Newcomer’s introduction to the Atlassian Ecosystem
Have you recently joined the Atlassian Ecosystem? If you don’t know how it works and how to find yourself here, let us introduce you to this fascinating world. In the Ecosystem, you can try and buy Atlassian software, as well as the vendors’ apps, develop your Jira-related skills, gain completely new knowledge and meet amazingly creative and helpful people. Ready?
What is the Atlassian Ecosystem?
The ecosystem in the IT industry refers to the main product platform and applications, developed by independent companies, broadening its core offer. Such smaller organizations’ networks are built around Microsoft, Oracle, and Google. The giants let smaller companies grow on their fertile land and at the same time expand their businesses even more. That was also what Atlassian wanted establishing their ecosystem – to build a platform that would encourage entrepreneurship and help companies collaborate.
As Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian said, their primary assumption was that the great product should sell itself. That’s why the company didn’t have (and still doesn’t) a sales department. Atlassian focused on building a convenient e-commerce experience with the products easy to try and buy. Happy customers were reviewing their products, and that helped the company build up organically. So did the Solution Partners. These are outside organizations who advise companies on Atlassian software and implement it on the local markets. The business model with partners and vendors is completely understandable in case of Atlassian. Since they don’t have a sales department, Partners are the ones to take over this role. Also, it can be hard to understand how Jira works, especially if we take different hosting options into consideration. The partners can deal with in-house software deployment, configuration, and training. The Australian company’s employees keep themselves busy with taking care of the core products and just can’t make it with developing features that answer all users’ needs. Here come the vendors who are targeted at that. Then Atlassian started creating a large ecosystem of vendors developing apps that extend their software. Atlassian Marketplace, a store where you can browse and purchase those extensions, achieved 100 million in sales within first three years of its activity.
Besides partners and vendors in the Ecosystem, there are also developers working on the core products and extensions, and obviously the users. This whole structure is completed by the resources of knowledge for all members and newcomers. Let’s take a closer look at the terms and ideas outlined here and at the rest of the Ecosystem-related concepts.
Atlassian Partners and Vendors
As we’ve already mentioned, vendors are the companies (from all over the world) developing apps available on the Atlassian Marketplace, extending functionalities of the products like Jira Software, Jira Service Desk, Confluence, Bitbucket, Crucible, Fisheye, Bamboo, Crowd and Trello. The vendors that stand out with a great commitment to the Atlassian Platform, and meet specific requirements, can apply to the Top Vendor program. It helps users buy extensions with confidence. The Top Vendors that distinguish themselves from the rest by the high quality of app development, as well as dedication to the customers, can gain Gold and then Platinum status. Some of the big players among the vendors are:
- Gliffy – the authors of the top-selling Gliffy Diagrams for Confluence app (drawing diagrams and flowcharts),
- Tempo – the authors of the top-selling Tempo Timesheets (time tracking in Jira) and Tempo Planner (team management and work planning),
- //SEIBERT/MEDIA – the authors of the top-selling draw.io Diagrams for Confluence (making flowcharts and diagrams),
- Innovalog – the authors of the top-selling Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (Jira workflow automation),
- beecom – the authors of the top-selling JSU Automation Suite for Jira Workflows.
Partners help to implement, configure and customize the Atlassian solutions. They can also sell you the products, offer custom development services and technical support, conduct integration or migration or educate your team. Partners have different specializations – some of them are masters in ITSM projects, the others in deploying developers’ tools like Bitbucket. They also operate in different regions because every local market is oriented on specific products.
Some of the top partners in the Ecosystem are Valiantys, cPrime, Adaptavist, Clearvision, Service Rocket, K15t and Communardo, to name a few.
We know that you may still feel lost in the Atlassian Ecosystem. Fortunately, there are quite a few places where you can look for the answers to your questions.
The clear layout of the Atlassian webpage helps to navigate through this huge source of information. Start from the top menu. You have three sections there: Products, For teams and Support.
The first path guides you over Atlassian software, grouped into use categories like planning, collaborating, coding and security. When you enter the product page, you see the screenshots from the tool together with the descriptions of its core features. You can also find there product guides, industry reports or links to the products’ demos. The For teams tab is also devoted to the Atlassian tools, but in this place, they are matched with the teams’ sizes and functions (such as marketing, HR or finance).
This tab is a starting point when you’re looking for help. From here you’ll be directed to the specific part of the website. One of them is the Atlassian Support page, where you can raise a ticket, report a bug, add feature suggestion or browse the products’ documentation. Another one – the Licensing section of the Atlassian page – will answer your questions about the tools’ pricing, licenses, trials, Reseller Agreement, and Enterprise Offerings. If you’re searching for the solutions for your company, check the whole section concerning enterprise products’ offers and services.
On the Atlassian Product and News blog, you can read about the applications’ releases and tips, the company news, and Agile. If you need a break from a strongly professional content, jump to the Work Life blog and get bogged down in productivity, teamwork, leadership, and technology articles.
When you can’t find the answer to your problem in the abovementioned resources, visit the Atlassian Community. Your Atlassian account is enough to be this social platform’s member and post questions. The Community gathers users willing to support each other. You can also use the search to check whether the same question or similar to yours has been already answered or whether someone published an article which you’ll find helpful. To be up to date with the latest posts, you can create RSS feed for the search results to receive them either on your email or in RSS feed reader.
Another place for asking your questions is the Atlassian Developer Community – a place dedicated for the people building apps and integrations for the Atlassian products. Here you can also access the Atlassian server and cloud developer documentation. If you seek more information, check Atlassian Developer landing page which provides you with upcoming developer events in the Ecosystem and additional useful content, or visit the developers’ blog. In the last place, you’ll find the latest products’ news and tips from other programers.
If your company is an Atlassian Solution Partner or Marketplace Vendor (and you’re logged in with your Atlassian account), you should be able to access a portal intended for the partners. Besides information on the Atlassian Partner Program (for Solution Partners, Marketplace Vendors, and Training Partners), you can also find there partner marketing tips and best practices, product’s learning and selling resources, the Atlassian Enablement Academy information and Atlassian events and webinars.
What can you do in the Atlassian Ecosystem?
Using even only one of the Atlassian products, already makes you a part of the Ecosystem. Make yourself at home! You can explore the rest of the Atlassian tool suite through testing and discussing it with your peers on the Atlassian Community. However, it’s just a fraction of what you can do in the Ecosystem. Let’s take a look at the other engagement opportunities it gives.
Trying and buying the Marketplace Vendors’ apps
You’re sucessfully using the Atlassian tools, but it may happen that over time you’ll need an answer to your specific needs. Ask the Community if there are some features that will help you, but you aren’t aware of. When the answer is no, open our guide to choosing the Marketplace extensions. Followingly, go to the Atlassian store and discover the wide choice of the add-ons.
Having Jira trainings and consultations with the Solution Partners
Does the amount of the apps at the Marketplace defeat you? Or maybe you don’t know what will work best with your Atlassian tool? Whether you’re looking for Jira Cloud plugins or Confluence add-ons, the Solution Partners are fully qualified to advise you. They can also give you a helping hand with using the Atlassian toolset, as well as teach your team about it.
Meeting Atlassian team, partners, and users in person
Reading or watching valuable content created by the professionals is great, but it’s even better if you can meet the experts and ask them questions. The Atlassian team members can reveal the mysteries of its company’s tools and give you some cool tips. Talking with the partners builds trust towards their solutions and services and can give you an insight into the functionalities and possibilities you didn’t even think about. Whereas the other Atlassian products’ users can share their experience, best practices, and actions to avoid. Where to meet all those people?
- The Atlassian Summit – the biggest event in the Ecosystem, hosted by Atlassian. It’s always packed with the product keynotes and inspiring sessions led not exclusively by the Atlassian employees, but also other members of the Ecosystem.
- Jira Day – the largest Atlassian conference in Central Europe.
- Atlas Camp – an event with the latest tips and tricks from the Atlassian developer community.
- Atlassian Team Tour, Atlassian Open – the series of events with the experts who educate on the solutions for unlocking the teams’ potential and making their work more productive and fulfilling.
- App Week – an event during which the Atlassian employees and the vendors work together on building the next generation of apps for the Marketplace. You can check other Atlassian events here.
- Atlassian partners’ events – there’s something going on almost every month. You can look for the information either on the Atlassian Partner Portal or on the particular companies’ websites.
- Atlassian User Group meetings (the name has recently changed to Atlassian Community) – here you can meet the Atlassian products’ enthusiasts, listen about their use cases and ask your questions. Check if there’s such a community in your city. If you can’t find anything nearby, become a Community Leader and create your own group!
Developing your professional skills in the Atlassian University
Atlassian provides you with a bunch of learning resources, especially at their Atlassian University landing page. In the Training tab, you can pick up your learning path like Jira Administrator, Jira Project Administrator, Jira Service Desk Administrator, Confluence Administrator, Confluence User or the course for Agile Team Member. The trainings in every path are paid but you can also find some free tutorials on this website. Also, check out Free Skillbuilders – deep-dive technical courses on subjects such as Customizing Jira Workflows, Confluence Content Management or Configuring and Troubleshooting Permissions in Jira. Once you finish learning, you can try to become an Atlassian Certified Professional by taking one of the certification exams. It’ll bring you more career opportunities, as well as inspire trust from your clients.
Sharing your experience and helping others in the Atlassian Community
We’ve already mentioned Atlassian Community as a place where you can ask your questions and look for support from different users. However, you can also engage in conversations to help others. Sharing your experience with the Atlassian products can help develop the Ecosystem members’ skills or avoid being stuck with problems that you already know the solutions for. When you’ll feel like supporting and motivating are your things, you can step up and apply to the Community Leaders program. The leaders are meant to be an extension of the Atlassian team and the go-to people. They should encourage knowledge-sharing, serve as the ambassadors of the Atlassian brand, answer questions online and in person, and organize events. Besides glory in the Community, the leaders also get free vouchers for each of Atlassian’s certification exams and badges, the opportunity to earn a free ticket to the Atlassian Summit, and access to a private Slack instance for Community Leaders, just to name a few.
Building your own app
As said at the beginning, Atlassian brought the Ecosystem to life, not only for their profit but also to foster the entrepreneurship. It would have taken forever for some small companies to build their businesses founded on the Atlassian products, if they had done it on their own. Being part of the larger network, the companies get publicity and a large audience (due to the Atlassian’s reputation) as well as the access to the Jira creators’ know-how. Then if you see some pain point or simply have a brilliant idea for the app, think no more and start working on it! After polishing your last functionality, go to the Marketplace and try to sell your extension.
Developing plugins is not your thing? You can offer Atlassian services and the vendors’ apps as the Solution Partner.
Let the adventure begin
Now when your Ecosystem onboarding is over, feel free to make most this amazing network! Try out different paths to stick to the ones which will turn out to be your favorite. And whenever you’ll feel lost in the Atlassian world, you can count on a helping hand from your peers in the Community.
As an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner Enterprise, we’d be happy to talk about your Atlassian-related interests. Ask us any questions you have on this page. Also, we’re Platinum Top Vendor in the Ecosystem and we’ve been working hard on helping improve Jira Software and Service Desk by adding useful functionalities for over 5000 teams around the world. We’re developing apps on the Atlassian Marketplace, providing expert services and sharing knowledge on the subject with useful tutorials and guides. Read on to learn more: