Image representing Atlassian as depicted in Cr...

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Earlier this year Atlassian successfully achieved its objective of raising $100000 for Room to Read, an organization that builds schools, libraries in rural communities in Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos, Zambia. They offered a Five licenses for $5 campaign for their products, with all proceeds going to the charity.

Philanthropy isn’t a one off for Atlassian however, as Zoli mentioned back in April, on so many levels they’re a business with a conscience.

Anyway, this is a big week for Atlassian, on Wednesday they launched the new look Jira, a major upgrade which includes the ability to include OpenSocial gadgets within the application – a move that Atlassian is very excited about, enabling the ability for interoperability to occur between enterprise and consumer systems. Lots more information on Atlassian’s use of OpenSocial can be found here.

Anyway, back to the topic of the post: Philanthropy and how it can be beneficial to an organization. Seeing the success of their April initiative, Atlassian have decided to relaunch their philanthropic deal, and extend it. In what is now a permanent move, organizations can obtain 10 user licenses for $10 for the following Atlassian products; Jira, Confluence, GreenHopper, Bamboo. FishEye and Crowd. Let me reiterate, this is an indefinite promotion, selling fully supported and fully function product with all proceeds going to charity.

I spoke with Jay Simons, VP of Marketing at Atlassian about the move. He reiterated the fact that Atlassian has a social conscience and that they’re more comfortable with a program like this than just embarking on a freemium strategy. He also concurred with my view that it’s far smarter than freemium for a couple of reasons;

  • Customers get used to paying for the software and therefore don’t apply the “free equals of no value” stigma to it
  • Customers feel good knowing their license feeds are going to a good cause

He explained the move by saying that this program “exposes small business that might not have known about them to Atlassian products, with the expectation that at least some of those customers will continue to use the products as they grow beyond 10 users”.

This strategy seems to work – Jay sent me some data showing the uptake they’d had since launching the program;


$44000 in a little over a day is a pretty good response in anyone’s book.

Here at CloudAve we have a real affinity for Atlassian. Despite them being Australian (I’m from New Zealand and we tend to have a “friendly” rivalry with our trans-Tasman cousins) they’re a inspiration organization and we fully support this initiative. In fact last time Krish and Zoli bought a bunch of Confluence and Jira licenses in order to get Atlassian over the 100k mark. They’ve been planning to give them away, just never got around it… and althought $10 is an incrediable deal, free is free – so if you’d like a free 5-person Confluence or Jira licence, let us know in the comments below, or via the contact form.  

Finally watch Room to Read CEO John Wood’s presentation @  the Atlassian Summit earlier this year:

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Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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