Chedomir Dimitrovski, Support Manager at Seavus Managed Services, has been dedicated to customer support and service desk experience for more than 9 years. In this interview, he talks about the perks of having a self-service knowledge base and how Jira makes teams more agile. With a focus on Jira Service Desk, read more on the importance of having a collaborative working environment and the efficiency of the Atlassian stack.
Describe Jira in three words. And what is it all about?
Customizable, agile and collaborative.
Jira promotes agile methodology, based on SCRUM. The idea behind all Atlassian tools is to promote agile workflows. This process starts from the team itself, the tools are just instruments that would help them transform more easily. Jira is a software development tool used for issue tracking where, usually, developers can collaborate on developing various projects and solve potential problems. We also use it in our software development teams, which is one of the reasons why I’ve been working with Jira for almost 6 years now. Briefly, this is how it works: managers create requests which are assigned to team members that resolve and close them, which is the final phase in Jira.
As we have adopted Jira on a corporate level – for all our development and non-development teams, one of the main problems when using Jira was that employees not always knew where and to whom they should address a ticket. This means that everyone using Jira should go through a detailed introduction process in which they’ll get to know each project. This is where Jira Service Desk steps in. It’s a single portal where people have everything they need at a single click. It’s a Google-like search browser but much simplified, so employees can write down what they need and the Jira Service Desk (combined with Confluence) automatically suggests solutions, in the form of written articles. If this still doesn’t work then a request can be raised. For example, you need access to an Intranet system. What you do is: you write what you need, you fill in who is it for and you add an approver of the request, which is usually the manager.
Why Jira Service Desk and not something else? What makes it different?
Firstly and most importantly, you can set up Jira Service Desk in no time! In comparison to other such platforms that require a process setup configuration that can take up months to complete, Jira Service Desk only takes a few days to implement. It can be installed in a day, depending on the complexity of the workflow, and the whole configuration is finished from 2 to 7 days. This saves much time. Atlassian offers Jira Service Desk as a lean ITSM solution which means that they don’t use the same rudimental approach that all IT services platforms have. Instead, Jira is much more user-friendly and effective. It offers better integration with other Atlassian tools, such as Confluence, and the two of them make an extremely powerful tool when combined.
Such a combination is not only created for ticket deflection. It’s also used for providing new useful articles from successfully closed tickets that will enlarge the database of information to help employees fix problems by themselves. This is particularly helpful for agents! Everything is very well segmented and hence easy to work with, especially for teams that have already used Jira. I’m saying this because there’s a difference between Jira users and Jira agents. The agents are special Jira users that besides their Jira license, have a license for Jira Service Desk. Agents can add other people from the software development teams to help them in resolving a ticket of providing feedback.
Which industries can benefit from Jira the most?
I’d definitely say all industries! From the IT companies to food and beverages industry. Why? Because everyone wants to improve communication and collaboration between teams and become more agile. Deep down, it’s all about successful communication.
From your experience, what is the single most important criterion when choosing a platform?
It all boils down to price and setup. In an age when ‘time is money’, Jira will save much time on implementation and, thus, save you money. It’s a cost-effective solution with a fast and direct go-to-market and this is how it stands against competitors. The automation of the whole workflow is another important asset. What I’d like to point out is that behind every process there is a protocol that needs to be followed and while a ticket goes from one stage to another there is no need for a person to control this process. Instead, Jira creates an environment where these steps can be automated. For example, for a Service Desk team, the first response is crucial - and this response can be automated. When a client opens a request, they’ll be immediately notified that their ticket is being reviewed. This is probably the simplest example of automation. Jira’s powerful automation engine is a win-win solution for all parties involved: on hand, the client is immediately notified that their ticket is being reviewed and, on the other hand, the agents have more time to resolve the issue because part of their tasks are automated.
And how does Jira influence work dynamics and collaboration between teams?
In Seavus, for example, Jira Service Desk had a great impact because everyone could find articles on what they need and could raise a request for basically anything. Up until then, people spent much time figuring out where they should open a ticket. Sometimes, if a request was sent to the wrong team, it would take much time to relocate it and start taking actions to resolve it. Sometimes, the resolution time took weeks – which was so much lost time!
What does Seavus offer as Atlassian services?
Our partnership with Atlassian is not solely based on selling their licenses, but our service in helping other companies that are using the Atlassian tools. This is mostly because we, as a company, like to use some of their tools as well - mainly Jira, Jira Service Desk and Confluence. When it comes to the Atlassian stack, we know what we’re capable of, and that is why we offer is installation, configuration and modification of the Atlassian tools, as well as monitoring, maintenance, basically everything!