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Atlassian Revamps Jira For The Cloud Era, Creating A ‘Huge Migration Opportunity’ For Partners

The Australian software vendor's signature product has been simplified, upgraded and redesigned to support modern development teams building cloud applications.

Jira, Atlassian's project management and issue tracking platform that's long been a mainstay for software developers, on Thursday got the biggest revamp in the product's more than 15-year history.

Atlassian rebuilt Jira from the ground up, redesigning the user interface, adding functionality and delivering more integrations to meet the evolving demands of modern software teams developing apps in the cloud, said Sean Regan, head of growth for Atlassian software teams.

Jira needed to be reimagined, Regan said, as the advent of cloud computing has drastically changed how software is built—with smaller, more-distributed and independent teams shipping code at a rapid cadence.

"In the cloud, every day can be launch day," Regan told CRN.

[Related: 10 Cool DevOps Tools To Know About In 2018]

Jira catapulted Atlassian from a dorm-room startup into a global powerhouse in 2002—a time when software development moved at a far-slower pace with an entirely different methodology.

Three years ago, the Sydney, Australia-based vendor began adapting its signature product to modern development trends by splitting Jira into on-premises and cloud versions.

The latest evolution of Jira, built for the first time with a micro-services architecture, simplifies the experience of using the platform while making it more accessible to a wider base of developers.

Among the changes, Atlassian added a feature called Roadmaps that enables project managers to lay out and share big-picture goals, and how they map to specific tasks.

There are new APIs and integrations, including with feature-flagging solutions, to connect Jira to a broader set of third-party tools.

Atlassian also introduced more-granular permissions to enable diverse teams—developers, designers, marketers—to better control how they want to work.

"Bringing simplicity to a complex experience is Jira's secret sauce," Regan said.

Among the changes, the Jira board has been upgraded to allow customized workflows that help distributed teams collaborate simultaneously on complex projects.

Atlassian's channel is poised to benefit from the changes as companies are rapidly moving on-premises software development tools to the cloud.

There's "a huge migration opportunity to move people from Jira Server to Jira Cloud," Regan said.

Atlassian works with roughly 400 solution partners who deliver a third of the company's total revenue.

Those partners add value not just by selling licenses, he said, but by driving transformations in how enterprise clients develop software. Atlassian has no services consulting arm of its own.

The company's unique go-to-market philosophy—which forgoes a large internal sales division—delivers to partners what is essentially "a giant lead-gen machine."

Hundreds of thousands of potential new customers evaluate Jira each year, and the majority rely on channel partners to deploy the software, Regan said.

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