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CIO Influence Interview with Antoine Jebara, Co-Founder and GM, MSP Products at JumpCloud

CIO Influence Interview with Antoine Jebara, Co-Founder and GM, MSP Products at JumpCloud

JumpCloud is an open directory platform that enables IT admins and MSPs to manage their users’ identities, access, and devices from within one unified platform.

Please tell us a little bit about your journey in the industry and what inspired you to co-start JumpCloud?

In 2016 I co-founded a company called MYKI that created one of the leading password management solutions for MSPs on the market. Over 1000 MSPs used MYKI to manage their passwords internally and / or deployed it to their customers to improve their password hygiene. In 2022, JumpCloud acquired MYKI and I was appointed as co-founder at JumpCloud and GM of our MSP business. I currently oversee our MSP vision, strategy, and execution.

Could you please tell us more about JumpCloud’s core offerings? How do you position your products and services in the ever-growing enterprise technology landscape?

JumpCloud is an open directory platform that enables IT admins and MSPs to manage their users’ identities, access, and devices from within one unified platform.

With JumpCloud, end-users can access any type of application, device, or resource in a secure and frictionless manner.

Today, JumpCloud has a global user base of more than 200,000 organizations, with over 5,000 customers including Cars.com, Grab, ClassPass, Uplight, Beyond Finance, and Foursquare.

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You have fundamentally transformed what customers now expect from a Cloud Directory platform. Could you please highlight some of the biggest challenges that you have solved for your customers in the last 3 years?

In today’s fast-paced IT landscape, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face a rising number of challenges in managing their IT infrastructure. These challenges include managing users’ access to various cloud and on-premises services, handling multiple operating system vendors, as well as managing a geographically dispersed workforce.

Additionally, legacy infrastructures built on Active Directory are limited to on-premises environments and Windows-based systems restricting organizations into one ecosystem.

JumpCloud has helped thousands of organizations overcome these limitations by providing a secure and frictionless way for users to access any application from any location and device.

With JumpCloud, organizations can manage their user identities, devices, and applications from a single cloud-based platform, eliminating the need for multiple disparate tools and reducing IT overhead.

By enabling SMEs to undergo an Identity Transformation, JumpCloud helps them to modernize their IT infrastructure, improve security, and increase productivity.

The IT and Cloud industry consists of some remarkable partnership ecosystems. Please elaborate for our readers about how it’s not just about closing a deal with a partner/customer, it’s about creating an alliance where all parties invest in creating value.

One of the core principles that we follow is ensuring that whenever we onboard a new customer or partner, a shared vision, objectives, and a plan of action for after the deal closes has already been discussed and agreed upon.

It’s not uncommon for large and smaller vendors to focus really hard on getting new business through the door and then neglect the customer/partner afterward. This creates a negative experience for the end-customer and a missed opportunity to build a great alliance.

Here at JumpCloud, we focus on establishing a partnership with our customers and partners that starts when they first engage with us and develops as we both invest time and effort into it. We believe that this is foundational to guarantee that we are creating as much value as possible for JumpCloud as well as for our partner.

Our customers and partners know that by choosing JumpCloud as their cloud directory of choice, they are also gaining an ally that will help them grow in a manner that will set them apart from their competition.

How can companies achieve the best possible customer satisfaction scores with partnership strategies in the IT industry? What should companies look for in an IT partner/MSP?

Adopting a customer-centric approach in everything that you do is what will set an MSP apart. Building a deep understanding of what the customer objectives and daily challenges are will enable MSPs to address their true needs and become a valuable and irreplaceable partner. If you are an SME looking to outsource your IT to an MSP, make sure that the partner really understands your business and your goals, and try to get a feel for whether the partner would align their service offering with your business objectives.

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What are the future trends in IT around security and the new hybrid workplace model?

The increased adoption of remote work has expanded the traditional security perimeter and introduced new challenges for IT security. In addition to that, the growing number of point solutions being implemented to solve specific challenges is crowding the experience for end users and hindering their ability to conduct daily activities effectively.  Based on that, I believe that we can expect to see the following trends:

  • Increased adoption of zero trust frameworks: As remote work continues to establish itself as the norm, the zero trust security model is becoming increasingly popular. This approach ensures that every user, device, and application is authenticated and authorized before granting access to resources.
  • Choosing platforms over point solutions to unify user identities and user access across different environments.
  • Increased adoption of password-less authentication with MFA built-in in order to help address the current challenges with user authentication
  • Adoption of AI to help automate the detection and the mitigation of threats with the potential to do a lot more in the near future.

When does a product-led growth model work and what are its limits?

Product-led growth models (PLG) are models where the product itself is the primary driver of customer acquisition, retention and expansion. PLG works well for products that are easy to use, have a strong value proposition, and can quickly deliver value to customers. JumpCloud is a well-known example of a company that has successfully implemented a PLG strategy.

As PLG businesses grow, they find value in complementing their PLG strategy with other channels, such as MSPs, VARs, and distribution partners, to reach customers who may not be reached through the product alone.

With that said, the PLG nature of a product, even when going through different channels, is a big asset as it can dramatically shorten the sales cycle due to the optimized nature of the product when it comes to onboarding new clients and showing the value that the product can offer.

Your take on the future of AI and automation-led IT Management and productivity in hybrid and remote workplaces?

The rapid pace of innovation in AI over the past year has brought about significant improvements, and the potential for disruption across various industries, including automation-led IT management. However, the full automation of workflows in certain settings may take some time, especially where security and compliance are crucial factors. In the near future, we are more likely to see human capabilities augmented by AI rather than full automation. Humans will still have an important role to play in that setting.

Because of the wide reach of these remarkable breakthroughs, it is crucial for every company to stay informed about the current and future landscape of AI, and to develop a clear strategy that takes into account the potential positive and negative impacts on their workforce and business offerings over the coming months and years.

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Thank you, Antoine! That was fun and we hope to see you back on cioinfluence.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

As GM for MSP products and co-founder at JumpCloud, Antoine’s role is to drive the company’s MSP vision and strategy and continuously tailor JumpCloud’s offerings to cater to the needs of partners and their customers. Prior to joining JumpCloud, Antoine was the co-founder and CEO of MYKI, a growth-stage startup focused on decentralized password & 2FA management for MSPs, which was acquired by JumpCloud in February 2022.

JumpCloud Logo

JumpCloud is reimagining the on-prem directory as a cloud-based platform that secures identities, manages devices, and provides safe access to all types of IT resources — on-prem, in the cloud, across Windows, Mac, or Linux.

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