Companies are searching for new ways to be innovative. Ninety-three percent of executives indicate that organic growth through innovation will drive the greater proportion of their revenue growth, according to 1,700+ executives surveyed in PriceWaterhouseCooper’s “Unleashing the Power of Innovation” study.

Carmel, Ind.-based software product design and development company, Software Engineering Professionals (SEP), just made another significant investment in providing its customers the tools they need to innovate. SEP has acquired CardBoard, a collaborative design and story mapping software product.

In January, SEP opened the doors to its new Product Design Studio, a unique space that’s immersive and collaborative where SEP and its customers and partners develop software. The concept behind the highly visible storefont space near the corner of 126th Street and S. Rangeline Road in Carmel is to foster more meaningful collaboration that results in better products that people actually use, and to do it faster and at a lower cost.

The acquisition of CardBoard is, in part, a digital extension of that concept and more that helps to translate the collaborative experience of SEP’s Product Design Studio to distributed teams all over the world. The acquisition will also enable SEP to expand its global footprint into a number of new countries.

CardBoard, previously owned by DevJam, a Minneapolis-based product development company, is an agile and lean product-development method friendly product that helps to organize and document where developers want to take their customers. It frames the customer journey through a story map — similar to the way a storyboard outlines the plot of a movie — that helps to visualize user experiences and workflows. It also easily connects to various tracking tools like JIRA, VersionOne, Pivotal Tracker and Rally, and allows users to visualize product progress by toggling status on or off as a way to plan.

Chris Shinkle

Chris ShinkleDirector of Innovation

Director of innovation at SEP, Chris Shinkle, says he’s “excited to work with an industry-changing product like CardBoard. SEP’s staff of more than 100 engineers will be more responsive than ever to your requests in order to provide the best customer experience and continued the growth of this product.

“We’re looking forward to putting more marketing and development behind what we believe is an industry-leading product, with hopes it will truly revolutionize story mapping beyond the agile dev environment.”

Shinkle said in Indianapolis, for example, there is a fast-growing agile community but there are probably many developers who don’t yet know about CardBoard and they should.

“CardBoard has created a community of more than 13,000 users in 47 states and 90 countries with almost no marketing and sales operations — that’s organic growth based on the strengths of the product David and his team built,” Shinkle said. (David Hussman is founder of DevJam and CardBoard.)

“As a small company, they did the heavy-lifting with creating the product, attracting thousands of dedicated users and building a community. We’re now at an exciting point with this acquisition by SEP because we have the resources and the talent teams to take CardBoard to the next level once we understand what it is that the user community truly wants and needs. We do expect Cardboard to grow, but we aren’t going to rush it; we’re going to spend the time getting to know the current CardBoard community before we press on the gas with a focus on growth.”

Additionally from the acquisition announcement:

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to continue to grow the CardBoard product and brand,” said Jeff Gilbert, founder and CEO of SEP. “We know this tool is important to the agile software development industry, and we are committed to collaborating with DevJam during the transitionary period to ensure a smooth transfer of ownership.”

“We have recognized SEP’s approach to learning about customer needs in order to build a better user experience. Their agile engineering team has our complete trust and confidence. We know the product is in good hands, and will see continued growth.” said David Hussman, founder of DevJam and CardBoard. “I’m positive that current customers will see the same or greater level of customer interaction moving forward.”

To learn more about CardBoard visit or meet with the team at Mile High Agile or Keep Austin Agile.