When the National Bank of Canada set off on a cultural and digital transformation, the most important objective was putting people first, both their clients and employees. They needed better transparency and collaboration across teams, and knew that consolidating and standardizing their applications would help them achieve this.

All the while, a single instance of Jira had paved the way for instances of Bitbucket, Confluence, and Jira Service desk, as demand for Atlassian products grew organically throughout the organization. It became clear that Atlassian provided the right toolset to help them enable better transparency and collaboration, and in order to support the use of these products at scale, the bank planned to migrate from their Server instances to Data Center environments.

Understanding the complex nature of migrations, they knew they’d need help and guidance, so they enlisted an Atlassian Technical Account Manager (TAM), Matt Shelton, to partner on implementing a successful plan for scale.

So, what actually is a TAM?

TAMs are experienced advisors who help customers optimize the deployment and management of Atlassian products, reduce risk through reviews and planning, and assist in strategic approaches that help teams get out of fire-fighting mode. To put it plainly, when enterprises reach a tipping point of user growth or complexity in their Atlassian journey, they often realize the need for a tighter relationship with us. That’s where TAMs come in.

“Ultimately, working with a TAM enabled our team to build and execute a migration strategy without compromising the exceptional service we must deliver to our customers on a day-to-day basis before, during, and after the migration,” says Denis Boisvert, Atlassian Tools Product Owner at National Bank.

TAMs give our largest enterprise customers an essential line of support, in that their services help our customers continue to work and innovate without interruptions. Organizations often make the decision to bring on a TAM to help with a specific objective – be it managing security at scale or integrating tools for monitoring apps – but because of their expertise and value-add, they often evolve into a much more integral part of the team.

Insights that are purpose-built for your organization

One of the biggest value-adds of a TAM is their ability to understand the organization inside and out, which allows them to identify opportunity areas. Denis and his team quickly realized their TAM Matt Shelton’s role was more about asking questions than answering them.

For example, Matt noticed they were working with open-source automation server Jenkins on continuous integration and asked questions like, “Why did you make the decision to go with Jenkins for this need? How did you go about selecting it over other options?” and, “Are there more efficient ways that Jenkins can be working with Jira?” Having the knowledge and experience to ask questions like these is a prime example of the broad value a TAM brings to the table. Not only did Matt help guide Denis and the team down a successful migration path, but his consultant-like perspective ensured that no optimization opportunities were left unchecked.

“Enlisting the services of our TAM… to be involved in our planning process to help us improve performance across our Atlassian portfolio was invaluable. He asked questions we wouldn’t know to ask ourselves,” says Denis.

Additionally, their relationship with Matt allowed National Bank to take advantage of other assets to help further drive a culture shift. For instance, Denis and his team have made use of the Atlassian Team Playbook, running Health Monitor workshops to determine which attributes teams need to strengthen, and using plays to improve teams’ overall health.

The strategic partner your enterprise deserves

As Matt’s role has become less about his guidance during the migration and more of a strategic partnership, he and Denis are now focused on what’s ahead to help National Bank achieve a successful digital transformation.

Though the team has been successful in scaling Atlassian tools, there is always work to be done. Ultimately, Denis and his team hope to pave the way for DevOps practices at National Bank. With better teamwork and increased transparency comes more opportunity for the bank to build trust with their customers.

“Working with greater agility allows us to develop a connection with our clients, and this gives us an advantage over the competition. At the end of the day, we’re trying to focus more on people instead of process. Atlassian helps us do that,” says Denis.

. . .

If your enterprise is driving similar changes, whether it’s because of growth or complexity, it might be time to see how your organization can partner with a TAM. You can set up a free, no-commitment conversation with a TAM to get a hands-on example of how he or she can work with your company.

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From value-add to strategic partner: Technical Account Managers