Founded in 1983 by former government contractors, JAMIS helps service-oriented federal contractors to collect, track and invoice billions of dollars each year through the JAMIS labor management costing and billing system.
JAMIS exclusively uses the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform to give federal government contractors ERP software support for their complex
financial and human resource systems. Using the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform helped them more than double their average deal size and increase company revenues.
Location: Headquarters in San Diego, CA; field operations in NJ, CO and VA
industry: ERP and labor tracking software solutions for federal government contractors
The Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform has given us a substantial technology lead with a highly functional product in a very sticky niche where no one can catch us for years.
President and CEO
“Our customers range from companies that provide janitorial services on air force bases to those that help NASA design things that go into orbit,” says Jeff Noolas, JAMIS President and CEO.
“The government has a set of rules that you have to follow if you’re going to get paid, and we help them do that. That’s our
specialty,” he says. For example, “there’s cost-accounting standards, there’s federal acquisition regulations. There’s also a
Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) group that enforces those regulations,” he says. “Contractors have to track a couple hundred detailed requirements, and our labor-management costing and billing system helps track it all so they invoice the government properly.”
The company realized they needed to update their aging system built on COBOL and the COBOL-based MCBA accounting system in 2006 and began researching potential partners and technologies. They stepped up those efforts in early 2011. “We were using that system for over 20 years,” Noolas says. “From a technology standpoint, we found that we were limited in the type and size of customer that would accept our solution based on dated technology.”
Over time, JAMIS started to rewrite its code using C# and Visual Studio, but they still needed a replacement for the accounting, job costing and billing components. By moving to a cloud-based solution built on newer technologies, “we felt we could go up-market and double the size of the company,” Noolas says. “The only way to grow the company was to rewrite the product and we needed a contemporary
technology overall to help us move to the cloud.”
“Basically we had limited ourselves to selling to small companies without significant IT departments,” Noolas says. “When we tried to sell to larger opportunities where IT was more of a strategic player in the selection process, we would get eliminated. The opportunity
to grow into larger players wasn’t there because we didn’t have the technology. We knew we had to make a change.”
The JAMIS team looked at several technologies—including NetSuite and others—whose technology or partnership plans didn’t compare favorably to Acumatica, which they chose, says Noolas. “None of them measured up.”
JAMIS needed to do more than add functionality to its software. “Adding feature and function to any software is easy. But it’s very hard to have an existing application and modernize it by changing the framework,” says Joe Satlin, JAMIS Director of Product Innovation. “We wanted something that was very new, and fit into our requirements of cloud; we wanted C#, and there was really no other choice out
there as developed as the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform.”
After choosing Acumatica, JAMIS developers “spent three months writing story cards we use in Agile Development, and then spent 5 months coding,” Satlin says. “Through that time we actually replaced about 85% of a 25-year-old package, moving it to the Acumatica platform.”
As part of the transition, JAMIS wrote two new modules: a government contracting project management module and a human resource module. Then they customized the Acumatica platform. “This was possible because all the plumbing, all the adherence to user interface standards and all the security was built in—we didn’t have to program it,” says Satlin. “It’s all provided in the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform. We wrote about 150,000 lines of code in 15 months.”
Development ran smoothly despite a rapid release of Acumatica updates: “Every time we got a new version, we updated the Acumatica framework code, merged in our customizations, compiled, and then were off and running,” Satlin says.
JAMIS used their own new product for several months, beta-tested it with customers in mid-2013, and began a full roll-out in early 2014.
Choosing the Acumatica platform allowed JAMIS to cut its time to market by at least half, says Noolas. It also gave JAMIS depth and breadth of functionality they couldn’t have developed without spending considerably more time and money. “Not only did it substantially reduce our time to market, what we can deliver to the customer is quite robust for a relatively new product,” he says.
“We’ve doubled the size of our average transaction, moved up-market and have a robust product in our vertical that can’t be replicated,” Noolas says. “Entrenched competitors with old products can’t get where we are. The Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform has given us a substantial technology lead with a highly functional product in a very sticky niche where no one can catch us for years.”
Before retooling, JAMIS sold to companies with about 100 employees, and its average deal size was between $75,000 and $100,000, Noolas says. “Now, we’re doing deals between $250,000 to $350,000 and our average customer has 250 or more employees. We’re closing seven-figure deals and we recently had success with a company with 1,000 employees—we simply couldn’t play there before.”
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