Dylan Hansen
GenoLogics has recently undertaken a HUGE migration from many of Atlassian’s installed products to JIRA Studio, our hosted offering. We got the chance to catch up with Dylan Hansen from GenoLogics who speaks of this migration, how he learned about JIRA Studio, and his experience with the Atassian support team.

GenoLogics at-a-glance:

  • Founded: 2001
  • Headquarters: Victoria, Canada
  • Employees: 70 (3/4 at headquarters)
  • Number of offices: Canada headquarters, with field application specialists in Europe, California, and the East Coast
  • Number of customers: 40-50 enterprise customers
  • Products used: JIRA Studio

The Interview

Tell me a little about GenoLogics

GenoLogics provides discovery and biomedical solutions that can be implemented across multiple labs and support translational medicine and systems biology initiatives. We want to help advance the early detection, prevention, and treatment of disease.

We installed versions of Confluence, JIRA, Crucible, and Bamboo before moving up to JIRA Studio. With JIRA Studio, everything comes in one nicely tied-up package. We had integrations of the installed products kind of working, but JIRA Studio brings it all together with the activity stream, so things are integrated even better. It’s a nice, tight package.

When did you start using Atlassian tools?

We’ve been using JIRA and Confluence for roughly 4-5 years. Confluence was used in development and JIRA was used as our bug tracker. FishEye was installed pre-Cenqua acquisition. Bamboo was there before I started, and we are ramping up on it even more to automate build processes. We also used Crucible for code reviews. In short, we’ve been using Atlassian tools for 2-5 years, depending on which tool you are talking about. It all started with development, but went company wide.

How did you learn about JIRA Studio?

I heard about JIRA Studio about a year ago, and liked the idea of software-as-a-service (SaaS) instead of a product. I was not sure who it was for, small or large teams, so I attended Summit 2009 to understand JIRA Studio more and talk to Atlassian and Contegix staff to gain knowledge about the SaaS product. (Summit, by the way, I think was the best conference I have ever attended!) I wanted to meet the JIRA Studio team face-to-face and know what they were all about. I was won over and wanted to explore the possibility of moving to JIRA Studio.

What were you using before JIRA Studio?

We used Bugzilla in the past, then moved to JIRA and haven’t looked back. I don’t know about any wiki tools used before we had Confluence. There is a shift of people moving away from Office tools and warming up to Confluence for documentation—a push to collaborate online instead of on the desktop. Our development team used CruiseControl and then moved to Bamboo because they wanted to try something different. It was easy because we already had Confluence, JIRA, and FishEye—it made sense to try out Bamboo.

Who uses JIRA Studio and what are they primarily using it for?

Development used all of the installed tools first, and then Confluence began to be used company wide. Confluence gained traction around the company, but JIRA did not. Initially, JIRA was used by our Customer Solutions and Product departments. We are now exploring uses that reach farther than those groups, such as using JIRA to track IT support requests. However, now that we have moved to JIRA Studio, it’s opened opportunities for people to work remotely without having to VPN into the office. Adoption is growing rapidly.

Are people using it in ways you hadn’t expected?

It’s starting to go that way. We have been on JIRA Studio for just over 1 month. I’m excited about JIRA 4 and more dashboard and gadget use; there is power there. I like that we can promote visibility into the company. Everything is bubbled up into a nice JIRA dashboard.

Were there adoption challenges in terms of getting people to use JIRA Studio?

We moved from tools that were onsite (LAN) with quick response times to having to ping the servers at Contegix. There were some hickups with response time. There was also a BIG migration effort to go from the installed products to JIRA Studio. We started the migration effort after Summit last year, and just wrapped up before Christmas. Moving to JIRA Studio, we wanted to allow access for remote employees, outside of our firewall. I expect over the next few months they will start to use the tools more and more. The adoption is starting to grow.

Are you doing agile?

YES! We are pretty much an agile shop, but not 100%. We use GreenHopper to track iterations. We also check burn-downs every day to make sure we hit our releases. GreenHopper is excellent for anyone wanting to gain visibility into a project’s status. GreenHopper is a great tool. We used GreenHopper and JIRA before moving to JIRA Studio. We used to do cards on the wall, and with remote workers, GreenHopper in JIRA Studio is good to update the status of projects because you don’t have to be in the office.

What kind of feedback have you heard from your staff regarding JIRA Studio?

Aside from little bugs there have been no huge issues. The migration had some performance hickups, but the Atlassian support team addressed them very fast. It appears that we’ve also recently solved our performance issue with Firefox and Windows. It was a configuration issue on our side. Chalk one up to the awesome Studio support team for leading us to the correct solution! For the most part, it’s been a welcomed change (especially with the Products team). As use starts to grow, the other parts of the company are adopting it and see the power of using JIRA Studio.

Thanks Dylan!

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