For this month's spotlight, we decided to learn more about yasoon, a Platinum Marketplace Partner who helps teams connect across Atlassian and Microsoft 365 products. We spoke with Anke Viehweger, Business Lead, about what she finds special about the product, business and team at yasoon.
Atlassian: How was your company started?
Anke Viehweger: Our founders Tobias and Andreas started yasoon 10 years ago with the wish to enhance their Microsoft Outlook inbox with more functionality. Eventually they started to build an integration with Jira and found a strong use case in that.
A: What's your role at your company?
AV: I’m leading our business team, so I’m overlooking everything non-tech – Marketing, HR, and Partner Management.
A: What's your favorite thing about working there? What’s your favorite team ritual?
AV: I love our company for its flexibility and openness.
I have two kids and can still be in a part-time management position. Since we rarely have short deadlines, we can work very flexible and always choose quality over rushing things. This makes it a lot easier to work part-time, as I can be sure, nothing will catch fire, when I’m with my family.
We communicate openly about our strategic plans and finances; we want everyone to be on board. We share our earnings openly every month and give prognoses about our long time strategies. We’re open about in what areas we want to invest in. I like that – no political agendas whatsoever.
Of course, some of our earnings goes to celebrations. 😉 We love honoring milestones. This year is our ten-year anniversary and we’re throwing a big party with all of our families and friends.
A: How does your team come up with ideas for new apps?
AV: We have one main product “Microsoft 365 for Jira” which we’re constantly improving. When thinking about new features or prioritizing them, it really helps that we’re in close contact with our customers. Deeply understanding customer use cases makes it so much easier for us to frame our roadmap.
Additionally, we’re power users of our own app internally. Everyone knows how our app works and where there is still room for new ideas. I often tell our tech team: “I wish I could just push a button here to do this and that.” And then we’ll evaluate together, if this could be a use case for our customers as well.
A: Think back to when you were developing your flagship app - did you see yourself here now? What do you think has been the secret to your success so far?
AV: No one can predict the future, but we were constantly working very strategically towards our goals.
Our number one priority was always to make the best of code. Marketing is nice, networking is fine – but a thought-out app, with a great UX and a stable, state-of-the-art codebase is what got us to where we are now. And it’s still our focus of improvement.
Our founders have a great interest in excellent usability of software in general. Scratching on the surface, and just shipping any feature, never meets these standards. At yasoon, we want to rather go deep and get it right instead of taking every quick win.
Of course, sometimes it is still mind-blowing to see that this strategy actually works out. 😉
A: Tell us about your most popular app. Why do customers love it?
AV: Our flagship app is “Microsoft 365 for Jira”. As the name already gives away: it integrates all your Microsoft 365 tools with Jira.
This is a complex topic, because when building a deep integration with tools that are so fundamental for all business processes, you must get it right. Therefore, we worked round about 10 years on it and there are still so many new ideas coming up.
This is also, what our customers love about the app: It’s not a simple notification-bomber. It connects your work tools in a way, where you can do a lot less tool-switches. Just use clever features from another tool, right where you’re already working.
For example, we brought the Microsoft Teams chat to Jira tickets, so you can interact with Teams without leaving Jira. And of course, it also works the other way round: You don’t have visit Jira to see issue content in a Teams channel.
A: Do you have any new apps or projects you want us to know about?
AV: Using Microsoft Teams for Jira Service Management ticketing is a strong use case for our app. Because this is a highly standardized and high-volume topic, JSM has always been a stronghold for using Jira automation. Enabling our app to support Jira automation was a logical next step for us.
Sending automated Teams chat from within a JSM ticket, for example, allows our customers to bring that automation power to Microsoft 365.