Appfire + SoftwarePlant

June 30, 2021

Appfire have made their biggest acquisition yet, acquiring SoftwarePlant, the makers of the incredibly popular BigPicture, BigGantt, and BigTemplate planning apps. The takeover of SoftwarePlant adds another 26,000 instances to Appfire’s count taking them to 185,000 total instances (13% of the entire Atlassian Marketplace). Even more remarkably, since 90% of Appfire’s instances are paid this means that in terms of just paid instances Appfire now control 20% of the entire Atlassian Marketplace.

Importantly, in moving into the planning space Appfire are for the first time moving into a ‘big functionality’ category. While earlier Appfire acquisitions were focused on buying up quality tools which act as the engine room of an instance (scripting, automation, administration, utilities etc…), acquiring a quality planning app such as BigPicture represents Appfire becoming a vendor of full solutions.

Planning is the largest category on the Atlassian Marketplace (counting paid instances) and with the takeover of SoftwarePlant, Appfire now dominates this space with 22% market share.

Appfire Planning Market Share

Figure 1: Appfire Planning Market Share

This dominance is driven by both the very popular BigPicture and BigGantt apps which are consecutively the first and third most popular planning apps. BigPicture is essentially a more feature heavy version of BigGantt with the Gantt capabilities of BigGantt plus roadmaps, resources, risks, enhanced reports, and more. For those using waterfall, agile, or a combination BigPicture will likely suite your needs better.

It’s also worth mentioning BigPicture Enterprise. An enhancement to BigPicture, BigPicture Enterprise is designed to better fit the needs of large organizations and comes with a host of features to help with this. With BigPicture Enterprise on top of BigPicture you can configure unlimited box types, report at the enterprise level, integrate with Tempo, plus much more.

At Blended Perspectives we’ve been a long time fan of BigPicture seeing it as an incredibly powerful, feature heavy, and diverse tool for all planning methods. Coincidentally just this month we ran a webinar on planning which featured BigPicture heavily as part of our PPM Solution Blueprint. We’re already seeing many potential benefits of BigPicture joining the Appfire family of apps as part of our Synthesis™ Blueprints, so keep an eye out for future updates in this space.

Top Paid Planning Apps

Figure 2: Top Paid Planning Apps

It’s hard to overstate the degree to which Appfire is coming to dominate the Atlassian Marketplace: with 185,000 instances Appfire is nearly 4 times the size of its next closest competitor //SEIBERT/MEDIA.

Top Vendors by Paid Instances

Figure 3: Top Vendors by Paid Instances

What’s also interesting though is that Appfire seems to be playing a completely different game to the rest of the market. Whilst 91% of //SEIBERT/MEDIA’s instances are diagramming ( and 71% of Adaptavist’s are scripting/automation (Scriptrunner), no one can come close to Appfire when it comes to app portfolio diversity. Figure 4 shows Appfire’s very wide category spread both prior to and after the SoftwarePlant takeover.

Appfire Category Breakdown

Figure 4: Appfire Category Breakdown

In terms of what comes next for Appfire we don’t believe for a second Appfire is going to stop its quest in acquiring ‘big functionality’ apps with just planning. As Figure 5 shows, Appfire is now significantly present in 7 of the top 10 paid categories. However, there are still a number of  ‘big functionality’ categories that Appfire will see as key, if indeed it does wish to become a full solution vendor. Appfire is currently very underrepresented in diagramming, test management, and time management so these stand out as potential areas of expansion that we’re sure Appfire have their eyes on.

Top Paid Categories and Appfire Presence

Figure 5: Top Paid Categories and Appfire Presence

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