\u201cThe first thing you\u2019ll notice about our IT support is that we don\u2019t have telephones,\u201d says Atlassian Co-Founder and Co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. \u201cYou can\u2019t call IT.\u201d\nI\u2019m profiling Atlassian because I\u2019m keenly interested in companies with a strong culture of service. What do they do differently? Why do my developer friends consider themselves not just Atlassian customers, but fans?\nFor answers, I turned to Cannon-Brookes. Surely the laid-back Aussie who famously turned $10,000 in credit-card debt into a multi-billion-dollar unicorn can teach us all a secret or two about building a culture of help and support \u2014 the kind that made Atlassian the best company to work for in Australia for two years running. \u00a0\nAutomate everything you can\nWith more than 60,000 customers, Atlassian thrives because they take a dramatically different approach to support and collaboration. Long ago, they abandoned phones and email in favor of a more scalable approach: using self-help and automation to deliver more effortless (and hence less \u201cold-school enterprise\u201d) service.\nCase in point: They have no sales people. Want to buy Atlassian products such as JIRA, Confluence, or HipChat? You buy them online with your credit card \u2014 for five users or 5000.\n\u201cIn 2002, it was nuclear winter for tech. It was either grow profitable or die,\u201d Cannon-Brookes told Kara Swisher recently on an episode of Recode Decode.\nThey didn\u2019t stop at eliminating the sales function. Atlassian Answers is an online self-help community where millions of Atlassian users don\u2019t just ask questions, they help answer them \u2014 offloading tons of work from the in-house support team.\nSelf-help is everywhere, though. What makes Atlassian special is that they\u2019re relentless about going a step further and making it even better. At Atlassian, Hercules is a bot that runs in the background every time a user asks a one-on-one support question. He reads the question, scans the user\u2019s log files, parses the data, cross-references knowledge-based articles, and answers about 50% of questions without human intervention.\nAnd when a customer invariably makes it to the \u201cbottom of the support funnel,\u201d as Cannon-Brookes calls it \u2014 where human intervention is required \u2014 they use their own JIRA Service Desk product to manage the queue, query the knowledge base, and help experts swarm on finding a fix, fast.\nThe result? Despite massive business growth, the company has achieved a 32% reduction in the percentage of customers who ask a question at any given time.\nTreat your employees like customers\nWhat about employee support? Since IT service desks aren\u2019t historically known for user-friendly design and innovation, what does Atlassian do differently?\n\u201cWe apply the same strategies we do with customers, beginning with prevention and self-help,\u201d said Cannon-Brookes. \u201cWe don\u2019t want people coming to our support team with basic questions, when 95% can solve their own problem by reading a knowledge base article.\u201d\nIt\u2019s not just about making the IT team\u2019s lives easier, either. He knew that a bogged down IT org wouldn\u2019t have the time they needed to build the infrastructure a hyper-growth company needed.\nSo what happens when serious incidents occur at Atlassian? That\u2019s where swarming and ChatOps come in.\nLet\u2019s say the financial reporting system goes offline, and IT gets barraged with 75 requests in minutes. Requestors are automatically diverted to a HipChat room where IT posts updates, and users can ask questions in a one-to-many format.\n\u201cOne of the things we do with large-scale incidents is turn tickets into rooms, so we can get swarming to happen quickly,\u201d said Cannon-Brookes. With a single click of a button in JIRA Service Desk, they can launch a brand new chat room dedicated to an incident, gather the right people, and solve the problem in real time.\nChange the way teams support one another\nIt\u2019s easy to think of support as something IT does, but that\u2019s just a fraction of the help employees need. To Cannon-Brookes, support isn\u2019t a job function; it\u2019s a culture you build. Every team should have a service desk, not just IT. \u00a0\nToday, there are more than 50 internal service desks serving Atlassian employees, spanning everything from facilities to legal. Opening a ticket is how stuff gets done across the entire company.\n\u201cLegal requests have doubled this year, but we\u2019ve seen an overall 60% reduction in the number of items requiring legal review,\u201d said Cannon-Brookes. That\u2019s because the legal team is using the same ticketing, self-help, and automated approval workflows as the Customer Support or IT team.\nAtlassian\u2019s ultimate mission? \u201cTo unleash the potential in every team,\u201d said Cannon-Brookes. \u201cWe\u2019ve already unleashed the potential in our service teams. Now, with our products, we\u2019re helping our customers do the same.\u201d\nTo that end, take the first step toward the future of ITSM software. Learn more here.