5 min read

7 Non-Negotiables When Choosing an Atlassian Business Partner

By Katie Thomas on Dec 8, 2020 2:25:00 PM

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Ask any project manager what the number one contributor to a successful project result is, and they will tell you that it’s having the right people on the team. That goes for vendors too. Because behind every consulting gig are people making decisions that influence your company’s future. 


The decision to select an Atlassian Business Partner is a big one. The stakes are high, with perhaps millions of dollars and people’s careers hanging in the balance. A bad vendor decision could haunt you for a decade or longer. 

The process to choose a vendor usually starts with a referral or by viewing the Atlassian Partner Directory. However, with over 50 Platinum Partners distributed across the globe, it can be overwhelming. After visiting a few of the partner websites, you may be no closer to a decision.

Christian_Lane

Christian Lane, CEO of Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Partner, offers his thoughts on how to approach the partner selection process to ensure your project is delivered on time and within budget. 

 

He starts by sharing his recommended list of “must-haves.” In his opinion, any vendors not having these should be immediately disqualified. 

Look for relevant experience

To be approved as an Atlassian Partner, you must have smart people. All companies can easily add up the years experience among their people and come up with an impressive number. But that’s not the differentiator between firms. Don’t accept a general numerical answer. Dig deeper and ask for specific experience in your industry and what the scope of those projects were. 

Executive involvement

There is nothing more frustrating than dealing with a person that isn’t empowered to make decisions. You want top levels of management to be familiar with your project and understand its strategic value. This way they can apply their leadership and senior experience to add value. You want them to ask questions about workflow, reporting, integrations, and how it relates to the overall goal of the project.  

Rate of repeat business

As the saying goes, “The best predictor of future success is past behavior.”  Ask the vendor about their rate of return business. It’s perhaps the clearest indicator of a company's performance and customer satisfaction. Lane adds, “72% of our business last year was from repeat clients. Any competent firm should be able to tell you their number. If they don’t know it, that's a red flag in itself.” 

Percentage of revenue from change orders

Avoid the bait and switch. Managers want to deal in absolutes when it comes to money and time required to get the job done. You don’t want to fall in a trap of working with a vendor only to be told that your request wasn’t included in the original scope. For example, at Praecipio Consulting, we have a defined process to expose any and all needs of a project. By clearly defining the work from the start, you avoid missed expectations and expensive changes. For our team, this process starts with defining the problem in the sales process and includes engineers and other technical people. If there are any limitations or features to add for the solution, they contribute to the conversation. All parties move in lockstep, and a delivery commitment is made. The process has proven to work, as only 2% of our revenue last year came from change orders. Lastly, pay attention to how much value is delivered before the signed contract. 

Listed in the Atlassian Partner Directory

Only choose a partner from the official Atlassian Partner Directory. These companies have demonstrated their expertise and willingness to dedicate themselves to the software. They have to make an investment to be included, and their business model revolves around partner support. Using any other firm not vetted by Atlassian should be approached with extreme caution and is not recommended. 

Platinum Partners have the most experience and have been doing this type of work the longest. They have been recognized as the best and have inside knowledge about new products, features, and beta testing. For example, our leadership team members have participated in panels, councils, and have had an influence in building the software and program itself. 

What do they stand for? 

Commonly referred to as mission, vision, and values, look for what drives the vendor beyond earning revenue. Do they share your same morals and values? Besides words on a website, do they walk the walk on issues like social justice and environmentalism? Lane says he has seen more customers comment recently on their social injustice stance and Praecipio Consulting's commitment to the 1% pledge initiative. “We’ve always been socially aware and decided to build a company that leaves the world better than we found it. I’m proud of our ideals. As part of our hiring process, we want to make sure employees can get behind our causes and work toward the greater good. When clients recognize our efforts, it fuels our fire to want to do more.”  

Net Promoter Score

Ask vendors what their Net Promoter Score (NPS) is. NPS is a commonly accepted simple score of how likely customers are to refer you to their peers.

  • 0-6 are detractors, meaning they will tell people to stay away from your firm and NOT hire you.
  • 7-8 are passive promoters, meaning they will praise you when asked
  • 9-10 are active promoters, meaning they will go out of their way to tell peers about your good work 

Praecipio Consulting holds a lifetime NPS score of 71 (for context, the industry benchmark for software and tech companies is 28). Our team is proud of this score because they put so much heart into every project and seeing their clients' delight with their work is the ultimate payoff. 

Lane adds that the less quantifiable metric is “Ease to do business with.” Entering an agreement to work with an Atlassian Partner is a big commitment in terms of time. Are they responsive and U.S. based? Are they flexible and adaptable? And do you enjoy working with them? There has to be good chemistry to get the best result. Lane concludes, “Business is hard enough as it is sometimes. Don’t spend your valuable time working with difficult people. Control all the variables you can and make the most informed partner choice you can.”

 

Topics: do-good pledge-1% nps atlassian-solution-partner social-justice
2 min read

How to Get Involved This #GivingTuesday

By Morgan Folsom on Nov 30, 2020 2:14:24 PM

Blogpost-display-image_SJ- Giving Tuesday blog

Now that we're rapidly coming up on the end of 2020, I'm taking time to pause my life and find things to be thankful for. Under normal circumstances, this exercise can be a great way to wrap up the year; after this year, though, let's just say that I had a harder time than normal pulling together a list. The truth is that despite it being a tough year, I do have a lot to be thankful for – I've made it through this year with a job and a home, something that many people are not experiencing this year.

As we enter the holiday season, the messaging that we see is increasingly commercial: Black Friday edges earlier into Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday tries to pull focus locally, and Cyber Monday pretends like we're not online shopping for the first two, making it a trifecta of commercialism.

Giving Tuesday is an annual celebration on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving that encourages individuals and organizations across the country to do good. What better way to wrap up three of the highest spending days of the year by looking at how we can support others?

What we're doing

Here at Praecipio Consulting, we've stepped back and taken stock as well. Supporting our communities has always been a core value here, and we've been a member of Pledge 1% for years. We are proud to spend our time and money with organizations like the Flatwater Foundation, TreeFolks, and Bamberger Ranch. This year, we felt like we had to do more. At the beginning of June, the company began matching employee donations and doubling VTO toward relevant organizations.

This #GivingTuesday, we'll be taking it a step further and doubling employee donation matching for donations made on Tuesday, December 1st, as part of our continued dedication to supporting our communities. 

How you can get involved

That's what we're doing, but what about you?

There are a lot of ways to get involved, even in the middle of a pandemic. Check out local resources to find organizations that are accepting donations or for volunteer opportunities (if you're comfortable!). Events like gift drives and meal delivery are also great ways to contribute while still staying safe. Don't forget to look at local mutual aid funds for opportunities for even bigger impacts in your communities. 

Topics: flatwater-foundation do-good pledge-1% treefolks social-responsibility
5 min read

Corporate Social Responsibility: Meet our Green Team

By Christopher Pepe on Aug 23, 2019 7:59:00 PM

In 2008, I began my tenure with Praecipio Consulting recognizing that I had a great deal in common with Christian and Joe. Joe and I have a Lincoln-Kennedy level of coincidental similarities but beyond that we all shared a passion for leaving the world better than we found it.

While establishing Praecipio Consulting as a top-tier Atlassian Solution Partner, we launched an ambitious side-project that became in.gredients Grocers. Now closed, in.gredients was an experimental grocery store to minimize waste, build community, be a safe space, and encourage patrons to live a more sustainable life. It is a model whose time has come with several examples having popped up around the world. I'm very proud that the 1,000 sq ft grocery store only landfilled an average of 5 pounds of trash per month! By contrast, the average American generates 4.5 pounds of trash per day. In those days, the Praecipio Consulting office was next door and those ethos heavily influenced both organizations. Although we have moved to a new office on a new hill, we have retained those values. Standard issue employee gear includes high quality, reusable items like HydroFlask water bottles. We encourage people to reduce, then reuse, and finally recycle. We do all that we can to avoid landfilling waste. To this day, its difficult to find a trash can in the office and the overall layout intentionally encourages less impactful behaviors.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility

Partnering with Atlassian has allowed us to double in size many times over. That growth has outpaced our green practices. To address that, we have created a Green Team to continue the mission. We are taking immediate steps to have an impact today, while also working towards goals that will forge a cleaner tomorrow.

CSR Goals

In all things we seek Balance. We believe that by promoting balance, a more stable world will manifest - one that improves life for all living things. Our goal is to encourage behavior that improves the balance of our community and discourages behavior that destabilizes our community. If we do this well then everyone reap the benefits that they seek.

Carbon Environmental Footprint

This is difficult to mention without sparking a debate about carbon dioxide. But, we aren't interested in politics here. There is great value in removing atmospheric carbon independent of a political view of climate change. Building carbon content in the soil is one of our focus areas. There are more benefits than we can list here, but of interest to Texas ranchers is to improve forage, improve soil water holding capacity, and improve livestock performance. As carbon builds up in the soil, biodiversity increases, and the overall system becomes more tolerant to changes in weather patterns (including drought tolerance). This allows the land to be more productive, reduces runoff, and improves the overall health of the ecosystem. All of these benefits occur while producing healthier livestock and reducing operating expenses for ranchers.

We see value in supporting soil building projects to offset the carbon footprint from our consultants' travel. We see value in improving the land while keeping it in its historic and current use.

Remediation through Sustainable Practices

Being a modern human is an expensive existence and much of the cost has been paid by the environment that we live in. Satiating our ever growing use of energy, fossil fuel pollution, electronics, oceanic garbage patches, roadside litter, food waste, and on, and on, and on...has many hidden costs that are not bundled in the purchase price of our stuff.

Waste streams fascinate me and I am passionate about more intelligently cycling resources through the human machine. As an aside, Cradle to Cradle is one of the five most influential books in my life. The focus on improving systems that have been degraded by human activity goes towards the goal of having a cleaner effluent. That which flows out of Praecipio Consulting must be cleaner than that which flowed in. Several of us are known to keep a trash bag handy so that we can make our communities a little nicer when out and about. Today, Praecipio Consulting uses Earth Day to organize trash pickups at local parks and we plan to expand our green-up efforts.

My dream in this pillar is to buy a parking lot and put paradise back up. The Green Team is mostly practiced permaculture gardeners and that knowledge will influence the projects we are personally involved in.

Health and Well-Being

Praecipio Consulting has put a strong focus on personal health and well-being. We have a generous wellness program where employees can earn PTO for making healthy life choices. We encourage spending time outside, eating better, and exercising more. Another unique holiday is "A Day in the Sun" where an employee can take a day off to spend it outside. Folks have participated in events like paddle-a-thons, rock climbing, attended forestry training, or simply lounged on the river.

The Green Team is looking at more ways to empower employees to grow better each day.

How to Get Involved

We'd love to hear what you are doing within your communities, and we'd love to help with our efforts. If nothing else, join Pledge 1% and commit to making a difference in your world.

 

Topics: corporate-responsibility do-good pledge-1%
3 min read

Our Pledge to Not Give T-shirts at Atlassian Summit 2019

By Praecipio Consulting on Mar 21, 2019 11:05:54 AM

As a Gold Sponsor for this year’s Atlassian Summit, we get it - t-shirts are cool. And at past Summits, we’ve given away some awesome t-shirts but this year when you come by Praecipio Consulting's booth, expect to be given something much more meaningful... Something even life-changing.

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Photo Credit

Our Pledge

We got to thinking about what we do as a company and what our customers expect of us. As a consulting company leveraging the Atlassian product suite, we deliver the best in-class technology solutions to our clients. Helping companies run their business seamlessly through processes and technology is just one way Praecipio Consulting improves the lives of those around us. We also seek to be caring stewards of the planet and helping those in need. Three years ago, we joined the Pledge 1% Movement, and since then we've donated 1% of our time, equity, and profit to nonprofit organizations. We contributed to great causes, such as volunteering at an orphanage in Nicaraguahonoring veterans, helping out with a tornado disaster relief, raising money for the Flatwater Foundation, and organizing a Colorado River cleanup.

Our Commitment

Giving away t-shirts this year just didn’t cut it, especially when you think about what it takes to make a t-shirt... Did you know that growing the cotton necessary for one t-shirt requires more than 2,700 liters of water? Many resources are needed to manufacture and transport the product. Additionally, caring for a t-shirt leaves no small footprint. Most of us use 40 gallons of water to wash a load of laundry and 5 times more energy to dry a load.

So, this year, Praecipio Consulting is doing something different. In lieu of receiving a t-shirt, Summit attendees that stop by our booth will choose who we (Praecipio Consulting and Workato) will contribute $10 (the cost of a t-shirt). Summit attendees will choose from1 of 4 amazing nonprofit organizations that are making a difference every day: 

Flatwater Foundation is dedicated to providing those diagnosed with cancer, their families, and loved ones access to mental health therapy and family support, including traditional and non-traditional methods of psychological counseling.

TreeFolks has engaged thousands of volunteers to plant more than 2.8 million trees in Central Texas. Planting trees is a powerful means of connecting people with their communities, as they clean the air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, produce fresh fruit for neighbors, and provide shelter.

SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone) serves survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation, and domestic violence through prevention, advocacy, and comprehensive services for individuals, families, and communities that have been impacted by abuse.

Colorado River Alliance believe that a healthy, flowing river is imperative to the long-term well-being of their communities and state. Their mission is to champion the long-term vitality of the Texas Colorado River through education and engagement.

Our Responsibility

By taking this step to do our part in conserving the environment and fulfilling our corporate responsibility, we do not claim that we'll never print another t-shirt again; we do promise that we'll be judicious when we do. 

We look forward to seeing everyone at Summit, please make sure to stop by our booth 1106 to easily contribute to these causes!

Topics: atlassian-summit community culture do-good pledge-1%

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

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