“Gain all of the experience that you can in different areas of business, across sales, marketing, product development, operations, finance, accounting, legal, and employee experience. And, most important, cultivate strong relationships and take care of and treat people well.” –Justin Judd, CFO, BambooHR
Ten years ago, when Adobe management finally made up its mind to enter the software-as-a-service (SaaS) realm and become part of the mass migration from selling boxed software to selling its software offerings via subscription, Adobe’s migratory undertaking might well have been compared to that of the arctic tern.
With by far the longest such treks known in the animal kingdom, the arctic tern has one of the most widely followed migrations on the planet—and such would be the case for Adobe, whose most dedicated observers were unquestionably its investors.Read More
“How do we tell investors that this is a great thing for them, that the metrics on which they’re most reliant actually won’t have any validity for 2 or 3 years, and that they should look at other numbers instead?,” asks Justin Judd, who at the time—as a vice president in Adobe’s corporate legal group—became involved in the massive migration as the company’s finance and legal worlds converged to better address the transformation’s communication challenges.
To Judd, Adobe’s migration to SaaS was an inflection point not only for the company but also for his career, which—considering the legal complexities of the migration—would benefit from having direct involvement with Adobe’s executive team and board. What’s more, Judd found himself increasingly intertwined with the company’s finance teams and leaders.
“In communicating and developing the strategy and running through this process, I learned the value that finance can have in framing hard decisions for companies and the importance of business context because Adobe invested deeply in understanding what our customers needed,” explains Judd, who—although initially summoned for his legal guidance—seems to have savored the broader communications challenge that was being addressed by Adobe’s finance teams.
“’Here’s how our product offerings work. Here are the implications of decisions that we make.’ Let me bring this information back and present it in a way that can be influential and powerful in helping our decision-making to be successful,” remarks Judd, who would trade in his legal moniker in 2018 when he was named CFO of Adobe’s digital experience business—perhaps a less-than-surprise outcome in light of his previous multiyear entrenchment within the company’s finance leadership.
However, unlike with the arctic tern, for Judd there would be no turning back. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: Tell us about BambooHR … what does this company do, and what are its offerings today?
Judd: Let me start with the mission because I think that this is really relevant. What was most exciting about coming to BambooHR was that we start with the mission of setting people free to do great work. This is accomplished by offering to small and medium-size firms a unique and differentiated way to manage and deliver incredible employee experiences to their employee base.
We like to refer to it as “software with heart.” We focus on people. We focus on individuals. We deliver an all-in-one solution to help HR professionals to enable the employee process in everything from recruitment and hiring to onboarding, to empowering stronger communication and the easing of those sometimes not-so-fun tasks of actually filling out documentation, to then managing this whole process. We help with managing pay- and time-tracking; with the administration of all of the aspects of compensating employees; with incentives, rewards, and the management and building of culture; and, eventually, if it ever happens, with offboarding folks.Read More
We start from a foundation of wanting to help to drive organizational efficiency, especially for HR professionals. We want to free up their time so that they can do the things that are maybe of higher value and that can drive the most important aspects of a business. It’s all about helping people to be successful. We strive to set people free to do great work, meaning to let HR professionals at companies have the time that they need to feel free to go and drive the things that are of greatest importance. We’re hopefully setting the employees of these companies free to do their best work by eliminating a lot of what would otherwise be traditionally time-consuming tasks. This is especially true in small to medium-size businesses, where maybe a single office manager is trying to keep up with 100 different tasks. We’re enabling them to be much more effective in the people realm and to be better prepared to deliver an incredible employee experience.
Over the next 12 months, I will really be focusing on finishing my own discovery exercise and ensuring that we’ve identified what operational steps are needed to build the foundation to operate the business at scale. My biggest priority is that I want to make sure that the right teams and processes are in place and that we’re ready to handle our next thousand employees, a mark that we’ve just crossed over. I’d love to make sure that we have a really solid base for the next thousand and beyond, so this will be an important priority. So, I’ll be finishing my discovery stage and making sure that I know what needs to be done to solidify our operational foundation. I’ll also be focusing on people and making sure that my own team and the entire organization feel that they have a clear picture of where we’re going, that they’re connected to the organization, and that we’re ready to add the next thousand employees.
BambooHR | www.bamboohr.com | Lindon, UT