I was fortunate enough to catch up with Tarun Upadhyay after he got back from a business trip to India. Tarun is co-founder of hCentive and currently serves as the CTO. hCentive helps make health expenses easier to manage for end consumers. From the begining, hCentive chose JIRA Studio as the hosted software development suite of choice because it allowed them to develop in the USA and India.
hCentive at a glance
- Founded: 2009
- Headquarters: Virginia, USA
- Employees: 19
- Number of offices: 2 (USA and India)
- Number of customers: Product is under development, none yet
- Products used: JIRA Studio
Tell me a little about hCentive
hCentive is disrupting health care by letting people share their health care expenses in an anonymous way and, in the process, creating tools and information that can allow people to:
- reconcile their health care bills
- find an affordable health insurance plan
- search for high-quality and right-price doctors, medicines and procedures available to them
- decide their FSA/HSA limits and file claims for them automatically
When did you start using Atlassian tools?
We were using Atlassian products at my last company, so it was obvious and, almost natural, for us to continue using Atlassian products here. We were using the same tools that make up JIRA Studio now (JIRA, Confluence, Subversion, GreenHopper). We had also worked with Rally, Serena, and IBM software in the past. When we started hCentive, we evaluated all of these products again, but ultimately went with JIRA Studio.
Why did you pick JIRA Studio instead of the a la carte tools?
One big thing for us was having a hosted solution. We are a fully “clould-served” company — in the sense that we do not have any servers in our local offices (just folks with laptops), so we were looking for a solution that we didn’t have to host internally.
An important aspect of cloud-hosted solutions is the price. We are a young compnay and we did not want to pay an upfront fee. We are more comfortable with long-term, smaller monthly fee models.
Also, our teams are distributed across multiple offices and we wanted a set of tools that work great together for an agile team that is working in a distributed environment.
JIRA Studio scored over the other products we evaluated. Serena came very close, but one big leg up which Atlassian has is the fantastic level of support you guys provide and how quickly you answered our questions and helped us set up right away.
Who uses JIRA Studio and what are they primarily using it for?
Everybody in the company uses JIRA Studio. Different people use it for different things. Everyone at least uses JIRA and Confluence. Confluence is used from our developers down to our finance person and our office managers. JIRA is used for everything from office management issues to core product development. Subversion, FishEye, and GreenHopper are used primarily by our development and QA teams. GreenHopper is actually used quite a lot.
Are people using it in ways you hadn’t expected?
To start with, people were using JIRA Studio in the way we expected, but over time, we have seen a variety of different patterns which we didn’t anticipate. For example, one challenge for us was how to do daily stand-ups since we are distributed between the US and India. GreenHopper was amazingly useful there; our head of engineering created some OpenSocial dashboards in JIRA and GreenHopper to figure out what people had done in the last 24hrs which makes running standups a breeze. Another interesting thing we have done is to use the OpenSocial gadgets to integrate our dashboards with Google’s Gmail. A lot of people started accessing JIRA from inside Gmail which we found very interesting and we didn’t anticipate.
Were there adoption challenges in terms of getting people into JIRA Studio?
We anticipated that people would have some trouble, but people got it very very quickly. No one in the engineering group had issues, but even people who are less technical also ‘got it’ pretty quickly which was pretty impressive.
What kind of feedback have you heard from your staff regarding JIRA Studio?
We have heard only good things, especially in terms of customization options.
Any follow-up comments?
Atlassian is a great company and the tools you develop are excellent for distributed teams. You guys really make it easy and you really get how distributed teams work. JIRA Studio perfectly fits our company which must have a hosted solution.