You would never buy a new car without going for a test drive or at least viewing it first to make sure its suitable for you. Well, the same goes for Atlassian Marketplace apps you are evaluating for your business.
There are plenty of choices out there and it can be hard to choose the one that’s right for your team or business, and ultimately fulfills your needs.
But this is where Atlassian’s free evaluation/trial period comes in handy for Marketplace Apps.
What is an evaluation/trial period?
The evaluation/trial period is a set period of time where you can try Atlassian Marketplace apps for free. This should be used to assess their features and understand how they can address the specific problems or challenges you are facing.
Depending on the type of environment you are using (e.g. Cloud, Data Center or Server), there are set time periods that you can evaluate or trial an app for:
- Cloud Apps – you can get a free evaluation for up to 30 days
- Server/Data Center Apps – you can get a free evaluation for 30 days at a time. The evaluation can be extended 5 times giving you a total evaluation period of 6 months.
During the evaluation period, one of your main goals should be to pressure test the app and analyze it from all angles.
You should treat the evaluation period as your project and allocate the right amount of attention and effort from you and your colleagues to thoroughly test the app.
By doing this, you’ll be able to truly understand the value it can bring to your business and when the time comes to decide on purchasing the app, you’ll be in a position to make a more informed decision.
Engage with the Atlassian Marketplace Vendor
It’s not all about the app.
The evaluation period is a great opportunity to engage with the vendor who created the product and learns more about them.
After all, they will be supporting you when you are using the products or if you run into any technical problems so it’s important to know if they are responsive and supportive.
Many factors will suggest if a vendor is reliable, and these include:
Openness to feedback
The most valuable feedback always comes from the customer.
Are the vendor reaching out to you to understand more about your needs? Have they asked if there are any areas you need support with or improvements you would like to see made to the product?
When an Atlassian Marketplace vendor reaches out to you for feedback it is usually a sign they want to provide you with the best experience possible.
We would encourage you to engage with the vendor when they reach out to you. By providing your feedback, you can help them improve their product and ultimately you’ll benefit by gaining access to an even smarter solution as it’s improved over time.
Great onboarding can help you get off to a great start when using an app from the Atlassian Marketplace.
Some apps can be complex and may contain a lot of features, so having the right information available can help you get up to speed quickly.
Great examples of onboarding include the availability of “How to” videos that walk you through the core features of an app or an email newsletter that provides you with recommendations and top tips on how to use the app in the best way.
The onboarding experience can separate a good vendor from a great vendor so it’s really important to pay close attention to what they provide.
Thorough documentation/knowledge base
There will be times where you require some support or further information about specific features or a use case you have.
The vendors’ documentation should be a great source of information and, if done well, can answer most queries that you can have when using an App.
Great customer service
If a problem arises, the first thing you may do is contact the customer support team.
During your evaluation/trial period, you want to gauge the quality of a vendor’s customer service.
If there are several ways to get in contact with the company and they are responsive then this is usually a sign you are in good hands.
Book a demonstration
Atlassian Marketplace Apps will typically cater to a wide range of use cases.
Many vendors will offer the chance to have a demonstration call where you can talk through your use case and learn more about how the app can solve your specific problems or challenges.
This is a really valuable resource and one you should consider using during your evaluation period.
After all, if you don’t fully explore a product and what it can do for you and your team, you’re not making the most of the free trial period.
How can you maximize Atlassian App your evaluation/trial period?
To be honest, everyone will approach the trial differently but there are many important steps you can take to help get the most out of it.
You must follow these steps as the evaluation/trial period is only for a limited amount of time and it would be a waste not to use it effectively.
1. Learn about the App
The journey should always start with research. After all, you will usually be looking for an App to solve specific problems that you are facing so you need to know if it’s right for you.
The best way to start your research is to identify the needs you are trying to satisfy or the problem(s) you are trying to solve with the Atlassian marketplace app.
After you have identified your needs, there are plenty of resources available to help you find the right Atlassian app.
The best resources are typically the Atlassian Marketplace, vendor websites, or events and webinars that are run within the Atlassian Community or by the vendors themselves.
Even though trial/evaluation periods do not cost you money, they do take time and energy so it’s important not to waste this when it could be used elsewhere.
Another great way to get acquainted with an Atlassian App is to watch videos that explain how it works and the benefits it can bring.
Vendors will often have several videos that illustrate the different features and use cases. These videos can also be really useful for your teammates who are also using or testing the app, so make sure you share these with them.
And finally, the listings on the Atlassian Marketplace contain third-party and independent reviews which give you an unbiased opinion on the app from other customers.
2. Make time in your schedule and dedicate yourself to the trial
Once you have chosen the Atlassian Marketplace App you want to trial, you need to get stuck in with the evaluation period and set aside a good amount of time to thoroughly test it out.
It’s worth remembering that the evaluation period has a finite time and therefore it’s important you make the most of it while it’s available.
We recommend you get other stakeholders involved who would also be using the App in their daily work.
This will give you a range of opinions and perspectives, ultimately allowing you to make a more informed decision when the evaluation period is over.
3. Get a hands-on experience with the App
This is probably the most important phase of the evaluation period.
You need to get a thorough understanding of how the app will support your daily work and whether it solves the problem(s) you had.
The best way to try out an app is to test it for the specific use case you had, or if you needed it to support specific project work then integrate it as part of the project and see if it compliments how you are currently working. If it does then this is a great sign!
Many people evaluating apps will tend to use these products on a development instance or sandbox.
Our recommendation would be to trial it in an environment that gives you a realistic view of how the app can contribute to your team and business. Ultimately, where you install and trial the app is up to you.
4. Define what success looks like for you
To find the right solution for your team and business, you need to understand whether the Atlassian app addresses the challenges or problems you are facing.
It can be really helpful to define some metrics or criteria that you will use to measure success and these could include things like key performance indicators (KPIs).
These can help you make a more informed decision at the end of your evaluation period and can also help you gain consensus from your team.
A few examples of metrics and criteria:
- ease of use: does the App require intensive training?
- functionality: does the App provide us features that we need?
- adoption: can your teams begin using the app from the get-go?
5. Include the wider team in the decision making
In most cases, you are not the only one who will be using the Atlassian App and you must gather feedback from other colleagues within your team or the wider organization.
The best way to get a well-rounded opinion about an Atlassian App is to have people from different departments participate in the trial/evaluation period.
Simply put, with more people involved, you will be able to make an informed decision and take into consideration multiple perspectives and views from across the organization.
By getting them involved, you are also indirectly building a group of power users who will be able to support the rollout of the app across the organization in the future.
Before we wrap up, it’s worth noting price as a factor. For many businesses price is an important consideration and that’s understandable.
However, just remember that the most expensive software is the one that’s either not used or adds no value to the team so by completing a thorough evaluation of the Atlassian marketplace app you are increasing the chance of it delivering real value to your teams and business.
To wrap up
Getting the most out of your Atlassian Marketplace App evaluation period doesn’t need to be time-consuming or overcomplicated.
It just needs some dedication from you and your teammates to thoroughly assess whether the Atlassian app is right for your team and business.
With that being said, you must use the time available time effectively.
At the end of the day, you want your teams to be productive and efficient when using Atlassian tools so you should be looking for apps that complement your ways of working.
Here at AppFox, we have a range of Atlassian apps available on the Marketplace to extend the functionality of Jira, Confluence, and Trello.
You can take them for a spin at any time or book a call with us and we’ll be happy to answer any of the questions you have.