Atlassian Revamps Channel Program To Drive Stronger Partner Engagement

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Atlassian, an enterprise software vendor that's always opted for a uniquely straightforward approach to distributing its suite of cloud-based developer collaboration tools, Tuesday introduced a revamped channel program to make it easier for customers to find the best implementation partner for their needs.

Atlassian's channel program will take on a multitier structure, and partners will be identified by a new moniker, Martin Musierowicz, Atlassian's channel chief, told hundreds of partners who gathered Tuesday morning at the company's Summit conference in San Jose, Calif.

"We want to focus on the customer value and specifically their aptitude," Musierowicz told CRN of the partner community. "So we're going to go with the more traditional Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers, based on the partner's technical certification level."

[Related: SaaS Vendor Atlassian Recruiting Partners To Help Take Its Agile Development Game To Next Level]

The new structure will help the vendor direct customer inquiries to the most qualified solution providers, he said.

"Atlassian is seeing larger and more complex deployments," he said. "We want customers to see the value of our channel and understand what partner is right for them."

Atlassian entirely distributes its issue-tracking and team collaboration software online — a model, born out of necessity, that's more commonly associated with consumer products.  

Founded more than a decade ago in Australia, Atlassian was far removed from major financing sources.

But the company's Jira issue-tracking solution, with discovery, evaluation and purchasing all transacted through the website, enabled the company to bootstrap a global expansion.

Under that model, sales agents weren't needed to negotiate terms and prices -- they were always the same. And forgoing a traditional sales force allowed Atlassian to focus more investment on R&D.

Because Atlassian never built out any field operations, partners became instrumental to larger, custom deployments -- doing everything from presales, to on-site demos, reselling licenses, integration and services.

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