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How to Scale a Platform and Ecosystem to $10B | Atlassian CRO Cameron Deatsch

Case study of how Atlassian built a Channel Partner Platform Ecosystem to deliver $10 billion in sales.

Speaking at the SaaStr conference Atlassian CRO Cameron Deatsch describes their channel strategy and how it has enabled them to grow to a $3 billion business, and how they plan to scale to $10 billion+.

Atlassian competes in three main markets: Agile and DevOps, IT Service Management and Work Management, and channel partners and complimentary product integrations are key to their success.

From 4m:30s Cameron highlights a critical insight:

Atlassian has managed to achieve this level of growth while keeping sales and marketing costs to less than 15% of revenue. The primary method for achieving this has been a product-led, self-service ecommerce approach to enterprise software.

Quite simply they sought to offer as frictionless a process as possible for customers to get from having a problem to getting into the product and solving their problem.

Channel Ecosystem Platforms

From 7m:00s Cameron moves on to discussing their ecosystem model, made up of three main partner types:

  • Solution Partners – Consulting firms who provide implementation services. 700+ across 84 countries, generating over $1 billion.
  • Marketplace Partners – Developers who extended the core product set through plugins. The marketplace has generated over $2 billion sales, paying out $1.5 billion to the partners.
  • Strategic Technology Partners – Deep integrations and venture investment partnerships with major vendors, such as Slack and Snyk.

From 24m:55s Cameron describes the process that led to this becoming a single platform strategy. What they found when implementing these various partner programs was their 20+ product set was resulting in isolated silo development and core functionality work was being duplicated across them.

To address this they developed the Atlassian Cloud Platform, which standardizes common capabilities into a single function used across multiple higher level applications. Forge provides an app development infrastructure where ISVs can build and deploy into the Atlassian environment, leveraging these common functions.

Flywheelin’: 10 Learnings on Atlassian’s Unique GTM Model

On another SaaStr webinar Cameron further expands upon how Atlassian pioneered the direct-sales model in the B2B software space based on the belief that software should be bought, not sold. He walks through the challenges and benefits of building a flywheel powered by word of mouth and amplified by data-driven touchpoints.

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