We recently announced that Atlassian had passed $100m in total sales. This was the culmination of continuous growth over 6+ years.

This growth is a result of great products, happy customers and positive word-of-mouth. But there’s another secret ingredient that has enabled us to sell such a high volume of product… our Internal Systems team and the underlying business systems that power Atlassian’s business.
In the early days of Atlassian, invoices were written in MS-Word templates. There weren’t many sales a day, so it wasn’t too time-consuming. Then, as the company grew, we created a ‘Sales Operations’ team, got a real accounting system and processed more sales. Processes, however, were still pretty manual — after submitting an order, customers were told:
Wait2.png
Not that customer friendly, eh? Fortunately, customers could continue using their Evaluation License while we processed their order. As a young company, it was best that we focussed our efforts on producing great products, rather than investing too heavily in internal systems — sort of a clerical version of YAGNI.
Unfortunately, it got to a point where our growth was outstripping our ability to meet customer demand. On Melbourne Cup Day in 2007 (the one day when the whole of Australia stops to watch a horse race), our sales revenue took a noticeable dive. It wasn’t due to the lack of sales — rather, it was because the whole company went out for a traditional Company Lunch and there was nobody to process the orders! By this stage, the Sales Operations team had grown to eight people and had to stay back at the end of each month to empty the backlog of orders.
So, as the company continued to grow, we recognised that it was time to improve the purchase experience, both internally and from a customer perspective. In early 2008, our newly-formed “Internal Systems” team conceived and implemented a new Online Ordering and Customer Management system that revamped the entire purchase experience. Rather than submitting an order and waiting several days for software licenses, order processing was completely automated — creating quotes, charging credit cards, issuing License Keys, generating PDF invoices and sending emails. Order processing moved from 1-3 business days to approximately 8 seconds.
The Sales Operations team, which focussed on processing orders, morphed into a Customer Service team focussed on assisting customers with their enquiries — much more aligned to our Company Values.
So, congratulations indeed to Atlassian on our passing $100m in sales. But I’d also like to thank our Internal Systems and Customer Service teams for making it all possible behind-the-scenes!

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