By Rob Castaneda, CEO, ServiceRocket
Two very dynamic companies, both with roots in Australia.
The connection between ServiceRocket and Atlassian goes back to the early days of our companies.
Fresh from my young man’s journey in Silicon Valley, I returned to Sydney, Australia in 2001. That’s when ServiceRocket was born. I was itching to innovate. So were two fellow Aussies: Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. They started Atlassian a year later in 2002.
Both companies began in the Enterprise Java space; we were teaching training courses and delivering projects, while Mike and Scott were doing support services before they built Jira.
I first became aware of Atlassian as Jira was starting to take off.
Oddly enough, it took a contact in Silicon Valley to introduce us to the Atlassian team, even though they were located just a few blocks away from our Sydney office. That’s how things seem to work in our industry.
Back then, ServiceRocket’s key relationships were with Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems, webMethods and IBM. I recall being challenged about the viability of working with Atlassian, a company that sold a two thousand dollar bug tracker. But I never had a doubt.
After growing up working in IKEA, and then working in Open Source on JBoss, I recognized Atlassian’s sweet spot: smack between the transparency of open source and the efficiency of self service, delivered with a strong brand that made you smile.
Sparks flew. A connection was made.
The relationship between our companies quickly flowered and grew.
These many years on, we like to say our Atlassian expertise is built in.
Not only have we provided quality customer support and built a variety of apps for Atlassian products, we use those products every day ourselves. In fact, we embraced products like Confluence and Jira from the very start.
We bought Confluence—while it was still in beta. Ben Naftzger was Atlassian's Operations lead (and all jobs non-technical) at the time. We put together a reseller agreement for our first licensed customer, Johnson & Johnson, which evolved into the reseller program. Ben would hand type invoices to customers in Microsoft Word from a small table in the kitchen. Talk about startups!
We replaced Mantis with Jira, and Jive with Confluence version 0.2, and started servicing customers worldwide on the Atlassian toolset. We even built out an Atlassian training program.
Atlassian was on a journey and ServiceRocket was positioned to add value.
As Atlassian grew, so did we.
In 2005 we opened our office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, creating what became a long-lasting customer support capability for Atlassian products. Our early engagement with Atlassian made us the ideal partner: we enabled new users to solve challenging business problems with Atlassian tools.
By carefully listening, we worked with customers to complete complex tasks; we used that expertise to transform solutions into products. Our then nascent team got to work delivering apps for Confluence.
The three apps became industry game changers that helped build the Atlassian ecosystem; they’re still going strong today as our customers move to the cloud.
Looking back, ServiceRocket was there for nearly every significant advancement in Atlassian’s evolution.
In 2007, when we were known as CustomWare, ServiceRocket created the original version (a custom plug-in) of Connector for Salesforce & Jira; in 2010 it became the first publicly available app of its kind. By streamlining Salesforce and Jira workflows and integration, the app generated a single source of truth. At that same time, both companies were expanding into the US.
I would sleep on a couch in the Atlassian apartment in San Francisco, or at a nearby employee's place on one of my initial trips back to the Bay Area as we set up our US presence.
In 2011, we took the first step in building the ServiceRocket ecosystem: we graduated our popular open source plugins to paid commercial.
Looking back, it was scary and vulnerable, but we knew that being open and honest would result in increased trust with our customers and better levels of support. This led the way for the rest of our ecosystem’s expansion; it built momentum when the Atlassian marketplace was launched 6 months later.
Even then, we had pushback from “advisors” in the industry. (“You can’t build a business on those small micro transactions.”) That was the mindset of enterprise software at the time. We’ve proved them wrong. Every time that Mike and Scott have declared a direction to the market, they’ve delivered; the app ecosystem and marketplace was yet another of those times.
Today, ServiceRocket has 25 apps on the Atlassian Marketplace.
In 2014, ServiceRocket became one of the first companies to successfully launch a cloud product with a version of our app Connector for Salesforce & Jira. Today, Connector continues to be one of our most popular and fastest growing products as more and more organizations move to the cloud and look to digitize, automate and transform their workflows.
Then, in 2017, we launched Connector for Workplace & Jira, a powerful app that combines Workplace’s consensus-building capability with Jira’s project execution.
Needless to say, it’s been quite a run of innovative products that continue to thrive.
Many years on, the relationship is going strong
Our deep connection with Atlassian has lasted longer than most marriages and even some friendships. It launched an ecosystem that enables fast-growing companies to grow faster. It’s given hundreds of Rocketeers an opportunity to thrive. It also informed our company’s ingenuity and agility, and set the foundation for our more recent partnerships with Salesforce.com, Facebook, Venafi and Digital.ai.
Across all these relationships, we are guided by our steadfast commitment to be recognized as the single most reliable partner in the acceleration of your growth.
Now in our 20th year, ServiceRocket is focused on the exponential growth of our customers, partners and fellow Rocketeers. As we move forward, we’re committed to collaboration, discovery and velocity, through shared know-how and expertise.
Whether you are building an ecosystem or trying to leverage one to grow your business, ServiceRocket can help map the journey and accelerate how quickly you get there.
ServiceRocket and Atlassian evolved collaboratively.
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