This is a guest blog post from Tempo by TM Software, a Sponsor at Atlassian Summit 2012.

Have you ever considered using JIRA with Tempo’s plugin from TM Software as a help desk? We sat down with Þorsteinn Hallgrímsson, Service Manager at Nýherji’s headquarters in Reykjavík, Iceland, to talk about what Nýherji was looking for and why they chose JIRA with Tempo’s time tracking plugin when looking for a system that would support its technical services department.

Tell us a little about Nýherji.

Nýherji is one of Iceland’s leading service providers in the field of information technology. We offer complete solutions in the fields of information technology, including consultancy and the provision of hardware and software, office equipment, and technical services.

Nýherji has approximately 550 employees worldwide, and Nýherji Iceland has around 270 employees working in five different departments. Technical Services is the largest department here, specializing in providing services for a number of companies, with a help desk that is accessible 24/7, year-round. Technical Services is our main JIRA user group within Nýherji.

What does Nýherji’s Technical Services do?

Nýherji Technical Services supports approximately 1000 companies, half of which have service contracts with us. We receive more than 1200 service requests each month, so we needed a good service system that would help us manage all of these requests, as well as a time tracking system that would enable employees to easily log their work.

When did you start using JIRA?

Our Technical Services team has been using JIRA since June 2010. Our work on needs analysis for a new service system started in the fall of 2009, and in December of the same year, we chose JIRA. The implementation of the system took around six months. After implementing JIRA for Nýherji, we worked as consultants for another company here in Iceland that needed a similar implementation of JIRA. That implementation took around three months. We are still adjusting and implementing new specialized features in JIRA, enhancing it even further.

Why JIRA?

When we began searching for a service system that would fulfill our needs, we looked at six different systems. JIRA was the one that came closest to what we needed. One of the biggest advantages was how flexible and affordable the system is. The JIRA users we spoke with about the system also highly recommended it.

One of the prerequisites we had was to have a simple and efficient time tracking system that also easily connects to our SAP billing system, which is exactly what the Tempo plugin from TM Software provides.

We also wanted our service system to support ITIL best practices, which it does by adjusting Issue types and workflows in JIRA to ITIL processes. We also use custom fields for further adjustments. Other systems that we looked at did not offer the same flexibility that we required.

How does Nýherji use JIRA as a help desk?

We are using JIRA as our ITIL style support ticketing tool (Incident/Request Fulfillment, Problem and Change Management). Information on Contacts is stored in LDAP, and for each Contact, we assign a JIRA user name. However, as these users cannot log into JIRA, they do not count against the JIRA licence.

When we create a ticket, we store the user ID of the Contact in a Custom field called ‘Contact’. We store detailed information about the Contact in a separate custom field called ‘Contact Info’, which includes information like their full name, telephone number, mobile number, department, email address, etc., and is accessible from the View Issue screen. We can search for Issues pertaining to the Contact by selecting the Contact name from the Issue View Screen.

Our JIRA installation holds approximately 9,000 Contacts, 110,000 Issues, and 1,000 Projects. Projects in JIRA are used for customers. The first three letters in the project key are unique for each company, which is used to connect projects to other systems, such as SAP for billing and Confluence for knowledge.

We do not want all of our Contacts to be able to log into JIRA. Users can create tickets by using a specific web page, sending an email to our help desk, or calling the help desk directly. The notification scheme informs the Contact when the ticket is created and resolved. We use a workflow action ‘Send to Customer’ to send emails to customers requesting further information, and ‘Send to 3rd Party’ if we need parts or services from an outside vendor. When a reply is received, it is posted as a comment in the ticket and the status is changed.

Each customer is assigned an ‘Administrative Contact’ that is allowed to log into JIRA and view all issues related to that Customer/Project. Typically, we have one Administrative Contact for every 50 to 100 Contacts.

How many requests do you create each week?

Approximately 1200 per week.

What plugins are you using with JIRA?

We are using the VertygoSLA plugin from ValiantysTempo plugin from TM Software, and some custom made plugins, that have the following functionality:

  • Connection to equipment database in SAP
  • Connection to contract database in SAP
  • Quick create issue
  • Quick move issue
  • Create contact / Edit contact
  • Create customer / Edit customer
  • Withdrawal and return of spare parts (Connection to SAP service orders)

Quick Move is a crucial function for the help desk, since we receive a substantial number of requests through email. Quick Move is used to move these requests to the appropriate customer (JIRA Project). Quick Create is also an important feature for the help desk in order to simplify the creation of requests. Quick Create selects the appropriate customer depending on the contact’s email.

Above is an example of Nýherji’s Quick Create feature and our custom functionality we created. We add our customer information into the ‘Contact’ field, the ‘Specialty’ field allows us to classify an Issue into a designated category. The ‘Group’ field allows us to designate the group that is to work on a particular Issue. And the ‘Select Equipment’ field enables us to connect to our SAP inventory, if needed.

We also use the Tempo plugin to help streamline the issue tracking process.

How do employees like to use JIRA?

Our JIRA users are very happy with the system, especially because of its efficiency and how easy it is to navigate and learn how to use it. Based on the feedback we received from surveys that we ask our team to complete every year, employee satisfaction regarding our help desk system increased once we implemented JIRA. Employees have a better overview of the issues by using the JIRA dashboard and filters. Our employees have reported that the dashboards are one of the best features of JIRA because they are so manageable.

Are you using other products from Atlassian?

Yes, we are using Confluence and Crowd.

What’s next for Nýherji’s Technical Services?

We are constantly improving and enhancing our features so that we can obtain better reports and information regarding our clients. We plan to implement a customer feedback survey using JIRA, which will further enable us to assess our services, and are planning future enhancements that will allow our customers to gain better access to reports.

Discover Tempo and other time tracking add-ons for JIRA on the Atlassian Marketplace.

Fresh ideas, announcements, and inspiration for your team, delivered weekly.

Subscribe now

Fresh ideas, announcements, and inspiration for your team, delivered weekly.

Subscribe now