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Atlassian rewrites the SaaS playbook with beloved products like Jira

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If Atlassian, the $25 billion Aussie software giant, raised prices on its products, there would be virtually no pushback from customers, because they both love them and need them, says one analyst.

In fact, Atlassian is completely “rewriting the SaaS playbook,” wrote Joel Fishbein, managing director and software and cloud technology analyst at BTIG, in a note to clients on Friday. He believes Atlassian’s products are likely underpriced, and if they raise prices by 7-15%, customers are unlikely to complain much, if at all.

Atlassian is best-known as the proprietor of Jira, popular for helping developer teams track software bugs, though it also offers the BitBucket code-sharing service, the Confluence document-sharing tool, and other services. Notably, Atlassian deploys no traditional sales team; customers buy Atlassian software straight from its website.

It’s an unusual model, but it’s worked: Even if there was an economic slowdown, it wouldn’t be a blow to Atlassian, Fishbein says. Atlassian is somewhat “recession-proof,” as Atlassian’s software is now seen as a “must-have” for enterprises, he says. Because of that, Atlassian has tons of room to grow, in his reckoning.

“At current levels, Atlassian could make similar price increases for years with a particular focus in the large enterprise, which is likely well under-priced,” Fishbein wrote.

Last month, Atlassian beat Wall Street’s expectations and reported $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever. It actually just raised the prices on its products in January, but the change mostly affected only its largest customers. Fishbein wrote that there was “limited pushback.”

Fishbein says that Atlassian’s business strategy is especially effective, as it is continuously working to improve its apps by investing in R&D. On the other hand, it spends relatively little on sales and marketing, but users are enthusiastic about its products, allowing them to spread via word-of-mouth.

Atlassian has tons of room to grow also, says Fishbein. He’s optimistic about the company’s future, as it has the opportunity to capture even more of the market.

The demand for Atlassian’s products will only increase, says Fishbein, because there will be more programmers than ever, and they’ll need tools. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for software developers will grow 24% between 2016 and 2026 because of the demand for computer software.

“The rise of the software developer is fundamentally changing how applications are designed, bought, and used,” Fishbein wrote. “We see this not as a fad but instead as only the beginning of an ongoing shift in the software industry, with Atlassian at the heart of this movement.”

Plus, Atlassian’s products serve more than software developers. They’re often used by product managers and people in other aspects of the tech scene. And last September, Atlassian acquired incident management platform Opsgenie, which means that it’s rolling into the IT space as well, as it takes on the likes of Splunk and ServiceNow.

Read more:Here’s why Atlassian is slashing product prices by 35% for Opsgenie, the IT-management startup it recently acquired for $295 million

“While it remains to be seen exactly how this war will play out, there is substantial upside for Atlassian if it is able to effectively make inroads into the closely guarded IT market,” Fishbein wrote.

On a final note, Fishbein may not be the only one who sees a lot of upside in Atlassian — the company frequently comes up in industry rumors as a potential acquisition target for Google Cloud.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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