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Aptos General Manager Q&A Series: Jeremy Grunzweig, Americas

Editor’s Note: In May 2021, Jeremy Grunzweig joined Aptos as General Manager, Americas. In this Q&A, we get to know Jeremy on a more personal level and scratch the surface of why he’s excited about his role at Aptos and why he sees big changes on the horizon in the retail software landscape.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself. What three adjectives best describe you?

The adjectives that best define me are curious, focused and genuine. I really like to think that these apply both at work and in my personal life.

I always try to remain focused on self-improvement, self-awareness and knowledge. There is so much change going on in our lives, personally and professionally, that I find it’s important to keep a positive attitude and inspire others. For me, I try not to get too high or too low, or overreact. I find that if you are too emotional, it prevents thinking in a pragmatic way, which can hinder the ability to learn, grow and deal with change.

Q: When did you join Aptos, and what are your responsibilities?

I am relatively new, as I just started at Aptos in May of this year. My role is General Manager for the Americas, and I oversee the sales, services and go-to-market teams for Canada, the US and Latin America.

I also lead various global functions for Aptos, including Global Sales Operations, Global Partner Enablement and Global Solution Principals.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of the job thus far?

I love talking to people to understand what motivates them and having the opportunity to help them solve their problems and reach their goals. Any chance I get to talk to a customer or an employee is really my favorite aspect of the job. Of course, that is not quite the same in a fully remote world, but we are all adapting.

I also firmly believe that no conversation with a customer or colleague is a bad conversation. You always learn something that hopefully leads to improvement.  

Q: How do you like to spend your personal time?

I like spending time with my family and my dog. (I have a Labradoodle, a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador). I also love reading. I normally read a couple of books per week, and, if I have time, I like to golf during the weekend.

Q: Can you tell us a fun or interesting fact about you?

My interesting fact is that I am a twin and I also have twins. I have a twin sister and my twins are a boy and a girl. 

In total, I have three children. My oldest child was born in London, which is where we lived at that time. When we moved back to the US, we became parents to twins. Today we live in Solon, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland.

Q: In your role, you are responsible for advancing Aptos’ growth in the Americas. Explain your focus and why you are excited to lead the team on this journey.

You’ll hear our CEO, Pete Sinisgalli, say often, “Every customer. Every colleague. Every day.” And we certainly live and breathe that. First and foremost, our strategy is built around customer satisfaction. Our company recently shifted to a territory-based organizational structure to bring greater speed and agility within each territory.

When we can bring the sales, delivery and support teams together to service the needs of retailers in a particular market, we can best adapt our processes and strategies in a way that consistently meets or exceeds client expectations. 

While we now have more autonomy and flexibility within each territory, we also work cohesively around the globe. This is key to delivering on the value that customers expect when they choose to work with the largest global software provider exclusively focused on retail.

I am excited to lead the team in the Americas because we have such an opportunity to help our clients and our people to grow. The market is calling for an excellent provider of the kinds of solutions that we offer. 

Q: How do you think the pandemic will transform the retail software market in the Americas?

I think the biggest industry takeaway from the pandemic was the realization of how quickly retailers had to react to the disruption. And in many cases, if a retailer couldn’t react fast enough, they couldn’t operate. 

This exposed the need for systems to be flexible and adaptable, to the extent we’ve never seen in the past. I believe this expectation for flexibility is going to continue because consumers now expect to be serviced anytime and anywhere. The preference for ultimate convenience isn’t going away.

While we don’t know what the future holds, retailers recognize that investing in agility is the only way to prepare for future disruptions and consumer behavior shifts when they inevitably happen. 

Q: How do you see Aptos playing a role in more agile retail transformations?

We are automatically going to play a role because we have such an established set of customers and they look at us as strategic advisors. Our customers want us to help advise them on where the market is going, and they want us to deliver technology innovations that will best solve the new challenges that the market is imposing.

This is a tremendous opportunity for us but also a big responsibility. As my colleague Aptos CPO Karthik Mani recently explained in this blog post, no solution provider is as modern or flexible as we need to be yet. But Aptos has shown great progress toward achieving this vision.

Q: How do you see Aptos evolving in the next three to five years?

In the coming years you’ll see Aptos be the clear standout in what is right now a very noisy marketplace of vendors claiming to offer unified commerce platforms. Based on the accelerated R&D investments we’re making in Aptos ONE, we’re going to create a lot of separation in the market between ourselves and vendors who force retailers to choose either depth of feature/function and scale OR modern, agile architectures. We are doing that heavy development lift now and have been on that journey for several years, so retailers no longer have to trade agility for sophistication, or vice versa.

Looking ahead, we will continue to grow our business by adding new customers to our portfolio; and just as important, we’ll stay lockstep with our existing customers as they invest in the future of retail technology. 

As long as we continuously improve our ability to help retailers solve business challenges and achieve strategic outcomes — and we create an environment that empowers employees to learn and grow — I am confident that Aptos will meet all of its business goals. 

At the end of the day, servicing our customers and serving our employees … that’s what it’s all about. 

If you enjoyed this blog and would like to continue the conversation with Jeremy, connect with him on LinkedIn.