Headquarters in New York, New York
Number of Users
ServiceChannel delivers best-in-class customer experiences with Atlassian Cloud products
Although facilities management revolves around buildings – running them, cleaning them, maintaining them, and more – ServiceChannel has proven that the best facilities management solutions focus less on places and more on people.
Over 500 global, multi-location brands – including Apple, Louis Vuitton, and CVS Health – manage 360,000-plus locations with the help of ServiceChannel, the #1 facilities management platform on the market. These teams rely on the platform to identify the best service providers, optimize spend, and deliver impeccable customer experiences. ServiceChannel has met these needs for over 20 years and maintained their standing as an industry leader by building a customer-centric culture. “Facilities management was a very paper-and-pencil and Excel-driven industry. Taking it from that to a tech solution requires a team of people who put customers first,” says Zac Wolf, ServiceChannel’s Director of Product.
Building industry-leading software that meets real customers’ needs has required having the right people on board, as well as the right tools and processes in place. ServiceChannel had used server-based tools for a number of years, which worked well when the team was small and centralized but lacked the flexibility and scalability they needed as the company grew.
Adopting Atlassian for end-to-end product development, knowledge sharing, and communication has equipped ServiceChannel with the best-in-class tools they need to deliver best-in-class products and experiences for their customers. Since implementing Jira Software and Confluence, the company is saving over 100 hours each week and elevating the experience for hundreds of thousands of ServiceChannel users around the world.
Fresh eyes find new solutions to old challenges
When Chellie Esters joined ServiceChannel in 2015 as an instructional designer, she was tasked with reimagining the company’s Help Center. It was built on another platform at the time, but Chellie says, “There wasn’t flexibility to segment documentation the way we wanted.”
Having used Confluence at a previous job, Chellie could envision how the tool could better meet ServiceChannel’s needs. She also thought the team would benefit from the flexibility and collaborative capabilities of working in the cloud. When Chellie proposed to Engineering that the company should migrate to Confluence Cloud, they supported the decision because they were already working in Jira Software Cloud, which integrates seamlessly with Confluence as part of Atlassian’s suite of products.
Combining Jira Software and Confluence would allow ServiceChannel’s Engineering team, as well as tech-adjacent teams, to meet their current business and customer needs while solving additional challenges of knowledge management and project collaboration. Excited by the possibilities, Chellie partnered with Engineering to migrate from their former platform to Confluence and integrate it with Jira Software so they could revolutionize product development, release cycle management, and customer communications.
Confluence is our single source of truth for what’s happening with every single release.”
Zac Wolf, Director of Product
One source of truth, from conception to completion
Today, ServiceChannel has fully documented all critical processes in Confluence and automated every development and project management task possible with Jira Software. Cross-functional teams live and breathe in the tools through every step of their agile process, from customer feedback collection and concepting; to requirements and planning; to sprint work, testing, and launch; to training, rollout communication, and retrospectives.
Production-ready features and improvements are then grouped into releases to simplify customer communication. “Each release gets a dedicated page in Confluence, which serves as the link between technical and non-technical teams throughout the planning process,” Zac explains.
Release Milestones Confluence page
A release page in Confluence provides a central hub where the whole company can see everything they may need to know about the release, including important dates, feature lists, tasks, and checklists. This page is shared with the entire company when release planning begins and is used during weekly calls, when all customer-facing teams (Customer Success, Account Management, Marketing) meet with Product Managers to review progress and discuss next steps. “It’s our single source of truth for what’s happening with every single release,” Zac says.
I spent about eight hours a week on this before, and there was a team of six people who were doing the same thing. Now, it takes us each five minutes. We’re saving about 50 hours per week."
Paulo Rebelo, Senior Technical Program Manager
Integrations unlock even greater efficiency
With a natural knack for learning and organization, Chellie also took the initiative to collaborate with Engineering to further optimize the release management process. Together, they’ve leveraged several Atlassian features and integrations to save time and improve communication.
For example, the team integrated Jira Cloud for Google Sheets, a Marketplace app that helps them organize and analyze releases by multiple variables including feature status and release phase.
Dashboards made with Google Sheets also make it easy for Chellie’s and Zac’s teams to track progress at a glance and drill down into areas that need attention, such as epics that are not connected to a story and features that don’t have a Product Manager or Owner assigned. Chellie explains, “I created this Google Sheets dashboard that looks at multiple Jira projects to see what I have and what I don’t have. It also allows me to use conditional formatting, like red for ‘no,’ so I can quickly and visually identify what I need to take action on.”
Easy tracking and analysis of Jira project and issue data have also helped the team make intentional improvements. For example, Chellie says, “We created a dashboard that pulls engineering, knowledge management, and product communication metrics and statistics from Jira. With those on hand, we were able to track, monitor, and improve our investment allocation and reduce our change failure rate from 4.7% to 2.7% in just four months.”
Dashboard used for release management
Engineering leverages detailed Google Sheets and dashboards like these to create rollup reports that communicate high-level progress to executives in a format they appreciate. Before using Atlassian, the team spent hours each week pulling this data, preparing PowerPoint presentations, and meeting with leaders. Now, they use Jira Cloud for Google Sheets to automatically aggregate all of their detailed project data into one Google Sheet with simple, color-coded tables and graphs. Engineering managers can then export the spreadsheet to a short PDF report for executives. “I spent about eight hours a week on this before, and there was a team of six people who were doing the same thing. Now, it takes us each five minutes. We’re saving about 50 hours per week,” says Paulo Rebelo, Senior Technical Program Manager.
Efficiencies like these proved even more valuable when COVID-19 emerged. While their customers and competitors were feeling the strain on their businesses, ServiceChannel was well-equipped to keep moving and meet their audience’s rapidly changing needs. “In 2020, although several industries that we serve were hit hard by the pandemic, we were able to deliver even more new products that delighted our customers using the new roadmap and release management process created in Jira,” Chellie says. “Working remotely became the new norm. With Jira and Confluence, our teams were able to deliver service to each other and our customers from wherever we were, without any negative impact. Additionally, we prioritized the major pain points that our customers faced in these difficult times, delivering features that brought more for less.”
Using Atlassian tools, ServiceChannel seamlessly prioritized, planned, and developed small yet valuable feature sets that gave people what they needed, when they needed it most – a testament to their focus on customers, even during the toughest of times.
[With] engineering metrics and statistics from Jira...we were able to track, monitor, and improve our investment allocation and reduce our change failure rate from 4.7% to 2.7% in just four months.”
Chellie Esters, Director of Learning and Development
Confluence and Jira Software: the next best thing to cloning star performers
Just like Zac and his team did for Product and Engineering, Chellie has explored integrations and solutions to help Learning and Development save time, better manage release rollouts, and improve customer communication. She now uses Confluence to educate employees and customers about ServiceChannel’s software, leverage the company’s data, and read about upcoming features. For instance, Chellie creates a customer-facing newsletter with the must-know details about each release, along with Kanban boards in Jira Software so employees can track the status of each part of the release – enabling her to essentially do two jobs at once: Learning and Development Manager and Release Manager.
Customer-facing release newsletter created in Confluence
Chellie leverages several plugins, including Autocrat, to pull information from Confluence and Jira Software into Google Slide presentations for executive updates, customer webinars, and other communication. “Different plugins save us a lot of time when using Atlassian tools and presenting the information out to executives, Customer Success, and other teams,” Chellie says. “For example, pulling data and creating those presentations probably took Marketing over a week and more than one person. It takes me an hour now.”
Efficiencies like these mean Chellie can accomplish more in less time. “I needed a way to run the releases that still allowed me enough time to run Learning and Development,” she says. “If everything is all over the place, I can’t come in and say, ’This is what I need to do,’ and get to it fast. Now I can run quarterly releases and an entire department.”
Even better service from the world's #1 facilities software provider
With Atlassian, ServiceChannel is elevating their efficiency, effectiveness, and customer experience to maintain that top position they’ve worked so hard to earn. Employees love having a more organized system that enables them to respond faster to customers and each other. Leaders love having visibility into real-time updates and highest priorities. And customers love the invaluable solutions and clear communication they receive from their trusted facilities management partner.
“Today,” says Chellie, “everyone across the company has the same goal and clear expectations, company strategy is aligned with the tactical implementation, and investments are prioritized efficiently. Risks and dependencies are mitigated earlier on. Engineering teams are delivering well-defined value streams continuously. People ‘own’ and feel accountable for the objectives and key results. Teams are more in tune with each other, so they waste less time on redundant work. Planning is easier and commitments are met more often because the teams and stakeholders learn how much work we can commit to and what our actual capacity is.”
With the right people, processes, and platforms, ServiceChannel is helping customers manage places better than ever before – all while solidifying their place as an industry leader for years to come.