Atlassian Summit – extending the reach of enterprise teamwork


Announcements today at Atlassian Summit extend the collaboration vendor’s reach beyond its core developer market into broader enterprise teamwork

Scott Farquhar Michael Pryor Atlassian Summit 2017-05 370px by @philww
Scott Farquhar, Michael Pryor, Atlassian

While last week’s launch of messaging platform Stride is the big talking point at Atlassian’s annual customer conference today in San Jose, the vendor has plenty to announce across the rest of its product line.

Atlassian continues to extend the capabilities of tools for its core user base among developers, but one of the big themes this year is opening out the ease of cross-functional collaboration with people from other functions across the enterprise. Broadening participation enhances results, as Jens Schumacher, Head of Software Teams at Atlassian, notes in a blog post timed to coincide with the opening keynote:

Real innovation occurs when teams make full use of the talents and skills from across different functions and locations.

Two products that weren’t in the portfolio a year ago are set to play a leading role in that expansion beyond Atlassian’s software development fanbase. One is Stride, a messaging-centric platform for team communication that the company launched last week to compete head-to-head against other general-purpose team messaging platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams. The other is Trello, the flexible, ad-hoc project manager which Atlassian acquired in January. Both tools are designed to be easy for anyone to pick up and start using.

Trello comes to Bitbucket Cloud

First launched in 2011, Trello already has a massive user base of more than 22 million, not only among businesses but also individuals who use it to organize and collaborate on home and family projects. Its adoption rate is such that Atlassian CEO Scott Farquhar has called it “the gateway drug to Atlassian.”

So it’s appropriate that one of today’s announcements sees the first significant integration of Trello into an Atlassian product. Trello boards are now directly integrated into BitBucket Cloud, the vendor’s GitHub-like code manager, with a new menu navigation item to create a Trello project board from within the BitBucket environment. This means that developers can bring other people from around the organization into the project and see their updates without them having to be BitBucket users. Rahul Chhabria, Product Manager for Enterprise Cloud at Atlassian, says:

Trello is a great way to add all of your contributors. Designers, analysts, go to market strategists can all coalesce over Trello … It supports the entire product team.

ID management for Atlassian Cloud

Another announcement that reinforces Atlassan’s expanding footprint is the introduction of an identity management layer for its cloud products (Atlassian already has a product called Crowd, for managing identity across its privately hosted products).

Three quarters of new Atlassian customers now start with a cloud product, and more than 70% of the customer base have at least one cloud product. The proportion has been growing for some time — Atlassian started out as an on-premise vendor and a significant number of customers still have on-premise or private cloud instances. Last quarter was the first time the vendor’s subscription revenues had surpassed licensed software maintenance revenues.

Identity Manager supports SAML and includes capabilities for enterprise administration such as the ability to set policies around passwords and 2-factor authentication. Most customers will use it with a third-party single sign-on tool to integrate the Atlassian cloud portfolio into their existing identity and access management infrastructure, says Chhabria:

We know this will make it easier for large enterprise to adopt our cloud. We’re looking to streamline identity management across Atlassian products and integrate with the tools you already know and like.

More features for Jira

Other announcements are focused on Atlassian’s flagship Jira issue tracking system. Like the rest of its core products, Jira is available as a licensed product to install on a company’s own servers, and also in a high-availability Data Center edition for larger, more mission-critical implementations. That edition of Jira is now available for Microsoft Azure, joining AWS as a public cloud hosting option. It can also be used with Azure Data Center in a private cloud configuration.

Other announcements for Jira include the launch of a new embedded support portal in Jira Service Desk Cloud, and extensions to the self-hosted Portfolio for Jira, which gives enterprises a global view of projects running in Jira. The new functionality gives more oversight of multiple projects and how they relate to each other, including dependencies. Junie Dinda, Product Marketing Lead for Server Products, explains:

It gives you an aggregated view of multiple projects rolling up to a larger business initiative. It allows you to view your plan-of-plans and see dependencies and progress — how all your individual projects translate up into business priorities.

My take

As I wrote earlier this year, Atlassian is ambitious, despite its sometimes laid-back image. At the time, I called it the dark horse in the contest to lead the enterprise collaboration market. To continue the horse racing analogy, it’s now started its gallop to catch up the leaders, with Stride and Trello providing the extra horsepower. But this is a tough race with some very strong contenders and there’s still some way to go before the final furlong.

Image credit - via Atlassian

Disclosure - Atlassian funded the author's travel to attend its EMEA conference in Barcelona earlier this year.