Product Owner Expert: Revel Employee Spotlight

Revel Blog | Revel Systems | September 29, 2021 |

People POS Spotlight

How Julie Helps Execute Product Ownership at Revel

Without a solid team backing Revel, our product wouldn’t sit at the heart of tens of thousands of businesses worldwide. Our “People POS” series spotlights the fantastic team members behind Revel’s leading cloud-native platform. Most recently we featured Edvinas, a senior technical support specialist who provides top notch technical support for Revel clients. 

Revel product owner Julie can relate to Edvinas’s role, as she’s also been in client-facing positions throughout her tenure at Revel. Read on to learn more about Julie’s five and half year journey at Revel and what led her to the product owner position she sits in today. 

Meet Julie

As a product owner at Revel, Julie spends her days focused on developing must-have features for Revel clients. But before we dive into her current role, let’s first take a look at how she got here. We’ll give you a hint—she’s been a part of the Revel family in some capacity for nearly nine years! 

Julie studied telecommunications in college and worked as a server while pursuing her degree. After having the opportunity to study abroad in Australia, her taste of the Aussie lifestyle inspired a desire to return to the country for a longer stay. She opted to stay stateside for one extra year to complete an accelerated masters degree program in Information and Communication Sciences, but then it was time to pursue her dreams. She moved to Byron Bay, Australia, a tiny holiday town on the east coast of the continent. 

“I had just spent five years in college preparing for corporate America, and found myself in a very small town with no corporate jobs. So I took a job at a dive shop,” Julie says. 

While working at the dive shop, Julie was still visiting the states often to see friends and family and noticed the frenzy that was emerging around the self-serve frozen yogurt concept.

“Labor costs were really high in Australia, and I watched one person serve 10 customers in a matter of minutes. I thought to myself ‘this is an amazing business model,’” she explains. “Long story short, I ended up starting a frozen yogurt shop in Australia with a business partner that I met at the dive shop.”

As fate would have it, Julie and her business partner selected Revel as their transaction platform of choice for the shop, and they went on to successfully run the yogurt business for three years. When her business partner wanted to pursue franchising options, she realized she was ready for her next chapter. 

“I knew that this was my pivot moment. I had been in Australia for 10 years and I had to decide if I was going to stay or go. I decided to trade in the Pacific Ocean for the Ohio River and moved home,” Julie explains.  

After returning home to Ohio, she searched for roles at Revel knowing she understood and had benefitted first-hand from the product. At the time, Revel happened to be hiring for a client success manager position based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Julie landed the role and began working directly with clients onsite during their installation periods. The role taught her how to set up and manage the platform very quickly, and she maintained the position for two years. 

Julie then switched over to Revel’s project management team and began managing installation projects from start to finish, eventually managing Revel’s most complex enterprise installs from introduction to implementation. Now a product owner, Julie’s current role allows her to take all of the learnings she gathered from the field across various roles and put them to good use. She applies her knowledge to inform product strategy and development, helping to put the very best features in the hands of our clients. 

A Closer Look at Product Ownership Today

Having been a Revel client and having worked on client-facing teams at Revel, Julie already had a keen interest in Revel’s product. She also had an extremely deep understanding of Revel’s features and functionality.  

“I knew how the product worked, but I didn’t know how it was made. I found myself asking, ‘How do we actually create this? How do we take something from a feature request to a working feature?’” Julie explains.  

That curiosity made her a perfect match for a product owner role. Today, Julie is responsible for two specific areas of the product: the Management Console, also known as the back office, and store operations, or features on the point of sale (POS) itself. In order to help shephard new features from ideation to completion, Julie works closely with a talented team.

“I work with teams in Russia and Lithuania on a daily basis. My day-to-day consists of meeting with them and talking about requirements for each feature we’re developing,” she says. “We also do a lot of user story writing which helps us map out how clients will actually use the product. I’m often either refining or creating those stories, and testing the work we’ve done.” 

How Julie Brings It Home

Julie explains that because she was formerly a small business owner and Revel client, she has no shortage of compassion for the business owners that she knows her work is impacting. 

“They just need something to work and don’t always have the time to become an expert in everything,” she explains. “They want to trust that someone else can share their expertise and help get them the results they need. My background has made it very easy to relate to them, and in turn I want to help build the best features I can for them.” 

Developing, testing and eventually releasing new features doesn’t happen overnight. There are two new features that Julie has been working closely on that she came out of the field knowing clients would appreciate. According to Julie, it’s been great to sink into those projects first. 

“I’ll admit that I used to be the person wondering why it took time to get a new feature live. I’d always be asking, ‘Why can’t we just build this?’ Now I get it. I see why it takes time to see an idea become a delivered feature.” 

It’s realizations like that that make Julie thankful for each role she’s transitioned into at Revel. She’s been able to draw from each of her previous experiences and use it to inform her expectations in her current role. 

Noteworthy Extras

Having spent the past five and half years of her career at Revel—plus a few more if you count her years spent as a Revel client—Julie has had the opportunity to watch Revel scale into the leading cloud-native platform and POS on the market. 

“Initially the entrepreneurial spirit kept me here. Everyone was working extremely hard to build our presence in the market. I’ve gotten to see that shift into a more professional spirit, but I appreciate that we still have our entrepreneurial roots,” she says. 

Julie also notes that the people she works with are a huge driver of her happiness at Revel.

“It may be cliché, but the people I work with are also the reason I’ve stayed at Revel for so long. I’ve always felt like I had colleagues sitting next to me that I can reach out to for help,” Julie explains. “I might spend eight hours a day in my home office, but I still feel like I'm surrounded by colleagues. You don’t feel so isolated.” 

Julie’s latest job title is perhaps her proudest accomplishment to date: new mom. When she’s not spending time with her husband and son, she enjoys trail running in the national park near her home and spending time outdoors.  

What’s Next

Julie and her fellow team of product owners continue to put their heads together each day to bring mission critical features and product enhancements to life for Revel clients. 

With new app releases always on the horizon, we’re looking forward to delivering new and innovative features to clients in the coming weeks and months.