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Consolidation in the Atlassian Marketplace

The Atlassian Marketplace is an incredible source of value available to all Atlassian customers. The Marketplace contains over 4,000 3rd party apps that are designed to expand the capabilities of Atlassian’s suite of products. As Atlassian focuses on cloud and performance at scale on Data Center how you leverage 3rd party apps is going to make a huge difference in terms of your Atlassian ROI.

At Blended Perspectives, we are able to offer uniquely insightful analysis of the Atlassian Marketplace through our Marketplace Analytics Research Service™ (MARS™).

MARS™ is our database of Atlassian Marketplace apps. When we created MARS™ in 2017 we realized that we could bring significant value to the Atlassian ecosystem by creating a quantitative and objective database covering every facet of the Atlassian Marketplace. MARS™ covers a host of data points including instances, reviews, rate of growth, version releases, price, and much more. You can learn more about MARS™ and how it can work for you here.

Over the past year of so though the major story in the Atlassian Marketplace has been the consolidation and growth of the largest app vendors.

Marketplace Consolidation

In 2021 the Atlassian Marketplace surpassed $2 billion in lifetime sales. This is a huge figure and demonstrates again that the Atlassian Marketplace is largely unmatched as a 3rd party add-on space in its scale and the scope of value it provides customers. However, most interestingly perhaps is the fact that although it took 7 years for the Marketplace to reach its first $1bn in sales, it only took 2 years to reach the second.

The Marketplace is a large, rapidly growing, and competitive space. This means that the ground is ripe for vendors looking to make strategic acquisitions in order to gain an edge over their competitors. Vendors like Appfire and Tempo have seen the potential for this and have made some major acquisitions over the past year or so.

The main consolidators recently have been Appfire who acquired 8 other vendors over 2021. Appfire has shown no signs of slowing down this year either, taking over Numbered Headings from Avisi in January. Perhaps the most significant of these 8 acquisitions was the takeover of SoftwarePlant, makers of BigPicture. BigPicture is the market leader in the PPM/Planning space so it was particularly interesting when in December 2021 Tempo acquired their major competitor ALM Works, developers of Structure.

Figure 1: Appfire & Tempo Market Share

These takeovers now mean that Appfire and Tempo together control 23% of all paid Marketplace installs. Looking at the Marketplace as a whole, while the top 10 vendors controlled 36% of all instances at the beginning of 2021, this figure is up to 46% today-an increase in their market share by 10 percentage points.

Figure 2: Top 10 Vendors vs Rest of the Marketplace

The effects of marketplace consolidation can already be seen through programs such as Appfire’s “One Appfire” initiative and Tempo’s plan to combine the time tracking capabilities of Tempo with the project and artifact structuring solutions of Structure.

Through “One Appfire”, Appfire is planning that, by September 2022 at the latest, all app support will be consolidated into a single portal. Apps will also be unified under a single brand and app development will be more tightly knit between the once disparate Appfire brands.

There are incredible natural synergies to be had between time tracking and planning. By combining the leading time management solution with one of the top two planning products, Tempo is attempting to build an unbeatable portfolio management offering. Structure is not the only strategic acquisition Tempo have made with this plan in mind–in November 2021 they also acquired Roadmunk, an end-to-end roadmapping solution.

We can see then that as Atlassian customers we’re likely to be seeing tangible benefits very soon as a result of these takeovers. Another interesting angle we can look at the Marketplace from though is what segments of the Marketplace have been consolidated.

Where Consolidation is Happening

Figure 3 shows that out of the 10 most significant categories, Appfire/Tempo have a significant presence in all but 3 of them (Integration, Diagramming, and Test Management).

In particular we can see that Appfire and Tempo together dominate the largest category, Planning, with around 50% market share between them. Appfire has a very strong presence in Publishing, Scripting/Automation, Reporting, Utilities, and Administration while Tempo dominates Time Management.

What Figure 3 makes clear though is that Appfire and Tempo, though both consolidating their app portfolios, are not pursuing the same strategy.

Figure 3: Categories Featuring Appfire/Tempo Market Share

While Appfire are strengthening across the board into a number of major categories, Tempo’s approach is more focused towards their area of strength and expanding outwards from there. In other words, Appfire are on the way to becoming a full solution vendor–essentially the idea could be that you buy all of your apps for all of your various needs from Appfire and benefit from synergies like consolidated support for these apps. The fact that Appfire don’t have a particularly large presence in Integration, Diagramming, and Test Management could indicate that their next takeovers may be in these areas.

Meanwhile, as they’ve stated, Tempo is looking to become an unbeatable marketplace force in PPM through acquisitions that are less broad but naturally link into their existing functionality. Roadmunk and Structure are both perfectly suited to slot right into Tempo’s PPM solution alongside Tempo Timesheets and will be a force to be reckoned with once it’s fully put together.

These are two differing but equally interesting strategies and we’re really interested to see how they develop going forward into 2022.

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