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This is a guest blog post from François Dussurget of Valiantys, a Sponsor at Atlassian Summit 2012.

Valiantys_LogoAt Valiantys we are always thrilled to setup JIRA for the purpose of deploying a service desk. It’s always astonishing to see to what extent JIRA is customizable – so many other use cases than bug tracking come along.

We have met lots of company facing the following choice between:

  • Off-the-shelf products, which are often very expensive as they display advanced features, whereas they are only used at 30% of their actual capacity(!) and require important deployment efforts, or…
  • Well-known tools, which are already implemented within the company (i.e. regarding process development), appreciated by users, easy to customize, affordable and enabling you to align deployment efforts with regard to the required features.

One main difference existing between software development and service desk processes lies within the volume (number of issues, number of concurrent users). In service desk processes, such volume can easily exceed a few hundred thousand issues, thus careful attention to performance tuning is necessary. Atlassian’s improvements in JIRA 5.0.x releases have been a great step forward, and we’re looking forward to what’s coming in JIRA 5.1 and beyond.

Service desks are a far-reaching concept, so a distinction should be made between two different kinds of use cases: Service Desk for customer support vs. IT Service Desk.

In the first case, integration with a CRM is often strategic and the Salesforce Connector for JIRA from Customware can be really useful. On the other side, ITIL compliancy and CMDB access (Configuration Management DataBase) are two major constraints.

Knowledge Base management beyond the ticketing system rapidly becomes a cornerstone of the project and integration with Confluence enables you to build an efficient platform and deploy solid use cases, like FAQ and resolution data sheets – all of it integrated with a ticket management system.

A few years ago, we led our first project in such context. Its architecture enables to extend its features – and so we did, developing plugins (available on the Atlassian Plugin Exchange) in order to cover key requirements and to roll out a service desk:

  • VertygoSLA : optimizing SLA management and helping agents prioritize their activities
  • nFeed : which provides access to external data such as CMDB and LDAP (for detailed data of the user, phone number, office location, etc.)
  • PowerReport : to measure the KPIs and to improve the support process

JIRA has a great future as a service desk application–continued development should focus on providing an intuitive and simplified interface to end-users.

Come to Atlassian Summit 2012 to visit Valiantys and 34 other sponsors. It’s going to be our largest user conference yet!

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