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Liquid Agency

Empowering Remote Teams:
Transitioning Liquid Agency to Jira Cloud

Liquid Agency-1

As more teams across industries institute fully remote strategies or shift to hybrid work models, organizations have needed to speed up digital transformation plans to support workers using more devices and accessing network files. It’s crucial to have up-to-date tools to keep people connected, organized and efficient.  Cloud-based services are a primary way that organizations ensure users can retrieve files quickly and conveniently regardless of location.

Liquid Agency, a brand strategy and services company, had already begun planning a transition to the cloud to help modernize their operations before the sudden shift to remote work. While many platforms had been shifted to the cloud, the agency still had an on-premise Jira installation hosted in RackSpace, running on outdated software.

Stephen Chellis, Director of Information Systems at Liquid Agency, knew it was time to shift to Jira Cloud to better support Liquid’s remote employees—and Atlassian’s decision to not renew licenses for on-premise Jira servers only added urgency to make the transition. However, without a Linux expert on their team, they needed third party support to handle software updates, security patches and ongoing maintenance. Having already worked with Contegix to support the on-premise Jira installation, he reached out for more support.

“The normal day-to-day tasks my team can handle,” he explained. “But as far as maintaining the application in the servers, that’s the type of work Contegix helps with.”

Contegix’s team of Atlassian experts helped accelerate the agency’s adoption of Jira cloud, conducted a smooth migration and streamlined operations for Chellis’s IT team. 

A Performance Resolution and the Pathway to Successful Migration

During the planning stages of the migration, Liquid noticed issues in Jira that caused it to not run properly. Contegix stepped in to examine the problem and discovered an old Confluence install that Liquid believed was off had in fact been running and was causing a performance issue with the Jira server. Contegix’s team resolved the Confluence issue, applied security patches and helped Liquid return its attention to the upcoming cloud migration.

During this performance resolution, Contegix identified a few additional issues within Jira that could present roadblocks during the migration, such as user duplication and invalid emails. Contegix flagged these issues for Chellis’s team to resolve before the migration process started. Identifying and resolving these issues ahead of time was step one in paving the way for a smooth migration.

Delivering a Customized Cloud Migration

With potential challenges already addressed in advance, Contegix was able to focus on helping Liquid set up the customizations they needed for their business, and cut costs by removing the add-ons they didn’t.

“There are some add-ons built into the cloud that we didn’t need,” Chellis said. “There were others that had accumulated over years at our business that, due to turnover and changes in our process, we weren’t using.” 

Contegix helped identify add-ons (like an administration toolkit for optimizing workflows) that were not necessary for Liquid’s basic use of Jira, while prioritizing those (like smart attachments) that Chellis knew were crucial for his team. Contegix and Liquid worked together to optimize the add-ons to make sure that once the new cloud instance was up and running, it would be as streamlined as possible for Chellis’s team.

Removing the extra add-ons also made a big impact on how quickly and effectively the migration process went. The first test migration was successful—a big win, as many test migrations need more than one attempt to succeed. Chellis was able to facilitate a quick turnaround to the user acceptance testing (UAT) phase and greenlight the production run, which was also completed without any obstacles.

Shifting the Workload to Contegix’s Team of Experts

End to end, the migration process took about six weeks and wrapped up ahead of schedule, aided by Liquid’s ability to give Contegix quick approvals throughout the project. Now, Liquid Agency benefits from an efficient Jira platform that's fully cloud-based, ultimately requiring fewer daily tasks for the IT team and operating as a platform customized to their needs. Having their services fully transitioned to the cloud has continued to facilitate TK: collaboration, file access, etc.

With all of Liquid’s IT services being cloud based, the agency has been able to successfully transition to a “work from away” model without the traditional challenges of accessing internally hosted systems.

“The SaaS model has allowed our IT group to focus more on value-add services for the business vs maintaining on premise platforms,” said Chellis. “We are able to quickly scale and take advantage of vendor provided service level that a small IT group wouldn’t be able to provide otherwise.”

With the cloud migration complete, Chellis no longer worries about making sure the servers are patched or maintained. Contegix offers expert guidance to keep the cloud server updated and Chellis’s team can focus on things like maintaining its user base.

“It's really advantageous for us, since we're a small IT group,” he explained, noting his shortened to-do list. “I had worked with other Contegix team members before, and they've always been professional, helpful, and really just the kind of people you want to work with and that you can trust when you're moving over a critical application.”

Learn more about how Contegix can support your team during an Atlassian migration.