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Case Study: Accxia saves a user of Atlassian tools $300k per year by deploying IUM when moving from Server to Datacenter licensing

Case Study: Accxia saves a user of Atlassian tools $300k per year by deploying IUM when moving from Server to Datacenter licensing

Introduction and background

Thank you for taking the time to review our case study today. Your time in doing so is appreciated.

The driver behind publishing this case study is to provide users of Atlassian tools across the globe, specifically Jira, Confluence, JSM and Bitbucket users and users across all current licensing tiers with a greater level of option awareness and understanding of the migration paths available to you for both licensing and perhaps hosting too in the rapidly decreasing countdown to Atlassian's Server licensing being made end of life in February 2024.

Our market research has suggested that many businesses and users of Atlassian tools believe that a migration path to the 'Atlassian Cloud' is the only path available. 

Our hypothesis is that, whilst the Atlassian Cloud licensing model is suitable for many, it may come at a higher licensing cost per seat as well as incremental costs in form of a lack of scalability, control and support - which in many cases makes it non cost viable. Moreover, security and the defence against cyber attacks need to be considered.

The underlying message of our hypothesis behind our case study is to demonstrate with facts and figures that users of Atlassian tools absolutely have an alternative and a hugely more cost effective option to consider other than the Atlassian Cloud - and one which is based upon a migration from Server licensing to Datacenter licensing in combination with the deployment of IUM (Intelligent User Management), Accxia's solution to dealing with budget pressures, enhanced scalability and control.

We hope that the case study and proven financials below will resonate with you and provide you with an opportunity to pause and think about how your business can also take financial advantage.

We believe that you will gain new insight from this 15 minute read ... you might be asking new questions - it could be today when your business starts it's journey to saving over 50% on your Atlassian budget!

Lets begin with a short review on Atlassian's current licensing models ...

Atlassian currently offers three types of licensing models.

  • Server Licensing (Lifetime owned Perpetual licences with support and software updates access renewed annually)
  • Datacenter Licensing (Subscription based licences renewed annually)
  • Atlassian Cloud Licensing (per user based subscription licences hosted in Atlassian's AWS cloud and charged for on a monthly or annual basis and on differing levels/tiers of Atlassian support)

In 2019 Atlassian announced that it would be making its perpetual Server based licensing model end of life in February 2024. Anyone using Server based licensing would therefore have two options to continue using Atlassian's tools. Those users still on Server would need to upgrade to either Datacenter subscription based licensing or alternatively upgrade and migrate their entire Atlassian estate into the Atlassian cloud. This announcement has created confusion and concern around the ongoing cost of using Atlassian tools as Datacenter licensing and Atlassian cloud licensing comes with a significantly higher price tag!

Some questions we often hear at Accxia...

  • Do we remain on Server licensing for as long as possible until 2024? Sounds good and may prove more cost effective in the short term however, Atlassian will be and are already winding down feature enhancements for Server in the run up to 2024.
  • Do we upgrade to Datacenter licensing now? Although a more obvious choice, however, Datacenter licences are far more expensive than Server licences.
  • Do we 'suffer the cost' and migrate to the Atlassian Cloud? A viable choice for consideration on the basis of a surplus I.T. budget. But at a time when complexity, calls for greater effectiveness and an increase of cyber attacks put pressure on I.T. budgets, a sensible budgeting approach will have to be sustainable long term in order to avoid a budgetary misallocation of financial and human resources.
  • Atlassian cloud license plans are more expensive on a per seat basis on Premium and Enterprise support compared to Datacenter. Additionally, many Apps developed by App vendors that are being used in either a Server or Datacenter environment are not yet 'cloud ready' - either due to a reduced feature set or cloud apps are not yet on vendors' roadmap.

Accxia speaks to organisations on a daily basis that are faced with the questions above. Whilst businesses have a desire to ensure to be deploying the very latest technology and software platforms by their own clients and stakeholders, we want to ensure it doesn't come with a trade off in form of higher costs than necessary!

Case Study

A new prospect to Accxia approached us earlier this year with the same three questions requesting our help and advise. This prospect had been contacted through our outbound marketing team on the subject of our game changing solution IUM or Intelligent User Management. This organisation is based in Europe and are large license holders (10,000 user server licence tier) of Atlassian tools - specifically Jira, Confluence and Jira Service Management (JSM). Their server based perpetual licenses were due to renew within the coming three months and needed to make a decision and allocate sufficient budget. The costs to upgrade to an Atlassian cloud plan on Premium support was over $653k which made this option non-cost viable for them.

Therefore, the only realistic option was to decide whether to remain on Server licensing until or close to 2024 and create a roadmap for exiting Atlassian or, move from Server to the (more) expensive Datacenter licensing model, but with the expectation that IUM could offset some, if not all of the additional cost.

The Prospect's Brief to Accxia

"We are currently still on server based Atlassian licensing but need to change to a DC licensing model at some point as our licensing is due to renew in the coming three months. As Datacenter licensing will impact more in terms costs than Server licenses, we are looking for ways to optimise the costs. We have about 4,500 employees, each of which has a license in Jira Software and Confluence. We currently have a 10,000 user license for each (5395 used). Even though we currently use server licenses, our focus right now is how much we can save in a Datacenter licensing environment by potentially using your IUM....Cloud licensing is not cost viable."

Evaluation of the requirements

Upgrade to Datacenter licensing potential versus cost ...

The brief provided by our prospect typified the common challenge faced by many Atlassian users across the world. Ultimately, and with the Atlassian cloud option in this case being cost prohibitive ($653k per annum), the prospect's decision decision making revolved around two options. Should the business remain on Server based licensing for a further year or, alternatively could they upgrade to a Datacenter licensing model now. Could this business take advantage of a move to Datacenter licensing using our licensing cost optimisation solution IUM?

IUM (Intelligent User Management)

In summary, our IUM solution is an optimisation and cost-saving licence tool that is available for Jira, JSM Confluence and Bitbucket. It allows organisations to operate their Atlassian user base on a per concurrent user model, rather than the traditional per named or registered user model. IUM works by assigning licenses to active users, whilst un-assigning licenses from inactive users - all in real-time. IUM manages only those occasional users. Power users and administrators are excluded from its management, and are active permanently. Therefore, those who do not 'live and breath' inside of Jira during the course of a normal working day are placed into what we call 'enabled' and 'disabled' user buckets. This automated process works seamlessly in the background, unnoticed by users, for instance notifications to 'disabled' users are still active.

IUM does not communicate outside of Jira to operate nor does it capture or store any data outside of your Jira, JSM, Confluence or Bitbucket instances.
More detailed information on IUM can be found by clicking on the following link:

Clients licensing their user base on a concurrent license model, only need to account for the maximum number of active users accessing their Jira, JSM, Confluence or Bitbucket instances, resulting in many cases in potential license tier downgrades, which is also achieved on all 3rd party Apps in use. Accxia initially works with prospects to help install and run our 'Log Analyzer' tool to capture data around login information on user sessions. The peak time maximum concurrent licence access figure is critical to the deployment of IUM as it is this number that determines the licence downgrade scope. Typically we see this figure as only around 10 to 13% of the Atlassian user base that has a licence assigned!

The Accxia Solution

  • Confirmation of current Jira and Confluence Server Licensing model
  • Jira Server Licensing: 10,000 user tier (5395 licences used / assigned)
  • Confluence Server Licensing: 10,000 user tier (5395 licences used / assigned)

    Concurrent licence usage at peak times (measured over a one month period): 476

The Objective

  • Based upon the confirmed peak time concurrent licence usage (above) at 476, the objective was to offer a five tier licensing reduction (10,000 users on both Jira and Confluence to a 1,000 user tier on Datacenter licensing respectively in order to provide headroom for peak time usage growth).

The Financials

  • Cost to upgrade to Datacenter licensing (WITHOUT USING IUM)
  • (A) Upgrade Jira 10,000 users (Server) to Jira 6000 users (DC): $300,000
  • (B) Upgrade Confluence 10,000 users (Server) to Confluence 10,000 users (DC): $230,000
  • (C) Total Cost To Upgrade From Server To Datacenter WITHOUT IUM: $530,000 Per Annum 
  • Cost to upgrade to Datacenter licensing to a reduced 1,000 licence tier
  • (D) Upgrade Jira 10,000 users (Server) to Jira 1,000 users (DC): $72,000
  • (E) Upgrade Confluence 10,000 users (Server) to Confluence 1,000 users (DC): $48,000
  • (F) Total Cost To Upgrade Licensing to a 1,000 User License Tier: $120,000 Per Annum
  • Total Cost Saving On Licensing (C minus F): $410,000 Per Annum!
  • Cost of IUM licences for Jira and Confluence to enable licence tier reduction above
  • (G) IUM licence for Jira priced at 40% of the price difference between (A & D): $91,200
  • (H) IUM licence for Confluence at 40% of the price difference between (B & E): $72,800
  • (I) Total cost of IUM for Jira and Confluence: $164,000
  • Summary
    • Price to upgrade to Datacenter licence without using IUM: $530,000
    • Price to upgrade to Datacenter licensing on a reduced 1,000 user tier using IUM licences (F) + (I) = $284,000
    • TOTAL COST SAVING: $246,000 (60%)

Actually, I should also mention at this point that this was only part of the total savings achieved. When we included the cost of all Apps deployed on their instances that could also be downgraded to 1,000 user licensing on Datacenter that IUM was also managing, their total savings were just below $300k per annum


The figures speak for themselves! IUM works as an extremely effective cost saving Atlassian licence management solution. IUM should not be ignored by any business that is either planning to stay on server until 2024 (remember IUM works with Server licensing too) or by organisations that do not have a roadmap to move to the Atlassian cloud but are looking to upgrade 'cost effectively' to Datacenter licensing. IUM will make the transition to Datacenter licensing an extremely cost effective process.

This case study was based on a prospect that were using a higher than average 10,000 user tier of Atlassian Jira and Confluence server licensing. IUM is as cost effective across a number of Atlassian licensing tiers. The prospect (now a client) achieved a five tier reduction using IUM and saved $300,000 US Dollars including the licensing downgrade of Apps.

IUM is approved and listed on the Marketplace https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1225449/intelligent-user-manager-ium-for-jira?hosting=datacenter&tab=overview although we do encourage all of our prospects to speak to Accxia in the first instance as the effectiveness and deployment of IUM can only be calculated and achieved by first running our log analyser tool (only available via Accxia directly) in order to determine peak time concurrent licence usage.

Can your business really 'afford' (the cost) to ignore IUM?

Why not speak to Accxia and allow us to help you calculate how much money your business can save if your current server licensing is due for renewal soon and/or you are thinking about upgrading to Datacenter licensing but are dissuaded by the cost to do so.

An IUM demonstration takes under 30 minutes to perform and Accxia will provide you with a 30 day evaluation licence to try it out yourself on your own production instance or sandbox environment. The deployment of our IUM solution could reduce your license costs by half or more!

Please also note that if you are interested in Atlassian licence hosting and all other hosting requirements in a Cyber Secure Private Cloud environment, why not talk to Accxia about our Accxia Cyber Cloud Proposition?

Please take the time to complete the form below and contact Accxia for an informal but enlightening conversation to find out how much money IUM really can save your business on Atlassian Licensing.

Finally, if you have enjoyed reading this case study, please do share it amongst your colleagues and business associates.

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