- To begin with, could you tell us a little about Segmentify, your areas of activity, your customers?
Segmentify is a cloud-based software product that provides personalization services in the field of e-commerce. It does this by following the behavior of all visitors coming to the virtual store, suggesting the products and campaigns that the person needs according to these behaviors in real time and personalizing all the shopping experiences of those visitors. Thus, it provides a solution for online retailers with low contribution rates and low sales volumes, which are the biggest problems of e-commerce. Segmentify currently has nearly 200 customers from 24 different countries. Locally, we can count leading marketplaces such as Gittigidiyor and n11.com; leading retailers as Beymen, Boyner, Koton and Flo are in our customer portfolio. Overseas, we can list companies such as Puma, Mothercare and Decathlon among our customers.
- How do you handle project and resource management, how do you manage your software development processes? What software do you use for this purpose?
As a company exporting software abroad, our most valuable resource is actually our ability to develop software and product internally. Being able to plan this correctly is the most important step toward reaching our goals. In the past, we used Trello and Github Projects to manage this but there were some aspects we were not able to address. We have recently switched to Atlassian’s Jira Software Cloud product.
- What deficiencies did you previously observe? What were the factors that necessitated the search for a different solution?
The biggest challenge was to be able to plan our limited resources correctly because the business units and technical units, software developers, all need to be together in the planning part. The Project of Github we used for this purpose was on the very technical side and the business units were having difficultly submitting their own demands in it. Another shortcoming was that during planning sprints, it was a huge problem to plan todo’s, the loads on people and planning our roadmap for about 3-6 months ahead. One critical point was not being able to centrally report the metrics in these processes.
- Where did you first hear about Jira Software Cloud? What is the reason for you decided on Atlassian products?
I had a first hand experience with Jira about 5-6 years ago. It was very complicated back then, it did not seem to be able to fully solve our needs at the time. When we discussed the problems we had lately, and looked at what other solutions are being used around us, we frequently encountered Jira Software and especially the Atlassian Cloud offering. After all that positive feedback, we decided that Jira was the way to go.
- What other products in the Atlassian ecosystem do you use with Jira Software?
Right now, apart from a few essential Marketplace apps, Confluence is the only other Atlassian ecosystem product we use. But we are also evaluating the use of products on the DevOps side, and also Opsgenie which too has its origins as a Turkish startup. We are thinking of adopting them over time.
- What were your criteria in choosing Cloud over Server?
Ourselves being a SAAS company too, in order to run a successful business, we believe it is critical to assign the job to its domain experts and avoid administrative overhead and other troubles. Thus, our most important criterion was that we wanted to receive the solution as a service. We did not want to deal with the responsibility of installing and maintaining software on our own servers. An additional decision factor was getting frequent updates easily. It would be quite a big task to stay up to date if we had chosen an on-premise solution. Also it was easier to start with Cloud and also easy to access feedback and tips from the community. For those reasons, we chose Cloud.
- What was your transition process like? What were the difficulties you foresaw and experienced? What effect did Almbase have on this process?
Perhaps we could have made this transition on our own by asking around and reading the online documentation. That way it would have taken significantly longer, maybe 2-3 months. Instead, we searched for a partner who is an expert in this business and can give us the best practices. That’s how we found Almbase. This enabled us to transfer our existing processes in almost 2 weeks and to even implement the basics of most troublesome things. They made a great contribution in our transition, offering both speed and correct approaches.
- Which features of Jira Software Cloud you most benefited from? Can you please share a few features that had a positive effect on your processes and efficiency?
Our products are organized in sub products. In the past, we were trying to manage them in a common pool within a single project. When we moved to Jira, we were able to separate them. It was very useful for us to separate responsibilities, planning, roadmaps. At the same time, we were able to divide the software development processes into several parts in a convenient way, not on a single workflow. We manage planning on a separate board, we manage software development with sprints, we manage their tests and releases in separate locations. Before that, we were trying to do all this at the same time. There were tasks which were blocking each other unnecessarily and adjusting them was troublesome. Our life has become much better once we were able to separate these concepts and manage them easily.
- What aspects do you think are missing from Jira Software Cloud or you think should be improved?
It’s a very powerful product. When you want to achieve something in it, there is always a way. However, it’s a bit complicated. A lot of steps are being taken to authorize, especially in parts like authority management. There are also so many add-on apps on the Cloud, which is a very nice, but it is hard to decide which one is actually suitable and sufficient to use. A very core feature you’d expect to have out of the box, sometimes requires an app. It is a little difficult to research them all. I believe it is likely to improve over time though. I also hope that Atlassian will incorporate the apps that they see most useful in the product itself. It needs to be a little bit simpler.
- Finally, do you have anything additional to share about Almbase and Atlassian products?
Actually Almbase’s approach is very nice. Instead of coming and presenting their own methods and experiences first, they first listen and try to understand how processes work in a company and then suggest applicable methods and solutions. We actually had the opportunity to even update our processes rather than just switching everything we do to another product. The approach here was very successful. I think it would be useful for product-independent companies to adopt similar approaches in their transitions.
Thank you to Ergin Eroğlu for sparing time to this interview.