Interview with Cameron Deatsch on Atlassian’s SaaS strategy “See us as a pioneer in cloud technology“
With special enterprise variants of its SaaS products, Atlassian also wants to enable large companies to move to the cloud. But why should cloud environments become the new standard in companies? Cameron Deatsch, Chief Revenue Officer at Atlassian, discusses his company’s strategy.
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The path to the cloud is not easy for many companies, Atlassian has built its SaaS offerings for enterprise customers.
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Dev-Insider: Mr. Deatsch, Atlassian has also been offering the cloud products of Jira Software, Confluence and Jira Service Management as an enterprise variant since 2021. Does Atlassian slowly see a shift away from the classic data center in the large customer segment?
Cameron Deatsch (Picture: Atlassian)
Cameron Deatsch: “Cloudification” can certainly be seen as a megatrend that gradually covers all segments of the economy. Even large companies benefit from the scalability and flexibility of the cloud, and we believe it is the future of most of our customers. For example, as-a-Service offers can be purchased directly from individual departments and do not have to be implemented centrally via IT.
Cloud applications also show their great potential against the background of remote work, as access is possible from anywhere and VPN access to the company network is no longer necessary. To support our largest customers, we recently launched our enterprise offering “Atlassian Cloud”, aimed at companies that need advanced scaling, security and governance features for their Jira software, Confluence and Jira Service Management products.
We know that not every customer is willing to switch from our on-premises products to our cloud products. For these customers, we continue to offer our self-managed Enterprise Edition. For datacenter customers who want to move to the cloud at some point, we are also working on cross-deployment features that will simplify the joint management of cloud and self-managed products.
Dev-Insider: Should there be large growth in cloud user numbers: how has Atlassian positioned itself for the potential “post-on-premises era”?
Deatsch: Since 2016, we’ve been working to expand our platform for the cloud-first approach, and we’re working with industry leader AWS to always provide enough resources. In addition, our offers are designed as a multi-tenant architecture. This means that multiple users share an instance of the software and underlying resources.
The respective customer data will of course not be shared. This approach further promotes scalability. To meet the scaling requirements of our larger customers, we currently support up to 20,000 users per instance in our cloud enterprise and premium offerings, for specific customers in our Early Access program, with plans to make this scaling available to all customers in June.
By the end of 2022, we will make 35,000 users available per instance. We also invest in maximum reliability of our services: Our Cloud Enterprise offers guarantee a service level agreement of 99.95 percent uptime. Of course, the performance of our products is also our top priority. We’ve increased the speed of loading a Confluence page by 30 percent in the last six months, and creating a Jira issue is now 38 percent faster.
Dev-Insider: How easy can an existing customer switch from a classic subscription to a cloud variant and how does Atlassian support migration?
Deatsch: In order to make the transition as easy as possible for our customers, we have launched the Atlassian Migration program. There, companies get all the resources they need, free tools and specialized support. Proven best practices help to define and track an individual migration path for each company. In addition, customers can network with each other in the Atlassian community and exchange experiences there.
Last year, we also created a number of new integrations between our self-managed and cloud products. We will continue to expand these so that end users can work comfortably across both deployments. The integrations also unify the administrative processes for customers who use both our self-managed and our cloud products, taking extra work away from them. We have specifically introduced integrations between Jira Service Management, Data Center, and Confluence Cloud and Jira Service Management, Data Center, and Opsgenie, in order to optimize the work in two variants.
Dev-Insider: User management is certainly a challenge in the enterprise segment, how well can it be handled on a global level, i.e. across locations?
Death: To help administrators manage thousands of users across multiple products and instances more efficiently, Cloud Enterprise includes a new central admin hub. Here, administrators can assign users to instances, configure security policies, monitor usage trends, and more.
The admin hub streamlines the management of product instances that may be scattered across business units, regions or parts of the company. This helps the administrators of our largest customers manage thousands of global users spread across multiple products and instances more efficiently Built-in integrations with leading identity providers allow customers to automate user account creation and removal, saving administrators time and nerves.
Dev-Insider: In the European area, and especially in Germany, there are traditionally data protection concerns, especially when it comes to distributed solutions. How well can data protection and data security be guaranteed depending on the location?
Deatsch: Atlassian takes your privacy very seriously, and we are working together for responsible use of customer data. Security and privacy are among our top priorities and our cloud products are GDPR compliant. We have closely followed the Schrems II ruling and the declaration of the ineffectiveness of the EU-US Privacy Shield Agreement.
To reflect the court’s decision, we are currently offering a pre-signed Data Processing Agreement (DPA) that includes a full copy of the Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs). As the European Data Protection Committee issues further guidelines on additional measures to meet the adequacy requirements of the GDPR, we will continue to analyse and include these requirements as well as all other requirements of the European data protection authorities.
Our data protection program is also designed in such a way that it not only meets the legal requirements, but also special needs of customers. Atlassian employees who access and process customers ‘ personal data are trained in the handling of such data and are obliged to maintain their confidentiality and security. In addition, customers have the option of having all their data completely deleted.
In addition, we encrypt data during transmission and at rest, publish an annual transparency report summarizing government requests for user data, and provide additional information about our policies and procedures in our law enforcement policies to respond to these requests. The trust of our customers is important to us, and we will continue to focus on transparency in the future.
Dev-Insider: The future of software development and IT operations seems to be “cloud native”. To what extent does Atlassian’s cloud strategy build on this and how well can the portfolio actually be combined with this approach?
Deatsch: We see ourselves as a pioneer of cloud technology and the fact that we are now focusing our resources exclusively on it is only the last step in a long development. All Atlassian products have already been planned and developed from the ground up cloud-native, rather than just adapting old legacy systems. With our portfolio, we are therefore ideally positioned for a future in the cloud.