solidify our leadership in the APAC market with record year-over-year growth. In the past year, we’ve grown our roster of banking, retail, local and federal government, and telecommunications customers by 100 percent, and we’ve recorded a nearly 60 percent increase in year-over-year revenue.
We spoke with Jono to learn about his career experience, some of the exciting projects he’s leading, the biggest technology trends he’s eyeing, and more.
Q: You’ve had an impressive career in technology that’s led you to JRNI. Give us an overview of your professional experience.
A: After I did what a lot of Australians did after university, which was travel, I worked at a logistics company called Recall selling boxes and bins for two years. At that job, I learned that work is more than the job itself – it’s about the company culture and that the people you work with have a tremendous impact on your career.
As more technology companies from San Francisco, New York, and Israel began to establish business development operations in Sydney, I jumped into the world of software-as-a-service. I landed at Meltwater, a media intelligence company, where I served in various director roles in Melbourne and Sydney. From there, I joined ReadiNow Corporation, a platform-as-a-service company for governance risk compliance, working as a manager.
While at ReadiNow, Andy Watt, JRNI’s CFO, approached me about leading JRNI’s APAC operations – a role that had a nice blend of the opportunities and challenges that I enjoyed from some of my previous positions. The best part about joining JRNI is its commitment to establishing a strong local presence as an international organization.
Q: We have a great team-oriented culture at JRNI. What are some of your favorite things about working with your team?
A: Our customers and our people are my two favorites. When I first joined JRNI, I was immediately welcomed by our customers. I met them when I did a tour around Australia and New Zealand to not only hear about the opportunities they have with our products and services, but also in the retail, financial services, and local and federal government spaces. It was a great open dialogue, which showed that our customers value us a strategic partner and not just as a technology vendor.
For our people, we’re an extremely tight-knit team, and we work together on everything from customer engagement strategies to the recruitment process for new talent. I enjoy watching my team embrace challenges and develop creative solutions to solving them – all with smiles on their faces.
Q: You’ve been working at JRNI for almost two years. What’s been the most rewarding part of your time at JRNI so far?
A: Simply put, our customers. I’ve enjoyed listening to our customers, understanding their challenges, and developing innovative solutions to help solve their complexities. It’s humbling to hear how our customers have put JRNI at the hearts of their businesses, and we’re a critical partner in helping them to achieve their business goals. The symbiosis between our customers and JRNI is very special to me.
Q: What are some projects that you’ve been working on recently?
A: The biggest project that I’m working on at the moment is continuing to raise our awareness in the APAC region to aid recruiting and growing our customer and partner bases. Since we have ambitious growth plans this year, we’re heavily investing in recruiting the right people for the right roles. That means that everyone on the team is involved in the recruiting process because our culture is so important to us.
As always, I’m working on increasing our customer count and meeting with new players in our spaces to see how our solutions can benefit them. I’m also working on establishing a local partner program for our APAC customers.
Q: As we continue our rapid global growth, what are you most excited about in the upcoming months at JRNI?
A: Definitely growing our roster of customers and our team of people. As we’re working to innovate and create more powerful customer experiences, I’m excited to engage with more customers and have deeper conversations with them about their biggest challenges and how JRNI can help them.
I’m also excited to onboard new team members as we’re actively expanding our team in Sydney. The best part about bringing on new team members is seeing current team members collaborating with them. Everyone here embraces a team mentality and wants each other to succeed. We have each other’s backs, and we’re always in the trenches together.
Q: Let’s talk trends for a bit. Since you have your pulse on the Sydney technology scene, what are some of the biggest trends impacting the local ecosystem?
A: Australia has always been renowned for having a resilient economy, and we’ve been seeing a big shift in that over the past decade. There’s now an openness in local and federal governments investing in technology through different incentives. This is helping to grow our economy, especially through innovation. More and more technology incubators, hubs, and coworking spaces are cropping up all over Australia, signaling that there’s a strong technology scene that’s poised to make a global impact. Take a look at Australian unicorn Canva, a graphic design software company based in Sydney, which has become a local-turned-international success story. We’re going to see more Australian technology companies become global phenomena in the near future.
Q: Broadly speaking, what trends are influencing our customers in retail, financial services, and local and federal government?
A: The biggest trend impacting our customers from a business perspective is reducing the friction between the digital-to-physical divide and driving customers in-store and in-branch. It’s all about creating exceptional customer experiences that generate greater conversions. The boardroom conversations that are now happening are about measuring success, specifically defining ROI on creating these frictionless experiences.
From a technology perspective, more and more customers want to engage with SaaS vendors that offer both standard products and out-of-the-box features that are quick to use and achieve value. Additionally, they're looking for vendors and products with rich integrations, enabling enterprise-wide integrations into various internal and external systems.
Q: Switching gears to some personal questions – when you’re not meeting with customers or working with your team, what can we find you doing?
A: I’m a very active person – I enjoy exercising, golfing, and hiking. I’ve been lucky enough to hike in some pretty amazing locations such as the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea and the Inca Trail in Peru. Aside from the outdoors, I like to spend time with family and friends, which always gives me a healthy perspective on work-life balance.
Q: What’s the most interesting journey that you’ve taken in your life?
A: When I captained an Australian indoor soccer team, I got to tour Brazil, New Zealand, and Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean. It was a great experience that allowed me to pursue my passion for soccer and see different parts of the world. I actually had a choice between playing semi-professional outdoor or indoor soccer, and because of the travel opportunities with indoor soccer, I ultimately chose indoor soccer. It was a lot of fun, especially because soccer is a team sport. Unfortunately, I don’t lace up my boots and play as much as I want to nowadays.
Interested in working alongside Jono and the rest of the JRNI team? Check out our current open roles and #jointhejrni!