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Atlassian acquires ThinkTilt

Frederic Lardinois
·3-min read

Atlassian today announced that it has acquired Brisbane, Australia-based ThinkTilt, the company behind the popular Jira-centric no-code/low-code form builder ProForma. The two companies did not disclose the price of the acquisition.

The acquisition is meant to help strengthen Jira Service Management, Atlassian's version of Jira that focuses on IT service management (ITSM). Launched in November 2020, Jira Service Management is meant to remove the barriers between development and IT operations and provide them with a unified platform, but it also enables other teams (think HR, legal or finance) to set up their own service operations.

Edwin Wong, Atlassian's head of product, IT, tells me that the company already has more than 30,000 customers who use Jira Service Management (though to be fair, Jira Service Management is in part a rebrand of Jira Service Desk with additional ITSM functionality, so a lot of these users were previous Jira Service Desk customers).

"One thing that I keep hearing from our customers when we speak to them, is that what makes us different is that Jira Service Management really helps them deliver value quickly, without the cost and complexity of some of the other ITSM solutions that they've used in the past. It's just easier to set up, get going and maintain," Wong said.

Image Credits: Atlassian

And while at launch, the company's focus was very much on bringing developers and IT together, Wong stressed that today's announcement is very much about how IT can help other business teams develop services as well -- and cope with the reality of remote and hybrid work.

"Employees now expect digital experiences from the employers and their colleagues as much as they expect them in every aspect of their consumer lives, as these two things blend together," Wong noted. "Fact is, you can't really walk up to the HR team anymore when you're working remote and say, 'hey, I've got someone coming in.' You can't go tap on their shoulder and say, 'hey, upgrade that campaign for me.' That's not really going to work anymore." But ThinkTilt, Wong argues, helps businesses "create amazing customer and employee experiences, and allows anyone to do that really quickly and easily."

Unsurprisingly, ProForma comes with all the tools you would need to create forms (and there are a lot of them) and it is already deeply integrated with Jira and Jira Service Management. It also features over 300 templates for often used business flows like candidate approval tracking in an HR system, for example. "What we're really providing for our customers is not just the features and saying, 'hey, figure it out yourselves,' but really that practice and the [ThinkTilt] team really brings with them an amazing amount of knowledge with that," Wong said about ProForma's set of templates.

One neat tool more companies should offer: ProForma features a fully functional demo mode that lets you try out the product before even signing up for its free trial.

Jira Service Management, of course, can already build all these workflows, too. That is, after all, what the product is all about. But with ProForma, an HR team could capture all the information they need to capture for a given workflow, with Jira Service Management becoming the backend for those operations. Or they can easily create forms based on existing workflows, too, and enhance the user experience that way.

Over the course of the last five years, Atlassian regularly acquired a company or two per year. Currently, though, it feels like this pace is picking up a bit. Indeed, the acquisition of ThinkTilt marks the company's fourth acquisition in the last 12 months. In February, it acquired visualization and analytics company Chartio, while in 2020, it acquired helpdesk tool Halp and the asset management company Mindville. If anything, I would expect this pace to increase in the next year as Atlassian aims to capitalize on current trends.