Partnering with the millionaire factory

Partnering with the millionaire factory

How one integrator bet big on Atlassian and is now reaping the rewards

ServiceRocket's offices in Sydney, photo courtesy of Flickr

ServiceRocket's offices in Sydney, photo courtesy of Flickr

There has been much said in the media about the rise of Australian software developer, Atlassian, culminating in the company’s recent IPO, but the untold story is how other companies have had success offering and building on Atlassian products.

Australian consulting and managed services company, ServiceRocket, is perhaps the best example of this. The company was started in 2001 by founder and chief executive, Rob Castaneda, and at the time was called Customware.

The company changed its name to ServiceRocket in 2013 but began its life as one of Atlassian’s first customers and then, its first partner. It now has offices in Sydney, Palo Alto (where Rob Castaneda now lives), Boston, Santiago Chile and Kuala Lumpur.

ServiceRocket vice president enterprise, Ray Bradbery, explained the company got its start reselling two of Atlassian’s core products, JIRA and Confluence but has since broadened its offering to include value added products and services.

“In the Atlassian world, we resell licences to our enterprise customers, we train their employees, deliver consulting services and we deliver enterprise technical support. In some cases we are the Atlassian administrator for the client,” he said.

Approximately 60 per cent of ServiceRocket’s business is Atlassian but the company also has partnerships with docker, puppet labs, cloudera, Couchbase and Mulesoft amongst others.

“It’s a managed services play, it’s a consulting play, a licensing play and we also do lots of different things for the Atlassian marketplace,” Bradbery continued.

He said despite all the publicity Atlassian has received recently there was some understanding of the Atlassian product suite in the market, but what the company finds is the market is changing and so the applications for the products ServiceRocket offers have changed along with it.

“If you go back to when the market started the technology was targeted at development teams.

“In the past a developer would buy a license for JIRA or Confluence and that is where it started. Now it has become more of an enterprise solution so a client will come with a business problem and ask if the Atlassian product set can help.

Bradbery said that there was no particular product that gets the integrator in the door of new clients but once they are in ServiceRocket is more often than not able to upsell due to their other products and services that compliment each other.

“We are not one of your traditional companies, we do other things that you don’t see, we provide complimentary services to many of the companies we resell. We have a learning management system that is used to sell their training to their customers, the product is called learndot,” he explained.

“We also provide support for Atlassian, puppet and docker amongst others. In the background if you raise a support ticket with any of those companies, it may be ServiceRocket that is answering the question.

“We also built many of docker’s training facilities and trained all of docker’s partners worldwide. For engineX, we run their training department for them.

“It is around driving service desks, change management, pipeline management, procurement management using Atlassian products. The pure IT play has basically disappeared and around 60 per cent of the work we do now has nothing to do with IT.”

The myriad of different use cases of Atlassian technology is testament to the design of products like JIRA and Confluence. Bradbery said that the amount of different use cases he has seen Atlassian products used in is staggering.

“We recently ran an Atlassian in the enterprise event where we had 40 people come to our offices. They came from a wide range of companies including some of the large consulting firms.

“We went through some of the case studies such as the procurement system we built for Linkedin and the broker management system we built for Zurich Insurance.

“It was not about IT it was about business. With the products emerging like JIRA Service Desk and JIRA Portfolio, they have a real resonance with business.

Development software for Insurance

Zurich Financial Services Australia uses JIRA and Confluence in its underwriting services team to provide service to its insurance broker network and manage policy renewals.

“The Zurich case was interesting as it was the business owner looking over the shoulder of an IT person and asking what they were doing and what product they were using,” Bradbery said.

He explained the business decision maker then began to think they would be able to use the product to solve their particular problem.

“We were subsequently invited in to do a proof of concept and he continually asked about different possible applications for the product and we were able to show him the many possible permutations for the JIRA solution set.

“That was developed and developed into what is now a mission critical system.”

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Tags LinkedInatlassianclouderaZurichCouchBasePuppetLabsDockerengineXRob CastanedaServiceRocketRay Bradbery


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