Are you a growing and decentralized organization with teams spread across the world? Are you looking to standardize the tools used across various parts of your organization and more seamlessly manage your users? Then, read on.
We spoke to The NOVOMATIC Group about their decision to roll out Crowd to their entire organization, which gave them the ability to manage users across the Atlassian suite. Because parts of their development depend on Atlassian tools, NOVOMATIC jumped at the opportunity to move to Crowd Data Center to eliminate downtime and prevent any potential impact to their development team’s ability to get work done.
The NOVOMATIC Group is one of the largest gaming technology companies in the world with a turnover of around EUR 2.3 billion in 2016. Founded in 1980, the Group has locations in 45 countries, over 25,000 employees worldwide, and exports high-tech gaming equipment to more than 70 countries. NOVOMATIC is a producer of high-tech gaming equipment, operator of electronic casinos, regular casinos and sports betting outlets, and a technology and service partner in the lottery segment. The NOVOMATIC Group is a one-stop solution provider covering the entire spectrum of gaming.
The NOVOMATIC Group is comprised of many subsidiaries, and each subsidiary was operating and managing their Atlassian tools separately using different user management methods. This created a lack of visibility and standardization. As they grew and became even more decentralized, they needed a way to not only standardize the operations and tools used by their subsidiaries but a way to centralize user management for their Atlassian tools. They needed to ensure consistency and gain control over the operations and tools of their decentralized organization.
This journey began three years ago, led by NOVOMATIC team members Christian Wolf, Project and Application Manager, and Georg Aggermann, IT Service and Application Manager. Each subsidiary owned multiple instances of various Atlassian products, and each used a different solution to manage their users, ranging from different Active Directories, LDAP, and other alternatives. They needed a way to create a Group Wide Active Directory where they could completely consolidate user management. For their Atlassian solutions, they wanted to create a single user base across all of their subsidiaries along with a single sign-on experience for every Atlassian user. Adding an extra layer of complexity, many of these teams in each subsidiary need to work together. They don’t work in isolation. For example, a few development teams in Austria at one subsidiary often work with a separate subsidiary’s development team located in Poland. The NOVOMATIC Group needed to ensure they could give the appropriate level of access to each team, protecting data considered confidential to each subsidiary, without hindering the ability to collaborate.
The NOVOMATIC Group determined that Crowd would be the simplest way to centralize user management for all of their subsidiaries’ Atlassian products. They worked with their Atlassian Solution Partner, Celix, on setting up one central Crowd instance along with three Crowd instances for their subsidiaries. These Crowd instances connected to several JIRA Software, Confluence, Bitbucket, Fisheye and Crucible instances. Across everything, they established one single user base that sync’ed with each of these four Crowd instances – giving them a single source of truth.
After completing the project of consolidating user management and balancing the right level of access each user should have, they began to realize how critical Crowd was to their users’ day to day operations. Since all of their development is done using Atlassian, these tools are critical to their business. Downtime of a Crowd instance meant that their users could be unable to access some or all of Atlassian tools connected to that Crowd instance – which completely stops work. In order to solve for this, The NOVOMATIC Group engaged their Technical Account Manager (TAM) to investigate how they could bring high availability to Crowd.
An Atlassian Technical Account Manager (TAM) is an experienced solutions advisor from Atlassian that unlocks the potential of your tools, improves team collaboration throughout your organization, and helps you operate and use our products effectively at scale.
With the help of their TAM, NOVOMATIC became one of the private beta customers for Crowd Data Center in May 2017. Their TAM also helped NOVOMATIC evaluate prerequisites and ensure that NOVOMATIC was able to meet these prior to beginning the beta program. In less than two months, NOVOMATIC set up and tested Crowd Data Center initially in a staging environment. The Crowd team and their TAM had multiple check-in’s throughout the process to ensure NOVOMATIC’s success. After completing installation and finding no issues during their testing, they decided to roll the Crowd Data Center beta version into production. Since rolling out the beta version into their test environment and then into product, they have not experienced any downtime. “With Crowd Data Center, we no longer have to worry about network outages or any impact to our development teams,” says Aggermann. In addition to reducing the risk of an outage, upgrades and changes to the system could take place within a full downtime for the users.
In addition to centralizing user management and eliminating downtime, the NOVOMATIC Group has also been able to improve other areas around the oversight and operations of their user management for Atlassian tools. Due to the fact that the NOVOMATIC Group connects several of their subsidiary Crowd instances to their central Crowd, changes to the subsidiary instances could impact every Crowd instance. Crowd’s new auditing capabilities have given them visibility into any changes made by Crowd administrators of their subsidiary instances. With this improved visibility, they’ve been able to prevent several problems that could’ve occurred due to configuration changes made by administrators of their subsidiary Crowd instances.