Our customers – you – are pioneers. You made a choice to introduce our products into your organizations. In many cases, you started without permission. Whether it’s Daimler Chrysler, The New York Times, or Mercy Ships – there is an individual or a small team that placed a bet on us. As a result, you are unleashing incredible innovation within your companies by choosing to build with Atlassian.

This September 12-14, we’ll be in San Jose for US Summit, hearing about the amazing things you’re creating with the help of Atlassian tools. The lead-up to San Jose has me reflecting on the inspiration behind Summit, and why we decided to double our efforts to two locations, twice a year: our customers. To tide us over until then, I wanted to highlight three customers who shared their Atlassian journey with us on-site at Summit Europe in Barcelona.

Babbel: new hire onboarding in just five hours

Believe it or not, JQL isn’t the only language worth knowing. So when I heard from Babbel, the industry leader in online language learning, I was blown away by how they’re using our tools to power the world’s most successful language learning app.

Who among us hasn’t tried and failed to order a café after four grueling years of high school Spanish? Babbel was the first to rethink the traditional textbook approach–swapping a 10-pound tome for your mobile phone–and offers over 85,000 hours of tailored content and cognitive techniques in 14 languages.

Babbel uses a handful of Atlassian products to help them gain distinction as FastCompany’s #1 Innovative Company in Education. Tools like Jira SoftwareHipchat, and Trello help them manage complex processes, track work, and assist in all the communications required to, well . . . help their global customer base communicate better. In many cases, communicate at all.

The need for shared understanding is mounting as we work, travel, and interact with people all over the globe. As a result, Babbel is more in-demand than ever: The company recently hit 1 million active subscribers and 100,000 downloads a day. Having grown employee count “massively” in the past year alone, they needed a way to onboard new hires more efficiently. Founder and CEO Markus Witte says that by linking Confluence and Jira to achieve a standard workflow, they whittled down the onboarding process from four days to just five hours. That’s what we love to hear!

Flixbus: everyone’s on the same page

At Atlassian, we never tire of hearing from the disruptors. You know, those customers who are using our tools to shake up the status quo. In Barcelona, I spoke to the team at Germany-based Flixbus, who’s challenging the traditional railway monopoly with Europe’s largest network of long-distance buses. And pretty successfully, I might add, with over 60 million customers since launch. With a noble mission to make smart, green travel available and affordable, FlixBus connects over 1,000 destinations in 21 countries by offering 120,000 connections per day.

In four years, FlixBus has grown from five to over 1,000 employees in Europe. Atlassian products ensure that these dispersed and growing teams are able to stay in sync. At Summit, Flixbus founder and CIO Daniel Krauss shared how teams across the business–from development and IT to recruiting and finance–are using Jira SoftwareConfluence, and Trello to help unify their way of working. These teams now have a common standard and understanding, and are able to share results with each other because they’re all on the same page. Daniel explained how the transparency provided by Atlassian products have made teams at FlixBus more efficient: “Now stakeholders across engineering and business teams can see the exact state of projects at any given time, which in turn triggers more open communication and increased productivity company-wide.”

Sky: open communication in a company of 30,000

And then there’s the question of workplace culture – and I’m not talking about Silicon Valley stereotypes of ping pong and microbrews. Organizations around the world look to attract employees and boost productivity with a culture of transparency.

Take Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment and communications business. Sky relies on over 30,000 employees worldwide to deliver subscription TV, news, original movies, and of course, Game of Thrones, to 22 million customers across Europe. With such a vast operation across 32 locations, it’s a challenge to effectively collaborate while maintaining trust and visibility at scale.

David Grierson, software development tools specialist at Sky, let us in on how they use Atlassian tools to break down silos in an organization of tens of thousands: “It’s about traceability; it’s about auditability. Not necessarily aspects of control, but encouraging visibility of development rather than hiding things in silos. Breaking down those walls is really critical to me,” said Grierson, who spoke to Computerworld at Summit Europe.

“It’s been a real game changer. The tools don’t necessarily tell you the answers; they tell you the questions to ask. So if you see something trending one way or the other, then it tells you who you need to speak to and what actually might be worth finding out. It’s really opened up a culture of communication that just wasn’t there before.”

This is near and dear to our hearts at Atlassian. We believe that by achieving greater transparency through open-by-default tools, teams are able to unleash their full potential.

Join us for US Summit in September

Companies of all sizes and industries are pushing the limits of possibility with the help of Atlassian tools. Just ten, twenty years ago, could you imagine learning Turkish off a palm-sized screen? Or feeling closely connected with teammates 10,000 miles away, in an organization of as many employees?

In a few short weeks, you’ll inspire us yet again, this time at US Summit in San Jose, California. On behalf of all Atlassians, I can’t wait to see you there.

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3 inspiring stories from Atlassian customers around the globe