One of the things that I’ve learned at my 10 years at ThreeWill is that the technology community in Georgia is smaller than you think. This is one of the main reasons why you always want to deliver for your clients. And when you deliver for clients, you build close relationships with folks who will want to work with you as their careers evolve. It’s amazing how many times we have worked with the same folks as they have moved to new companies. This month’s hero is one of those people. And, what’s unique about this month’s ThreeWill Hero is that his experiences have paralleled our evolution as a company. Our hero is Jonathan Foulkes, CEO of Rover Apps.

Working Together in the Enterprise

Jonathan knows quality. Just take a look at his home audio setup and you’ll see that he’s pretty passionate about details. We first met Jonathan while he was the Senior Director of Development at Reed Business. He was looking to partner with a company with deep SharePoint expertise and we fit the bill. He had put together a strong technical team (I’ve noticed this is a skill of his) and we worked together well. He and his team quickly picked up on the “SharePoint platform” idea and the benefits of using SharePoint for some of the key internal processes.

More About Jonathan

The thing that I remember most about our initial conversations was that he never talked down to me (although with his impressive background he could…for example, he was the Director of Development at DoubleClick, he holds a patent for a Method and System for a Session Allocation Manager, and he’s Trilingual). Also, he was always honest with me. He would let me know what was going on and was thoughtful about my time by not having us go after unfunded initiatives. Finally, we just got along and built up respect for each other pretty quickly. I think he appreciated our focus on SharePoint and we appreciated the way he involved us and treated us fairly, even at the beginning.

The Next Phase

Jonathan ended up moving on from Reed Business and we ended up staying in touch with an email here and there. Then, one day I got an email that Jonathan had downloaded our white paper on SharePoint as a Product Platform and he mentioned that he was interested in building a SharePoint Connector for an enterprise mobility product that he had brought to market. Talk about connecting us to a sweet spot project – I was so excited and quickly relayed the news to Tommy. We were both looking forward to the prospect of working with Jonathan again and the chance to work on a commercial software venture together where we could clearly help out (we’ve been creating a number of SharePoint Connectors for other companies).

Working Together Again

We met up for lunch and he showed me what the product was and I was floored. He had it loaded on his iPhone and he painted the vision of being able to access SharePoint information from anywhere. After a couple of conversations and then a couple weeks of development, we had a product ready for Beta clients. At the end of 2010, we released the initial version of the SharePoint Connector for Rover. We had a great time going around and talking to a number of our clients and the reaction was positive and enthusiastic. We also took the opportunity to meet up with a number of ISV’s and other SI’s in the Atlanta area – one of those partnerships was formalized last week (see the press release from Handshake Software and Rover apps). We’ve done some webinars together and we are planning even more for later this Fall.

Another Top Notch Team

I don’t need to state the obvious, but Enterprise Mobility is hot right now. Jonathan has put together a world class product in two years along with a top notch team (I have loved working with Deb Farrell and Steve Christianson) to capitalize on the opportunity. We’ve also had a chance to get to know Jeff Garbers, his co-founder. Not only does he have a great voice, but he’s one of the smartest and enthusiastic technologists out there.

Thanks and the Future

Thanks for being a ThreeWill Hero Jonathan! We know that you will be successful making Rover the leading mobile enterprise application platform. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

Word from Jonathan

After hearing he was a ThreeWill Hero, Jonathan shared the following…

I am honored to be nominated for this award. Working with Danny, Tommy and the great team at ThreeWill has been a pleasure for me. Their high ethical and work standards stood out from the moment I met them and their passion for SharePoint and satisfying their customers has been proven over and over to me. I look forward to many more years of ongoing collaboration with ThreeWill.

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