By Solomon Gifford and James Hunt
Over the summer of 2022, Contegix switched its ITSM platform from ServiceNow to Jira Service Management (JSM). As an Atlassian Platinum Solutions Provider, we had confidence and experience in Atlassian’s ITSM solution, knowing it would not only suit our team’s needs but would also provide a platform to demonstrate our knowledge and experience.
As a managed services provider with hundreds of customers relying on our private cloud and AWS platforms, we receive a large volume of tickets each day. We rely on the ITSM tool to manage customer tickets as part of our customer support operations, task management for internal platform teams, and configuration management database (CMDB). Our team also needs to manage numerous knowledgebase articles on the ITSM platform.
Over our 20-year history, Contegix has used a number of ticketing systems; however, our desire has always been to eat our own dog food – in other words, use the same tools we manage for our customers. In 2020, Atlassian released Jira Service Management with a focus on ITSM and we began to seriously evaluate our next move.
Summer 2021: Contegix and Ascend Integrated Merge
In September 2021, Contegix and Ascend Integrated merged. The Ascend professional services team was already using Jira Service Management to work closely with customers on various projects, including ongoing application support.
During any merger and acquisition, a company’s portfolio of products and services also expands, along with its talent pool. More resources can create a better experience for customers; however, a successful M&A depends on an organization’s ability to combine resources and integrate processes quickly and efficiently. Research shows 70% of companies’ M&A process and systems integrations fail in the beginning, which doesn’t just impact the organization, but also the clients they work for.
That’s why, when Contegix and Ascend Integrated joined forces in August 2021 to bring customers even more support and solutions for adopting Agile, SAFe, DevOps and ITSM processes, we quickly identified that we could better align as one organization by merging our ITSM solutions.
While ServiceNow and Atlassian are both ranked as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader, Jira Service Management fit our company’s objectives and culture. There were many reasons that made this decision easy. First, switching to JSM would eliminate a learning curve for the new Ascend professional services teams who were already using the tool. Second, the JSM pricing model meant we would be able to bring other departments, like Sales, Billing, and HR, at no additional cost. Perhaps most significantly, being on JSM meant that we would now have a whole team of professional services that could support our ITSM platform and provide first-hand experience to our clients.
Stepping into the Shoes of A Client
Migrating to JSM didn't just give us the opportunity to better align as one company and benefit from JSM features — it also allowed us to step into our clients’ shoes and better understand the migration solutions we offer from a new perspective. To get the experience of what it feels like to be a customer going through a major migration, we chose to work with another Platinum Solutions Partner for the transition.
The process illuminated key differences in how we approach migrations with our own clients. For example, the partner we worked with conducted a waterfall approach as opposed to the agile method that our team follows. Unlike a waterfall method, where teams agree upon a path to migrate and then execute it according to one plan, an agile approach focuses on helping teams in an evolving landscape that enables organizations to continuously improve as their needs — or in our instance, team dynamics — evolve. An agile approach also allows an organization to quickly realize value and lower (and lengthen) the learning curve.
By having our own delivery team sit on calls with our partner, we could experience the processes they suggested and track them against our own strategy from the client perspective. While the experience reinforced our own methods it did identify an opportunity to refine how we communicate with our clients via documentation. During this migration, our partner took our processes and staged them based on exactly what was described. In retrospective, we found that there was little documentation to confirm that our partner understood our support team’s processes.
Our delivery team uses a more Agile, iterative, approach that allows our clients to see the implementation based on their current processes. They also receive feedback on ways to improve those processes and workflows using Jira, based on best practices. An iterative approach during our migration would have allowed the team to discuss potential changes to the workflows and Jira project design without having to wait until the solution was fully implemented.
Benefits of Being on JSM
Since adding JSM to our tool stack, we’ve experienced the same benefits many of our clients have shared with us after working together to onboard onto the platform, including the ability to use the tool with ease immediately and build customized workflows. As a whole, JSM is significantly more approachable for a larger portion of our organization.
The adaptability of the platform itself is another major benefit for our entire company, as teams such as our Billing and Sales departments who weren’t using ServiceNow have been onboarded onto Jira. As an organization that uses several technologies to do our work — including SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Slack and Zoom — JSM has quickly become a central spoke where we can start integrating with other platforms that our teams need for their specific job duties.
Since we’ve gone live with JSM, we've also reorganized large projects into smaller, more actionable steps to build up our operational organization and efficiency, which wasn’t a flexibility we had before. Our laundry list of incremental improvements has now significantly decreased, to the point where we're already creating a backlog of additional items to make progress on.
Today, after making the transition to JSM and undergoing a migration, we’re even better equipped to help other organizations through the same process with new strategic knowledge and experience.
Learn how we can support your company in adopting JSM and maximize your use of the platform.