Hi, I’m Thomas Verhoeven, and I started working for ACA IT-Solutions on the 2nd of March 2020. It’s my first job! As a junior...
We’ve been Atlassian Partner for 10+ yearsStijn Schutyser
Remember 2010? It was the year Apple released the iPhone 4, Leonardo DiCaprio starred in the Inception movie and Facebook looked like this. 2010 was also the year we started integrating Atlassian products for our customers. In this blog post, we’d like to journey back in time to see where we started and how we’ve grown over the last 10 years as an Atlassian Partner.
How it all started
Somewhere around 2006, we as an IT service provider needed a strong toolset to support our own way of working. We didn’t instantly choose for the Atlassian suite to solve this problem, but decided to go with them after careful consideration and thorough market research. And so our love story with Atlassian began: after gaining experience running our own business on Atlassian tools, sharing this expertise with customers was the logical next step.
Today, we use Atlassian tools throughout our entire organization, whether that be HR, marketing, software development, or infrastructure. Naturally, we’re passionate to do exactly the same for our customers as well.
Projects have evolved
When we started off offering Atlassian solutions to customers in 2010, we naturally focused on starting up new projects and selling licences. These efforts have paid off: in just the last five years alone, we’ve almost tripled the amount of customers we sell services or licenses to. The size of these projects has grown as well. We’re proud to count some big industry players such as MLOZ, Colruyt Group, Bpost, Telenet, Lidl and TUI amongst our customers.
Over the course of these years, the projects themselves have changed a lot in nature as well. As ACA, we’re not just an Atlassian Partner, we’re a full-blown IT service provider. That means we can count on skills such as product ownership, custom development, cloud hosting, agile ways of working and many others. That allows us to help customers that have a much broader need than just the set-up of a Jira instance or the installation of a certain plug-in. A nice testament to this is one of our recent projects, in which we not only set up Jira Service Management for internal IT support, but also used its versatility to support infrastructure management and the construction of new production facilities.
Additionally, we’ve noticed that implementing Atlassian has changed over time. In the beginning, our projects focused on installing and configuring access for people. That has now evolved to having an impact on organizations, their methodology, change management and internal processes.
Team members have grown
All of our team members are focused on Atlassian, but they each have their own area of expertise. After all, working with Atlassian products for our customers involves a number of different aspects, such as
- license management: license quotes, renewals, and invoicing,
- sales and pre-sales management,
- project management,
- Atlassian expertise and technical knowledge,
- team management,
- security management,
- and update management.
More important than the growth of the team is the growth of the individual team members. By giving each of them the time they need to hone their existing skills and learn new ones, the expertise of the team as a whole has grown tremendously. Tessa is one of the team members who is a prime example of this. She wrote a blog post detailing her journey from recruitment specialist to full-blown Atlassian expert. Read it here!
Of course, our team is still growing in size, too! And for that, we need new people. Maybe it’s something for you?
Better solutions through partnerships
Atlassian itself builds tools with very powerful features, but these tools are often far from a complete solution out of the box. That’s where Atlassian’s ecosystem comes in. This ecosystem consists of partners who build extra or missing features on Atlassian’s solution.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve continually built up a partner network with some of the top players in the Atlassian ecosystem, such as Tempo, eazyBI, Adaptavist, Mindville, Refined and k15t, to name just a few. These partners offer various additional products that run on top of Atlassian solutions, like time registration, portal branding, technical add-ons with scripting, issue synchronization and more.
Such close partner relationships allow us to have a direct line of contact to partners to look at any missing features or answer to a customer’s specific request. An important factor in facilitating this direct line of contact is the organization of our Team up! events. At these events, our customers and many other Atlassian users can ask questions to and absorb knowledge from our international partners. Check out the editions from 2018 here and 2019 here! We’re also launching an edition for 2020 later this year. Keep your eyes peeled!
10 years of sharing knowledge
We’ve also been a part of the Atlassian community for these past 10 years. We share our knowledge about Atlassian tools in (Belgian) Atlassian user groups and open up our offices for users to gather and discuss all things Atlassian. Additionally, we organize our own Atlassian events as well, with Atlassian After Hours as the most recent example of that.
We also passionately contribute to the online community, which has over 3 million daily visitors and was named ‘Community of the year’ in 2019. Our team houses 2 Community Leaders, namely Walter and Laurens. They actively participate in the community by writing articles and guides (such as The Jira Software Cloud Administrators Guide), publishing case studies, answering questions and so on. For us, it’s not only a way of helping others, but also showing our passion and expertise in the matter.
Finally, we attend a ton of Atlassian events ourselves to absorb and share knowledge, meet up with our partners, extend our network and as a fun team building activity. We’ve been to the Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas, Vienna, and as of late remotely as well. Check out our highlights from the 2020 Atlassian Remote Summit here!
We’re incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and experiences we’ve had these past 10 years as an Atlassian Partner. Thank you for helping us get so far! Let’s make the next 10 years just as good!
Best wishes from the entire team!