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Nextiva is modernizing enterprise ITSM with the help of Jira Service Management

Nextiva, a leading business communications company, is known for its cloud phone systems and award-winning service. When their workforce doubled in three years, the team found themselves spending more time managing internal systems and switching back and forth between tools, making it difficult to provide the fast, effective service they were known for. By centralizing onto an integrated, cloud-based system with Jira Service Management Premium as a hub, Nextiva greatly improved team efficiency and system performance, helping maintain their reputation for stellar service today and in the future.

Nextiva, a leading business communications company, delivers one of the best cloud phone systems on the market, along with award-winning service. In addition to receiving dozens of accolades, including a record four Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service in one year, the company maintains a 94% customer satisfaction rating, and 90% of customers say they would recommend Nextiva to others – a direct result of putting service and support at the core of their culture.

Customers choose Nextiva because of this commitment to providing top-notch service and addressing a common problem with VoIP technology: the amount of time and money that’s typically required to manage multiple communication platforms across multiple teams. Nextiva is on a mission to solve this problem by “building the future of how business and technology work together. One platform, one workspace, zero friction.” 

The company almost doubled its workforce in three years, and it was taking more time, effort, and resources to manage their internal tools. Plus, switching back and forth between systems hindered employee productivity and made it increasingly difficult to deliver the exceptional service expected from them. To stay competitive and maintain superior performance and reliability for their customers, they needed mature development and service solutions for themselves. 

As part of their efforts to adopt more modern ways of working, Nextiva centralized onto an integrated, cloud-based system with Jira Service Management Premium at the center. Since then, the company has significantly improved their team's efficiency and system performance. Now, the team finally has the freedom to focus on delivering value for customers instead of managing internal processes and technology – a key advancement that will help them continue to grow while maintaining their stellar service.

We’ve been really happy with all of the integrations, and Jira Service Management has been huge. Our customers can submit incident tickets through the service portal, and we can use Jira Service Management’s automation and on-call alerting capabilities to notify people on our staff.”

Max Hurst
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager

High-velocity IT tools meet evolving work processes

When Senior Atlassian Solutions Specialist Josh Costella joined Nextiva in late 2017, the company was in the midst of a major technological and cultural shift. The Technology department was hiring more agile-minded team members and adopting DevOps processes that would encourage collaboration, speed, savings, stability, and more. 

To support Nextiva’s agile and DevOps transitions, VP of Software Engineering James Charles tasked Josh with unifying everyone on a standardized platform where teams could communicate with each other, document information, and manage projects. James was a proponent of Atlassian, and Josh had extensive experience as an Atlassian consultant and admin. Couple their collective history with the fact that Confluence and Jira Software were already in place (albeit underutilized) at Nextiva, and the decision to expand on the Atlassian platform was easy. They also adopted Atlassian’s rich ITSM offering, Jira Service Management.

For the vast majority of modern businesses, software powers forward momentum – but traditional ITSM tools reinforce silos within Operations teams and slow down work for Development teams that have adopted an agile mindset. Josh knew that adopting DevOps practices and tools would help alleviate these pain points, but he was also cognizant that they can create new challenges: more meetings, manual updates, and burdensome context switching. But by adopting Jira Service Management for ITSM, Dev and Ops teams can share and link tickets, see work across teams, and collaborate seamlessly because they’re now all on the Jira platform. 

Jira Service Management gives us more automated change management workflows that are well connected to development work. It’s one of the more elegant workflows that I’ve seen.”

Josh Costella
Senior Atlassian Solutions Specialist

Incident management

Without a standardized incident management process, when an incident occurs, acknowledging and swarming incidents is ambiguous at best – and downright terrifying at worst. Employees at Nextiva experienced this stress firsthand, often feeling unsure of when and how to get developers and other key stakeholders involved, which put them at risk of falling short on service promises and losing revenue. This kind of uncertainty can also take a major toll on team morale. 

So Josh partnered with Atlassian Solutions Specialist Catherine White and Senior Project Manager Jen Lang to implement Jira Service Management, leveraging automation to create more structured, streamlined incident management processes. Now, whenever an employee submits an incident to Support, the requestor must designate the severity of the incident and the components affected. With on-call alerting powered by Opsgenie, the right IT Operations staff is notified of an incident based on the team’s schedule. Team members can also escalate tickets to leaders if a faster response is needed to meet service level agreements.

Nextiva has also set up a Slack automation that notifies staff about issues that may impact customers. Every time there’s a priority-one ticket, they're automatically alerted, whether it's a false alarm or not. This goes a long way in helping Nextiva meet their SLAs. Max Hurst, Information Technology Infrastructure Manager, says, “We’ve been really happy with all of the integrations, and Jira Service Management has been huge. Our customers can submit incident tickets through the service portal, and we can use Jira Service Management’s automation and on-call alerting capabilities to notify people on our staff.” 

Now, Nextiva’s Incident Management team has better visibility of incidents, an established system for identifying incident severity, a better process in place to respond, and faster routing to relevant team members. They also conduct post-mortems within three days of an incident to identify opportunities for learning and to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.

Change management

On top of improving incident management, Jen and Catherine leveraged Jira Service Management with the Automation plugin (now a built-in feature) to make Nextiva’s change management process more efficient. Within a single workflow, employees can select one of four change types. The change ticket is then automatically routed through different parts of the workflow based on specified requirements, validators, and conditions. Slack messages are also triggered to the right parties if a ticket exceeds the maximum change time so a team member can address it quickly. “Jira Service Management gives us more automated change management workflows that are well connected to development work,” Josh says. “It’s one of the more elegant workflows that I’ve seen.”

By implementing their solutions on the Jira Service Management platform, Nextiva has seamlessly connected their work and development processes. Each team can easily see the work that’s happening, enabling the entire organization to meet customer expectations, adapt to a constantly fluctuating business landscape, streamline processes, and minimize risk. And this is just the beginning. 

It’s nice that we’re able to share the same platform as the rest of the organization so that we can work more efficiently. It’s been really helpful to have all of the integrations and have everything work together fairly seamlessly.”

Catherine White
Atlassian Solutions Specialist

Built for teams

After seeing the improvements that Development and IT experienced, departments across Nextiva started using Atlassian to unlock new efficiencies and improve cross-team collaboration. Confluence was one of the first solutions to be adopted throughout the organization for storing and sharing documents and knowledge. Teams are also using Jira Software as the unifying plane that provides overarching visibility and makes it simple to manage everything from internal support and events, to employee travel, to education and training requests. Plus, all of Support (inside and outside of Technology), Operations, HR, Customer Solutions Engineering, Design, and Administration turn to Jira Service Management and its integrations with other Atlassian tools for quickly submitting, tracking, and resolving service requests.

Josh explains, “We've been able to show extra value to other departments that existed, not only in Technology, but outside of Technology as well. So we've been able to bring more and more people into the tool set [and] get a more focused vision for what we're trying to do.”

For example, the HR team has a service desk exclusively for employee departures (voluntary or otherwise). When an employee leaves the company, HR submits a ticket, and the automation engine creates child tickets and notifies the teams that manage account access so they can remove the terminated employee’s credentials.

“With Atlassian’s integrations and automation, our team spends less time switching back and forth between applications,” Max says. Catherine adds, “It’s also nice that we’re able to share the same platform as the rest of the organization so that we can work more efficiently. It’s been really helpful to have all of the integrations and have everything work together fairly seamlessly. It just makes everyone’s lives easier.”

Forging a future with Jira Service Management

As Nextiva’s ITSM practices grow and evolve, their team will be leaning even more on Jira Service Management to streamline their processes and scale their award-winning service. They’re exploring Jira Service Management's out-of-the box integrations with Bitbucket and Jenkins and hope to further streamline change requests and limit their teams from having to enter the same information multiple times in multiple tools. “We’re excited to modernize our change management practices so we can build more reliable services and embrace DevOps principles,” Josh says. 

The company plans to leverage Atlassian's Insight product for asset and configuration management, and create a self-service help desk for employees to request software access from Nextiva’s extensive catalog. Then, Insight’s automation capabilities will check users’ permissions and track software licensing data, saving IT teams even more time. They would also like to expand their use of Jira Service Management’s incident reporting analysis tool to give stakeholders even more visibility into team performance.

Teams across Nextiva, tech and non-tech alike, are seeing the impact of having intuitive processes coupled with an integrated ITSM solution that provides deep visibility into each others’ work. With Jira Service Management as part of their Atlassian ecosystem, the company is fully equipped with the solutions they need to achieve their ultimate goal: redefine the way business and technology connect, and bring unparallelled service to their customers.

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