We need better notifications to important messages like new concession programs

Hi @amardesich,

We were notified by a fellow marketplace partner that a new program was being launched, which was published on the Marketplace Partner portal:

I know that you have been working on moving content to the appropriate channels, but I would expect these types of programs warrant additional communications as they impact Marketplace Partner business. Assuming that every partner will see this, and that they will be in time of the March 20th opt-out deadline is a bit risky.




Looking at the linked page, it looks like it was authored with page permissions in place and then was made public. Many Atlassians don’t realize that when they do this, it doesn’t send out an email notification to watchers.

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Hi @remie and @BorisBerenberg thank you for calling out some of the communication and alerting gaps, we can certainly improve here and this is a great discussion to keep us working towards that.

@BorisBerenberg you’re spot on with your point that many Atlassians don’t realize when you publish a page in a restricted state and then move it or unrestrict it, that partners aren’t notified in the same way. A change we made on the partner portal a few years back was to use an internal ‘Draft’ space to stage content and this put a spotlight for us on how reliant partners were on page publishing and update notifications.

We do think that some updates only need ‘passive’ notifications (i.e., update a page and people who use what the page is about will see it eventually), this concession program doesn’t fall into that category and we agree proactive communication is needed. Some criteria that puts it into a proactive communication category for us are: it’s being newly introduced, it’s time sensitive and has a deadline, and it will be perceived as having a financial impact.
A note: this is for customers who would otherwise churn so it’s a little unique in the financial impact category since it’s giving something for free for 3 months that we’d have all lost the sales on anyway. However, perception of financial impact is often more important than facts of financial impact when we look at communications for a topic.

The guidance we’re giving to our teams and the processes we’re putting in place, are to make sure we have proactive communication when a topic warrants it (like this one does) to drive traffic and awareness to content for more details.

This concession program and the opt-out deadline were communicated in the February Marketplace Skim newsletter blog on Partner Portal, and we also made sure that we gave at least 30 days notice.

@remie to your point some time back, it can be difficult to know if a Partner Portal blog is for Solution Partners or Marketplace Partners. The Marketplace Partner skim is always for Marketplace Partners, and gets published the 3rd week of every month so you are less reliant on alerts like you are for communications posted at any given moment. It’s definitely not perfect, but we’re hoping this makes it a little easier while we continue to make improvements. We’ll all keep voting on the confluence feature to be able to watch labels :smile: because we are also using a consistent label on these monthly newsletters

@remie as for additional communication on things like these, in the past these types of notices would have been put in a private CDAC thread we used to operate for Marketplace Announcements which was restricted to companies with at least 1 paid app. A few months ago, we sunset and transitioned that CDAC thread over to the Partner Portal blog. We did reinforce this change a number of times but know it can take time to move the adoption of something, so we do continue to cross-post on different topics. This wasn’t one of those topics, so maybe the wrong choice on our part in this case.

Do you think something like a monthly post for a while on CDAC to remind partners that they shouldn’t miss the blogs in the partner portal would help address this in the future? We could reference a few key topics but not full details - and then link over to the direct article along with reminders of how to sign up. The goal would be to help make sure people don’t miss something while reinforcing the new location the information is being served up through.

We’re also looking at pages we can create in the partner portal similar to something like the news page for all partners which can do a better round-up of marketplace-specific blogs and content updates based on labels. We could certainly benefit from some partners willing to meet and brainstorm some ideas here if either of you are interested! @BorisBerenberg I know you’ve been an active user in the partner portal across solution partner content for many years, so you could certainly help us learn from what has worked for you in the past and give a great perspective on how to make content that applies to different partner types more clear so you spend less time hunting for it.

I don’t have a good solution here. I think Atlassian has generally been trending in the right direction. The one major regression started a couple years ago with the “unprivating” of pre-published pages breaking the watcher functionality on APAN (not sure if thats the acronym we’re going for?)


Thanks @BorisBerenberg we prefer Partner Portal, it rolls off the tongue a little better than APAN! There may be a couple of different approaches we can take on the “unprivating” challenge.

  • Creating a copy of the page instead of moving the page (this has other benefits as well).
  • Creating a page the pulls recently updated pages with certain labels.
  • Maybe an app or two that solves for this :wink:

We’ll keep working on it and may try to introduce a few easy tests in the coming weeks to see if they’re helping.

@amardesich this is a misconception as Atlassians seem to forget that for Cloud apps build with Connect, there is a financial impact. You are basically giving away 3 months of operational cost without any returns nor guarantee there is going to be customer retention. I know Atlassian has a Forge state of mind, but there are still vendors out there that are self-hosted.

Personally, I still think there is a difference between content & communication, and communication should not be limited to the place where the content is kept.

Like I told the product managers, I think the Atlassian should not be the one to decided whether or not something is going to impact a Marketplace Partner. That means that from my perspective, any changes that relate to doing business on the Atlassian Marketplace warrant additional communications apart from the place where the content lives.

There is no such thing as over-communication when it comes to a relationship with the kind of power dynamics that we have between Atlassian and Marketplace Partners. And even though it might be an additional burden for Atlassian to cross-post, I think you owe it to the community to make that effort.

Having said that, I would personally always opt for cross posting any business related messages to CDAC, or at least indeed have a monthly non-curated overview (taking into consideration deadlines). Or send an email. Or post it in Slack. Not as a temporary transition period, but just to make sure that you reach everyone. For if Atlassian has the prerogative to make these one-sided changes to doing business on the Atlassian Marketplace, the burden of informing partners lies with you. This should not be something we have to actively seek out.

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there is a financial impact

@remie you’re right. Partner operating costs were something we discussed internally (hosting, even support requests that could arise), and something I overlooked in my prior response. I think we have more we can learn. Knowing there is a financial impact is one thing. Knowing the materiality of the financial impact would probably lead to an exponentially better understanding and application of that knowledge. I’d love to discuss this with you or others in a less public setting given the sensitive nature of that type of information.

communications apart from the place where the content lives

To a degree, it wasn’t. The communication on the partner portal is in the Blog portion of the ‘News’ space which is purposely separated from the content section/space. This is done to allow partners to watch one and not the other so they get notifications when communications are posted. If we designed a new portal that integrated everything you use today behind one login like most other companies do in their partner portals, would you still say communication couldn’t live within that portal or behind that login entry point?

If I’m understanding you correctly, and based on one of our earlier chats on the topic. What you’re really asking for is better push notifications to your ‘inbox’ when we post communications. So it’s less about where the communication itself lives, and more about the push notification to you via email or slack as an inbox. Partner Portal does this if you watch the news space, but it’s noisy because there are a lot of communications that might not be relevant to Marketplace Partners (a use case for restrictions to be added to blogs maybe, but it could create other downsides). CDAC currently does that better than Partner Portal because you know everything on CDAC relates to Marketplace Partners. At its root, do we have an audience targeting problem more than a communication notification problem?

I agree we need to have better push notifications on partner portal communications and we’ll work on using other existing methods to supplement here until we can solve them more scalably.

I also agree that the reach of the message needs to be our primary objective over the location of the message. Repetition of information often aids retention as well. This is something we’re also keeping in mind while still trying to balance that cross-posting on a topic-by-topic basis could create too much noise and feedback that we use too many channels. We are looking at all of this and using it to drive improvements. We have more work to do and we’ll continue to make adjustments for the better. I hope you’re seeing that in some places, and I thank you for your patience and feedback when we take a step backward or a step too far at times.

I’m going to disagree here. CDAC relates to Marketplace Partner Developers - not the non-developers in the businesses. There’s way too much noise (and that’s before I start heading onto a rant about how Atlassian is abusing a forum for something it’s not).

It would be great for us to have consistent channels for different roles.


What I am referring to is reach.

I think @danielwester actually proves my point. He does not like CDAC for announcements. I do not like Partner Portal for announcement. My email inbox is a trash fire, but many other people have their inboxes tightly organised and collect every notification there. Others rely on Slack.

I know this is a difficult topic, and there are many personal preferences and levels of effort to consider.

I have always argued that there should be a single place for announcements that supports omni-channel notifications. I do not necessarily care about the place where content lives, and do not think there are too many channels as I agree that content should live in the right context.

As long as that place does not exist, at least we should have an omni-channel approach to announcements. For Marketplace Partner business related content, I would argue that Partner portal, CDAC, email and perhaps even Marketplace Partner Slack are appropriate.

To me, the fact that many partners still need to find out about important topics like concession programs though the unofficial Marketplace Partner Slack channel means that we’re still not in a good place with regard to announcements.

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I agree with this statement. Regardless of the discussion between content & communications, I think it was a mistake for Atlassian to create a single space for all developers in the Atlassian Economy.

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Great feedback @danielwester and I definitely agree we need to segment not only based on the business model but also role within that. Developer at a Marketplace partner vs. Marketer vs. Business Owner vs. other roles. Over time I hope we can do this better. Current thinking on nearer-term evolution is:

  • Developer Newsletter is for developers both partner and non-partner.
  • Partner Portal News should have messages for all personas at a marketplace partner.

We’re focusing more on non-technical content in partner portal for now since that’s been quite lacking in the past. In time we will likely start to evolve the Marketplace Partner Skim blog to have persona-based sections similar to what we do in the Channel Skim for Solution Partners and then over time evolve content as well to be more persona-based to help people in different roles find what’s most relevant to them.

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@remie glad to hear this, we’re talking a lot about developers at Marketplace Partners vs. developers who are not partners. One over-generalization we tend to make is that Developers = Partners. A fundamental change in thinking is that Partners are businesses/companies. Developers are people who may or may not work for Partner companies. Segmenting deeper into the developer at a customer vs. developer who may be a prospective partner vs developer at a partner vs. developer who just wants to explore our platform is something we’ll definitely need to get better at in time. Simply the fact we’re starting to think this way will likely lead to changes, but nearer-term focus will be on getting the partner vs developer and technical vs. non-technical segmentation done better in our communications. Then we can get segment further from there.

@remie I agree with you. Single location for announcements and omni-channel notifications and we need to figure out how to do this in our current setup until we have a more ideal one.

I also agree that the slack channel should be more for discussion (as should CDAC) than notification of the announcement in the first place.

More work to be done for sure and a healthy discussion here as well!

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