Report from FUSION 15


By Dick Stark and Alex Merenyi

FUSION, held last week in New Orleans, is a popular ITSM conference known for attracting higher-level ITSM professionals. In addition to an ITSM track, this year’s conference featured a DevOps track with very well attended DevOps sessions. Additionally, there were more than 30 exhibitors.  All the usual suspects were there: BMC, CA, HP, Cherwell, LANDesk, SunView, EasyVista, Samanage, Heat, Bomgar, SysAid, ServiceNow, Axios, and FreshService.

We helped staff the Atlassian booth, and at least 50% of the attendees visiting the Atlassian booth were already using JIRA Software for DevOps.  Very few, however, were using JIRA Service Desk.  Many users asked for a JIRA connector to their service desk so there could be a single system of record in their organization, not several.

Right now, Atlassian is riding the wave of the DevOps movement that has grown due to its perception as rapid, lean, and agile. This contrasts with ITSM, which is often perceived as slow, complex, and unwieldy. Atlassian is positioning JIRA Service Desk for organizations looking to streamline processes and move IT Support in line with Operations and Development. JIRA provides the most complete “DevOps” response to service management – “bring everyone together, under one roof, and let’s get things done.”

Regarding Atlassian’s push to the cloud, we learned that over 50% of Atlassian’s business is via Cloud now, a number that’s expected to rise. The cloud limitations are due to what are called “P2” add-ons, which (short version) are add-ons that require major system-level access. Atlassian is pushing add-on developers away from P2, and with very limited exception (Tempo) will not allow P2 add-ons in Cloud. Reading a bit between the lines, Atlassian is strongly considering not supporting P2 add-ons in any capacity in future.  This means all the Marketplace add-ons like Insight (asset management) will require substantial re-write.

There was some reticence from show attendees who were concerned that JIRA was simply a “platform for add-ons,” especially when it comes to modules like Asset/CMDB. We found that the attendees usually became more receptive to the idea when they realized it was more of a curated marketplace – even going as far as to point out that JIRA itself is a collection of add-ons written on and to the same frameworks. This makes it a bit less of an “I need these add-ons” and more of a “you can have these features.”  Many of the people we spoke with at the booth were surprised at the level of flexibility that JIRA seemed to have – especially those coming from older JIRA releases.

Of course, it is partially RightStar’s role as an Atlassian Expert to package and integrate the modules as a single solution. It is not just the technology, but also the processes (both Agile and ITIL), and people (user adoption) that will demonstrate value as our customers’ expert advisor in the Service Management and DevOps spaces.

About dick1stark

I am the President and founder of RightStar, Inc, an XTIVIA company. RightStar is a leading ITSM and DevOps consultancy and BMC Software Elite Solution Provider and Atlassian Gold Partner. My passion is customer success—whether it’s reducing the cost of service management, improving overall efficiency, or increasing end-user or employee satisfaction. Since founding RightStar in 2003, RightStar has made the INC 5000 list four times. In 2011, RightStar was awarded the prestigious National Capital Business Ethics Award (NCBEA) by the Society of Financial Service Professionals based upon RightStar’s foundation of honesty, ethics, and integrity. And in 2014, RightStar was selected by Forrester Research as one of 13 North American companies profiled in its ITSM Consultancy Wave Report. In 2019, BMC selected RightStar as its DSM North American Partner of the Year for its sales and partnership excellence. Finally, in November 2020, RightStar was acquired by XTIVIA, an innovative IT Solutions Provider. Dick is a graduate of Stanford University and a Project Management Professional (PMP).
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