Marketplace allows us to showcase our product and take it to market quickly. It’s a gateway to a lot of prospects, giving us tremendous visibility.

 – Samir Shah, CEO of Zephyr

Location: Fremont, CA
Industry: Software (QA/Testing)
Employees: ~30
Products: Zephyr for JIRA
Zephyr Enterprise Connector for JIRA

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. Zephyr for JIRA launched with JIRA 5 back in March, and since the inception of Marketplace, it has been one of the top-grossing add-ons in the store. I checked in with the Zephyr team to see how their business had changed since they became a paid-via-Atlassian listing in the Marketplace.

About Zephyr

Zephyr was founded in 2007 and currently has 30 employees (and hiring!) in Silicon Valley. Zephyr provides test management solutions that transform how development and QA teams of all sizes work, and work together, to develop higher quality software. Their solutions provide real-time metrics into the quality and status of software projects, giving teams more visibility and increasing productivity, which ultimately allows their customers to avoid stale status updates, buggy software releases, and missed ship dates.

I sat down with Zephyr founder and CEO Samir Shah to ask him about Zephyr for JIRA and their experience selling it on the Atlassian Marketplace

What’s Zephyr for JIRA all about?

Customers who have standardized on JIRA for their product development workflow find it particularly useful. It’s an add-on application that provides sophisticated test management capabilities right inside the users JIRA 5 instance. Zephyr for JIRA completes end-to-end issue tracking and test management inside JIRA by adding testing to the overall planning, development, bug tracking and reporting process.

For more on Zephyr for JIRA, check out their Marketplace Monday profile.

Who are some of your customers?

Between the various editions we have over 1000 customers from the Fortune 1000 to SMB sized companies. Our Zephyr for JIRA customers include; Costco, Amazon, CGI Federal, Sharp, NCR, Walgreens.com, the University of Washington, Zywave and Warby Parker.

“Before Zephyr for JIRA, testing was done ad hoc using a combination of JIRA, Confluence and spreadsheets. It was very manual, time consuming and we would find bugs months after the release. We needed a more rigid and structured approach, but not something with process overkill. Releasing dates relied heavily on gut instinct. Zephyr for JIRA gives us hard data and accountability to determine what is ready for release.” – Jim Begley, ProCare

What led you to develop Zephyr for JIRA?

Based off of our customer development efforts, we learned that there was a deep need for testing capabilities inside JIRA. As we saw more and more customers standardize on Atlassian tools for their software development lifecycle, the need for an built-in test management solution became very obvious. Our expertise and in depth knowledge of JIRA and its integration points as well as our fantastic relationship with the JIRA design and development team made it easy for us.

Getting on the Marketplace

The Atlassian Marketplace is an overhaul of the old Atlassian Plugin Exchange. I asked Samir what he thought of the new model.

Marketplace is a whole new world compared to the Plugin Exchange. Submitting our add-on for approval was a piece of cake and the Marketplace PMs and developers were super responsive. You guys have come a long way.

What advice would you have for a developer who wants to sell their plugins in the Marketplace?

Do it. It’s really easy to get it into the Marketplace, it’s affordable, and the visibility you get is awesome. Marketplace allows us to showcase our product and take it to market quickly. It’s a gateway to a lot of prospects, giving us tremendous visibility.

What makes a good profile?

Easy to understand messaging is very important. People still take the time to read the information–take advantage, but be concise. Screenshots are also incredibly useful, they should clearly show off the best parts of your application. Remember to fill out all the information, manage it, and nurture it.

How has the Marketplace helped your business to grow?

Marketplace has given us a ton of visibility, not only for Zephyr for JIRA but also our Enterprise and Community Editions. More than 50% of our Enterprise Edition customers use the free JIRA Connector, which is also on the Marketplace. Building Zephyr for JIRA and getting it on the Marketplace has dramatically widened our customer base. All of our products now have access to the thousands of JIRA customers.

How have your evaluations and sales changed since the Marketplace launched?

We have grown 120% since launching on Marketplace. There has also be an incredible uptake in the in a few short months: we have gone from several dozen to over 300 customers.

What opportunities does the Marketplace offer third-party developers that they wouldn’t get by selling directly?

Atlassian develops stellar products and you have the customers to prove it. The Marketplace gives developers the opportunity to be found by your growing customer base. We look at it as having 20,000 store fronts since our product is visible in everyone’s installation. Additionally, there are various ways that buyers can search and browse add-ons on the Marketplace making it easier for customers to find you as opposed to you trying to find them. The Marketplace reduces cost of goods and operating expenses by not having to build and manage an e-Commerce backend.

What’s next

Samir told me that for the past 5 years their products have evolved based on innovation and customer feedback. They’re committed to staying in sync with the latest versions of Atlassian products. You can expect to see tighter integrations and close compatibility. They’re proud to have a thriving community of users that help drive their roadmap.

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