The Atlassian Marketplace is an amazing place where people can shop for the most pertinent add-on that does the specific job they need it to do. For third-party developpers you couldn’t get a more direct way to market your add-on to potential customers!
– François Dussurget, CEO, Valiantys
The Atlassian Marketplace launched at Atlassian Summit 2012 on May 31. The Marketplace was a huge step forward for Atlassian customers to discover, try, and buy awesome add-ons to our products. Valiantys has been a top 5 Atlassian Expert since 2006 and has been developing plugins for Jira since 2008. Since Marketplace launched, several of its add-ons, like VertygoSLA, nFeed, and PowerReport, have become best sellers in the store. I checked in with the Valiantys team to see how their business had changed since they became a paid-via-Atlassian listing in the Marketplace.
Valiantys develops a number of ALM tools that integrate Jira with other tools that large organizations depend on. In addition to their commercial plugins, they are also an authorized Atlassian reseller and assist in implementation and training for a number of large organizations.
The Valiantys Add-on Family
- VertygoSLA helps organizations manage their SLA compliancy status from within their Jira instances. It allows you to display your SLA commitments on Jira issues and intimately tie SLA priorities to your workflows.
- nFeed connects Jira with remote databases and files, adding custom fields to issues from web services and your organization’s databases. You can also define dependencies btween data fields and implement conditional requests in Jira.
- PowerReport provides powerful additional reporting capabilities inside of Jira. It allows Jira users to add gadgets that combine multiple data sources and generate reports which can then be exported to PDF, Word, or Excel format.
What led you to develop your add-ons?
For VertygoSLA, the emergence of the idea of Service Quality in Service Management, standards like ITIL and ISO 20000 made Service Level Agreements (SLA) the centre of all customer-supplier relationships. One of our customers, who already used Jira as a bug-tracker, needed to improve his Service Desk and notably follow the quality of service given in respect of the company’s SLA, the development of VertygoSLA was our immediate answer.
With nFeed, we witnessed more and more of our customers wanting to bridge the gap between Jira and external databases. We created the add-on nFeed to increase the integration possibilities of Jira within our customer’s information systems. Initially called SQLFeed importing values into Jira issues from any database, this has now been extended to webservices and remote files (hence the name-change to nFeed). Queries can be made to any internal or external database with the results displayed in multi-level cascading select fields in a Jira issue.
We found that the native reporting in Jira did not meet some customers’ needs, in terms of advanced statistics and key reporting indicators. Several customers brought this to our attention during our audits, so we decided to develop PowerReport, an add-on that offers advanced reporting capabilities.
Who are some of your customers?
Currently we have around 500 customers in over 40 countries. Our VertygoSLA customers include Zynga, TomTom, Cisco, and IBM. On nFeed we have Symantec, Bank of America, Kyocera, and Disney. PowerReport is used by AT&T, Dolby, Airbus, and Universal Music.
Getting on the Marketplace
Describe your experience submitting your add-on for Marketplace approval.
On the technical side the experience was very different from the old Plugin Exchange. The documentation for the technical requirements and guidelines is excellent. The information is easy to find and clear to understand. The approval process was a collaborative experience with the Atlassian team that took some back-and-forth. We’re looking forward to moving up the learning curve and faster turnaround for approvals. That said, we most certainly have improved our product marketing by working closely with Atlassian in the Marketplace.
The extra emphasis on marketing add-ons means that the Marketplace really requires deverlopers to incorporate this notion at the beginning. Once you fit in to the Atlassian model, they work hard to help you sharpen your plugin and marketing so that you can realize the full potential the Marketplace offers.
What advice would you have for a developer who wants to sell their plugins in the Marketplace?
- Follow Atlassian’s FAQ and tips
- Do not hesitate to contact Atlassian support team. They are excellent, ready to listen and guide you.
- Don’t neglect the marketing and communication side of your add-on. It’s certainly worth the time you put into it.
What have you heard from customers regarding the evaluation and installation experience via Marketplace?
An easier, simpler evaluation process means a better initial experience for customers and a better chance for developers to achieve “love at first sight”. The kind of love that converts evaluators into customers. Here’s what Valiantys had to say about the Marketplace evaluation experience:
The evaluation process is very straightforward, with step by step installation instructions for the end user. We haven’t heard of any customers who have had problems installing and getting started which is always a good sign. The buying process is simple. It’s so much more efficient to be able to group together the acquisition of Atlassian tools and add-ons. Customers really appreciate being able to visualize all their licenses in one place.
How has the Marketplace helped your business to grow?
Valiantys says that the Marketplace has “undeniably” helped them grow both public awareness of their add-on and their sales figures. They report the following data from this summer:
- Evaluations have tripled
- Sales in July doubled
- Direct evaluations and sales have decreased dramatically, enabling our team to concentrate on the quality of service rather than basic sales administration.
What opportunities does the Marketplace offer third-party developers that they wouldn’t get by selling directly?
The Atlassian Marketplace is an amazing place where people can shop for the most pertinent add-on that does the specific job they need it to do. For third-party developpers you couldn’t get a more direct way to market your add-on to potentiel customers!
What can we expect to see in upcoming versions of VertygoSLA?
An ‘About Us’ page which showcases our several add-ons and introduces the company, a wizard launched immediately after installation for new users to start configuring the add-on quickly. Finally, we will have a rebuilt configuration menu with a single sequenced menu to make setup even easier.