Appfire has acquired SoftwarePlant, maker of the disruptive BigPicture PPM software

Appfire and Software Plant

Today we announced some huge news! The team at SoftwarePlant has joined the Appfire family, bringing 165 amazing people to our team as well as its highly successful BigPicture PPM software.

Disrupting the PPM market

With this acquisition, Appfire is announcing a strategic new product category — Project Portfolio Management (PPM) — and the addition of a product that is poised to disrupt the PPM market. 

“Since the beginning, our mission was to help companies manage large initiatives regardless of the task management tool teams use,” said Tom Kucharski, co-founder and CEO of SoftwarePlant. “Typical project and portfolio management solutions are narrowly defined, and if a company decides to use another solution, everyone has to migrate. Our goal was to introduce a project portfolio solution that wouldn’t interfere with teams’ practices. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we have a deep bi-directional integration with existing team management tools.”

“The rapidly expanding PPM market is at the center of the digital transformation wave and ripe for disruption.”

Randall Ward, CEO, Appfire

SoftwarePlant’s project management tools provide an innovative approach to how data is aggregated and managed for multiple teams. BigPicture creates a connection across teams, with data from several sources synchronized simultaneously within one tool. BigPicture supports both bottom-up reporting and top-down planning — a significant advantage compared to the typical integration that other PPM vendors offer. 

“The rapidly expanding PPM market is at the center of the digital transformation wave and ripe for disruption. SoftwarePlant’s team and technology combined with our experience scaling software businesses will allow us to offer a compelling alternative solution,” said Randall Ward, co-founder and CEO, Appfire. “Tom and Mike know this space intimately and share our exciting vision for BigPicture, including integrating many apps within our portfolio and expansion to other popular ecosystems.”

A culture of growth

SoftwarePlant founders Tom Kucharski and Mike Niwinksi have built an incredible company in Warsaw, Poland that has scaled quickly and flourished due to the culture of growth they’ve fostered. The initial version of BigPicture was released in 2014, and the product really took off in 2015. At that time, they launched SoftwarePlant and started hiring very talented people who share their same principles. 

Mike commented, “The growth was phenomenal, but we managed to keep the people’s passion high and the company’s values integral to our culture. In May 2020, the BigPicture team exceeded 100 people, and we reached 165 just prior to joining Appfire.” 

In speaking with Tom and Mike and some of our other new team members, it was obvious right away that our cultures would be not just compatible, but also collaborative. They value many of the same things we do here at Appfire like sharing knowledge to learn and grow together as a team, having fun and adding to the awesome, and getting it right over being right with frequent retrospectives and an open invitation for internal feedback. 

Looking to the future

As BigPicture’s customer base has grown to over 26,000 installs worldwide, its customer needs have grown as well, in terms of new functionalities needed and also in areas of performance, reliability, and security. 

“I felt literally like some folks from Appfire already worked in the BigPicture team. It was a level of alignment we had not expected to find with anyone!”

Tom Kucharski, co-founder and CEO, SoftwarePlant

Tom shared, “We felt that we could make improvements in sales and other areas with help from a strategic advisor to grow even further. We knew we needed a partner, but we were scared to disrupt our culture or work with a team that doesn’t share our values.” 

“Through countless discussions,” Tom continued, “we realized we share the same vision of what modern portfolio management should look like. I felt literally like some folks from Appfire already worked in the BigPicture team. We spoke with lots of potential investors and partners, and we felt we have the most in common with Appfire. It was a level of alignment we had not expected to find with anyone!”

Scaling together

Adding SoftwarePlant’s team to ours increased Appfire’s headcount significantly, bringing Appfire to nearly 400 team members worldwide. For years, we’ve worked to build internal processes and infrastructure to support a team of this size and beyond. Our investment is already paying off in seamless employee onboarding processes, IT tooling and infrastructure, marketing frameworks that scale, data management and reporting, finance and accounting standards, extensible product architecture frameworks, and a global support engineering team that strives to empower customers through helpful and thoughtful interactions.

We look forward to helping operate SoftwarePlant’s growing business day-to-day, while Tom and Mike and their team of innovators look to the future of BigPicture and work toward what’s next in the PPM space.

Welcome BigPicture customers!

Many BigPicture customers are already Appfire customers, and we welcome those of you who are new to the Appfire family. We’re committed to providing an all-star product support  experience and to shipping continuous improvements to your Atlassian tooling through our innovative apps. And we’re thrilled that the SoftwarePlant team has joined us in this mission.

BigPicture, BigPicture Enterprise, BigGantt, and BigTemplate customers can continue to manage app subscriptions and licenses through the Atlassian Marketplace or your preferred Atlassian reseller.  

For additional information, read the full press release, visit softwareplant.com and read their blog post on this acquisition, or take a look at BigPicture on the Atlassian Marketplace.

As always, we’re here to help Atlassian teams achieve great things, so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about this change or any of your Appfire products.

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