Solarisbank + Atlassian

How Solarisbank is reshaping financial services with the structure, speed, and visibility of Atlassian

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Financial services


Berlin, Germany

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In an industry full of established players and regulatory roadblocks, it can be difficult for innovators to break in and truly make a difference. Fintech pioneers like Solarisbank are rising to the challenge to make banking simpler for companies and their customers.

As a tech company with a German banking license, Solarisbank offers a completely digital banking-as-a-service platform, which their customers (who they call “partners”) can leverage to spin up custom financial solutions for their own users, without the usual red tape. For example, if a retailer wants to give their customers the option to finance a big purchase or buy a gift card, they would normally need to work with a bank to do so. Most traditional banking institutions move slowly and have predefined offerings that are hard to customize. The process often takes many months or even years and results in a shoehorned solution. Alternatively, the retailer could connect to Solarisbank’s flexible, modern platform and build their own customized, compliant banking products in a fraction of the time.

With such an innovative concept and entrepreneurial culture, which encourages everyone to take responsibility for helping the bank grow and evolve, it’s no wonder the company has attracted investors like VISA and BBVA, signed dozens of new partners around the world, and grown to over 300 employees in just four years. Scaling so quickly puts stress on even the most experienced teams, and when they’re working with some of the world’s biggest brands, there’s no room for error.

In the beginning, Solarisbank employees were using multiple tools for communication, documentation, and development. This led to inefficiencies, as they were spending valuable time switching between systems and finding the right information.

To solve their immediate challenges and lay the foundation for scaling even faster in the future, Solarisbank centralized onto the Atlassian platform and hasn’t looked back. Since onboarding the entire company to Atlassian solutions, the bank has increased efficiency, streamlined communication, and put professional structures in place to raise the bar for their customers and the entire banking industry.

The key reason to use Atlassian products is the connectivity. You have your documentation, you have your boards, you have your customer support, and everything is interconnected.

Connectivity is key

Running a firm like Solarisbank isn’t like running most businesses. While many companies have the freedom to make their own rules, the bank operates in a highly regulated industry (financial services) and area (Europe). Auditors and investors need documentation, partners need compliance and constant support, and it’s difficult to meet those needs with unclear processes and siloed systems.

It’s our number one tool for everything content-related, everything documentation-related. We spend hours in [Confluence] per day. If you want to learn anything about this company, you go to Confluence. Everyone always knows where to find what.

“You can use four or five tools, but they’re hard to use together,” says Senior Productivity Manager Fabio Morena. “It’s also hard to release code for a banking platform. We have to be 100% sure the code has been reviewed properly, that all the right people took a look at it, and that all the right people signed off on the code that’s rolling out to production.”

Solarisbank also needed to build up formal systems for customer support and project management. To address this challenge, the team began looking into several technology solutions. While each one had advantages, Atlassian rose to the top of the list because of the team’s familiarity with the platform and its integration. “We already worked with Confluence, so it was a no-brainer that we use more Atlassian tools,” Fabio explains. “The key reason to use Atlassian products is the connectivity. You have your documentation, your boards, your customer support, and everything is interconnected.”

A secure and customized body of knowledge

Una volta scelta la soluzione, Solarisbank si è rivolta a kreuzwerker per ricevere assistenza per l'implementazione, nonché per la formazione continua, il coaching e la gestione. Insieme, hanno configurato Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Management e Statuspage per soddisfare le esigenze e i flussi di lavoro specifici di ogni team. Per motivi di sicurezza e conformità, hanno impostato istanze separate per la collaborazione interna con i dipendenti e la collaborazione esterna con i partner.

Molti dipendenti utilizzavano già in qualche modo Confluence, quindi Solarisbank e kreuzwerker sono partiti da lì e lo hanno considerato il singolo punto di riferimento del team da quel momento in poi. Quando vengono avviate nuove assunzioni, quando le informazioni su un partner cambiano e persino nelle situazioni di crisi, tutti utilizzano Confluence. "È il nostro principale strumento per tutto ciò che riguarda i contenuti e la documentazione. Ogni giorno lavoriamo tante ore in [Confluence]", dice Fabio. "Per qualsiasi informazione su questa azienda, Confluence è il posto giusto. Tutti sanno sempre dove trovarla".

That includes key players outside the bank, like auditors, whom the team must provide with updated records of every change made to their core product. Thanks to this living body of documentation, employees, partners, and regulators can always quickly and easily find exactly what they need.

An integrated ecosystem for speedy service and delivery

Oltre alla documentazione centralizzata, Solarisbank aveva bisogno di un modo migliore per collaborare allo sviluppo del prodotto e all'assistenza clienti. Questi processi erano più lenti e complessi in precedenza, ma implementando Atlassian con l'aiuto di kreuzwerker, i team tecnici e non tecnici sono autorizzati a collaborare per un'assistenza e una consegna migliori e più veloci.

Solarisbank’s Technology team uses Jira Software to collaborate with their partners on product development, issue management, and code releases, which are executed with a click of the mouse. “As soon as a release is rolled initially, a Jira ticket is created, and when it’s dragged into the release column, this release is kicked off by someone authorized to do so,” says Fabio. The new release is then logged in Confluence for audit purposes.

When Technology is working on incident management and maintenance, Statuspage is invaluable. It’s integrated with Solarisbank’s alerting tool, so any time an incident is reported or maintenance is scheduled, an update is automatically posted to Statuspage. That way, Solarisbank’s partners are aware of any potential disruptions, and engineers can work quickly to address the issue. The Statuspage updates have been particularly helpful for saving time, building trust, and keeping partners happy.

We can track the number of tickets that come in and are resolved, working time, and the eventual outcome of each ticket. That way, we can understand how to optimize our workflow and if there are better ways of handling customer requests.

Solutions tailored to each team

As non-technical teams saw how Technology was using Jira Software, they started thinking about how they could leverage it too. Groups across the organization, including Finance, Accounting, HR, and Marketing, now rely on the platform for task tracking and project management, in addition to other department-specific needs. For example, Finance turns to Jira Software for reporting, while HR uses it for onboarding and payment and compensation requests.

Jira Software plays a key role in managing internal service requests too. Each team has its own board, so whenever an employee needs support from the Technology team, such as asking Information Security for new permissions or leaders for a report review, that person opens a ticket in Jira Software. “Then we’re able to turn a support ticket into feature tickets for the Tech teams. Jira is really sewn into our daily processes,” Fabio says.

We are working in the fast fintech business, so we need to be fast in structuring our daily work. With the permanent integration of Jira, we are way faster and more aligned than before.

Mentre Solarisbank utilizza Jira Software internamente per le richieste di assistenza di base, le richieste dei partner esterni erano un po' più complesse. Per soddisfare le loro esigenze e garantire sicurezza, la banca utilizza Jira Service Management per fornire assistenza ai partner. Se le richieste richiedono correzioni di bug, richieste di funzioni o altra documentazione, i dipendenti possono collegare i ticket a Jira Software e Confluence, e questo li aiuta a passare rapidamente da un'applicazione all'altra e collaborare per risolvere il ticket.

Jira Service Management e Jira Software hanno inoltre fornito a Solarisbank una nuova visibilità sui dati in modo che possa monitorare e migliorare le prestazioni. L'analista del credito Constantin Mirow, che utilizza Jira Service Management per fornire assistenza ai partner, spiega: "Siamo in grado di monitorare il numero di ticket che arrivano e vengono risolti, l'orario di lavoro e l'eventuale risultato di ogni ticket. In questo modo, possiamo capire come ottimizzare il nostro flusso di lavoro e se esistono modi migliori per gestire le richieste dei clienti". Fabio aggiunge: "Per i nostri team di sviluppatori e i coach Agile, è importante disporre di report sulla velocità con cui viene svolto il lavoro. Ad esempio, in Jira possiamo monitorare la velocità con cui ci muoviamo all'interno di una board e la velocità di distribuzione dei nuovi rilasci".

With greater visibility and reporting, Solarisbank is more equipped than ever to make fast, smart decisions and continue to grow.

Scaling fast with purpose and professionalism

Grazie all'aiuto di kreuzwerker che interviene nell'affinamento dei processi di Solarisbank, nella standardizzazione dei sistemi e nella personalizzazione di Atlassian per le esigenze di ogni team, i gruppi dell'azienda hanno riscontrato miglioramenti significativi in termini di velocità e visibilità, entrambi fattori chiave che li hanno aiutati a crescere rapidamente e a porre le basi per scalabilità futura.

“We are working in the fast fintech business, so we need to be fast in structuring our daily work. With the permanent integration of Jira, we are way faster and more aligned than before,” Fabio says. Financial Analyst Jordi Vilalta adds, “In Finance, [Atlassian] has helped us get really structured to centralize communication channels, avoid losing track of information, and be more efficient.”

The bank’s team is also expanding to new locations and facing new challenges, such as doing more remote work, so they rely on Atlassian to maintain efficiency and transparency when collaborating from afar. “Many of us are working remotely now, so we’re highly dependent on having transparency into what everyone is working on,” Fabio explains. “We have daily meetings via Zoom where we look at our dashboards and say, 'Today I’m going to work on this topic, and my colleague is working on that topic.’ That helps a lot.”

In Finance, [Atlassian] has helped us get really structured to centralize communication channels, avoid losing track of information, and be more efficient.

Constantin agrees. “Transparency is one of the biggest advantages [of implementing Atlassian],” he says. “Everyone is aware of the topics coming every day, so we can split the daily business up equally and stay aligned on what needs to be done. We can also measure at the end of the day if we actually achieved what we wanted to do.”

There’s no doubt Solarisbank is achieving everything they wanted to — and more. In less than three years, the team has almost quadrupled in size and far exceeded their goals for partnership growth. And this is only the beginning. Now that they have more formal processes, centralized communication, and a core set of collaboration tools, Solarisbank feels confident they can continue scaling rapidly with purpose and professionalism.

“Our company is getting bigger, and our partners are getting bigger...We were 80 people at the end of 2016. In early 2020, we were 300 and still growing,” Fabio says. “When a company grows fast like that, you have to establish standardized processes and professional systems to serve big financial players. You need to keep everything in one place and help everyone stay up to date. You need transparency so you can be efficient and make decisions faster. You need to grow fast and professionally. That’s what Atlassian is doing for us.”

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