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Atlassian Access and Trello

Recently one of our clients migrated from Server to Cloud and activated Atlassian Access (AA) as part of their Cloud migration. They were surprised to find that included in their AA license count were several people who were already using a free license for Trello. The client administrator was happy to see them use Trello, but didn’t see why they should pay for an AA license for a free product.

Trello will allow anyone to sign up for free to use Trello. There are paid tiers, but many folks have discovered what a great product Trello can be for an individual or a small team to manage their tasks and the free tier is all that is needed to use this great tool.

The downside is that if the user signs up with their business email and that email domain is managed by their company through Atlassian Access, then they become an AA licensed user. This means that the company needs to pay for their AA license even though their Trello usage was supposed to be free.

The only alternative to this, currently, is to instruct users that if they want to use Trello, they need to use a personal email address to sign up. It isn’t possible to “blacklist” Trello usage from with AA, thereby denying the corporate emails from using Trello. In the current state, the administrator will need to stay on top of how many users are using Trello and no other Atlassian product and then notify the user that they need to change. The only alternative is to deactivate their corporate email, which is almost never a valid option.

Have you encountered this problem? What has been your approach?

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Gabriel Muller August 12, 2021

This is a common scenario since Trello was merged with Atlassian Accounts. At first, there was no option, the user had to transfer his boards to a personal email, and after that, the admin would deactivate the user corporate account in order not to get billed for Atlassian Access. 

Recently, Atlassian launched the Authentication policies feature, and after some time, released the flexible billing, which allows the admin to set up a policy to be non-billable. This is another solution: create a non-billable policy and add all Trello users that you don't want to pay for Atlassian Access.

Curt Holley
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August 12, 2021

Definitely encountered this and "as an Admin" am still dealing with it.

I have recently been advised about the non-billing Authentication policy idea. But as we use Azure AD sync processes and SSO to manage access and controls, setting up such a non-billing Authentication policy would mean those users would be non-managed accounts, without SSO capabilities, which our Information Security folk would not allow to happen. especially for a non- sanctioned cloud based tool (that Trello is, where I work).

It does feel like in Atlassian's gusto to incorporate Trello into the Atlassian account suite, they fell short on exploring all the "what if" scenarios...particularly pertaining to companies that would end up being charged due to the "shadow IT" usage of Trello up to that point and having no practical ways of controlling that usage moving forward.

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Kevin Suter January 25, 2022

Having the same issue with one of our customers. It seems that there is no other option than creating a non-billable policy in Atlassian Access or deactivating the users at the moment.

Faaiza Haque
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July 1, 2022

Yes we have the same issue.  It's ridiculous because the non-billable policy doesn't work for us otherwise those users can't raise Jira SM tickets with our IT Service Desk.  

I have to arrange Atlassian to delete the least active Trello users which is a challenge because we have multiple people setting up these Trello workspaces or whatever they're called and no overarching administrator of Trello as the business set up Trello not IT.

I've raised a ticket with Atlassian to fix this but based on previous posts I don't think they'll come to the party.  In the interim I'm trying to convince the business to change their primary email address in Trello and use the work email address as an alternate email.  I'm not sure if that will work.

We're paying unnecessarily for 64 Trello users as Atlassian Access users.  

Has anyone found a fix for this?

Josephine Mettam
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July 27, 2022

Hi!

I'm dealing with this now too.

I have asked the users with Trello boards to deactivate the accounts if they are no longer using them. 

I've got a number of people who have tried to deactivate their accounts. The problem is that because the accounts are managed accounts and synced with AD, the users now get a message that they cannot change their details because the accounts are managed. I also can't deactivate them using Atlassian Admin, because they're managed accounts

I'm 4 users over my Access tier and I really want to get these accounts deactivated!

Any ideas?

Faaiza Haque
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July 27, 2022

@Josephine Mettam you need to raise a support Ticket with Atlassian to get those accounts deactivated.

 

From my side I did complain about this to Atlassian Support and someone is finally looking into a solution for us because our business still want to use our corporate email accounts for Trello.  I told them we should not be paying for these accounts as Atlassian Access accounts and to fix the issue.  So they are looking at 2 options refund/discount or a long term fix - I asked for both.

I would encourage those people facing the same issues to raise the same Support request with Atlassian Support.  Trello has FREE features which everyone uses.  We should not be paying for Atlassian Access licenses.   The more people that do it - the more Atlassian will see it as a major issue.

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Kerli Loopman
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November 10, 2023

It has been a while since any updates on this discussion, and unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a straightforward solution. I'm currently facing a challenge in my situation. Initially, I provided a licensing cost estimate to my customer, but now the actual usage of Atlassian Access has significantly exceeded that estimate because of unknown Trello free plan users, putting me in a difficult position.

I'm unable to offer an easy fix for several reasons. Firstly, accounts are managed, and Atlassian accounts cannot be deactivated. Additionally, the use of Single Sign-On (SSO) and Jira Service Management (JSM) customer portal is a necessity, limiting certain options. Moreover, implementing a non-billable policy is currently not acceptable.

I'm seeking advice or suggestions on how to navigate this situation and find a resolution that aligns with the constraints and requirements of the project. Any insights or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Kerli Loopman
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November 27, 2023

We opted for the following solution:

Update users' email addresses for Trello accounts

Since we already had user provisioning set up and managed accounts, we couldn't directly update email addresses in the Atlassian Admin panel. Atlassian Support assisted by making those accounts unmanaged and updating their email addresses. We then re-synced the users with their correct email addresses, ensuring that the newly created users were not linked to Trello. Subsequently, we disabled the incorrect accounts, as their Trello data was not needed and they were no longer using it.

For users actively using Trello, an alternative would be to create a separate email address for Trello use or utilize their personal email address and add this to their account that is linked to Trello. This account can then be designated as a non-billable policy.

Luckily in our case the users didn't have data in Atlassian products with their Trello user account, which made this possible to create new accounts. Im not sure what to do if you do have data in other Atlassian products already associated with their account but I encourage you to contact support either way. 


I wrote this more thouroghly as a comment in another article.

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