The Meaning behind Atlassian's IPO Filing

Earlier this week, longstanding Aussie software vendor Atlassian filed for an IPO.  Should you care?


I think there's three things you the customer should know:

  1. Enterprise social-collaboration (a.k.a., Enterprise 2.0) is alive and well
  2. Selling to developers is a good business, but not a growth business
  3. Atlassian will change after its IPO

Social-Collaboration Continues to Grow

Although known mostly for its developer-oriented Jira tools, that market has natural limits, and so Atlassian is placing a bigger bet on its Confluence and HipChat offerings to provide growth going forward.  We're seeing more interest in Confluence as well, but at the same time, some of our enterprise subscribers get turned away by Atlassian's techie-first approach to the product's roadmap and ecosystem (you can read more in RSG's vendor evaluation research). 

For you the customer, the pending IPO brings more evidence that -- despite waning interest among industry analysts looking for The Next Big Thing -- social-collaboration continues a steady rise in the enterprise as organizations learn more each year about how to resource and govern it properly.  We're also seeing more experimentation with multi-vendor architectures as SharePoint continues its strategic retreat within Office 365. 

So as a customer, a lively social-collaboration marketplace awaits you, and Atlassian's IPO hints at a market getting still livelier.


But it's also a marketplace in transition, and Atlassian too will change -- as all companies do when they go public. You'll see more funds spent on sales and marketing along with intense demands for short-term revenue growth, and that will change Atlassian's culture. The company will inevitably lose some of the intimacy its longtime customers have enjoyed.

If in return, however, Atlassian focuses more on business buyers, that could become a plus for you.  We'll keep watching, listening, and interpreting...

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