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Thursday, 10 December 2015 12:11

Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo move to Jira in the cloud

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Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo move all development and defect management into Atlassian’s cloud with support from software lifecycle specialist Automation Consultants.

LLX Global Business Services (LLX GBS) has been supporting the ecommerce development and support of its parent business JAB Holding’s iconic luxury brands Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo since 2013. The business has traditionally used Atlassian’s JIRA software to plan and improve its software development with the installation hosted and managed offsite at a partner’s premises. However, the inflexibility of third-party hosting meant it was unable to easily update the software or extend its capability. In particular, the LLX GBS team was keen to consolidate its group development and implement agile methodology.

Dan Seymour, Head of eCommerce Technology, explained: “There were several drivers for moving away from a hosted provider. Firstly we wanted our own instance we could customise – we’re not talking skins or branding, but customised defect fields and different workflows. We couldn’t do this when it was hosted. However, we were not in a position to bring the system on premise at that time, so instead chose to use the cloud version of JIRA, to get the features we wanted right away, whilst the rest of the migration logistics were being finalised.

“Using the software in the cloud was important in itself. Every update is managed and implemented by Atlassian, saving us time.

“On the support side, we also wanted to introduce a more effective way of managing defects across the brands. We have a team of four that handles IT support, and we were finding it difficult to manage the status of service tickets using a system of emails – we needed a more effective service desk solution.”

Solution

Software lifecycle and Atlassian specialist Automation Consultants worked with LLX GBS to implement JIRA, JIRA Agile, and JIRA Service Desk internally before training the LLX GBS team in their use.

Francis Miers, Director at Automation Consultants, said: “JIRA Service Desk delivers an intuitive interface, SLAs, customisable team queues, and real-time reporting.

“JIRA Agile adds agile project management to JIRA and forms the foundation of a team’s agile processes. Using cards on a team or project board, Scrum teams can plan their sprints and Kanban teams can manage the flow of their work.

“We set up JIRA Service Desk to be used by internal users from LLX GBS and the different brands – Bally, Belstaff and Jimmy Choo. The development team had a Scrum board, and the business as usual team made use of Kanban.”

Benefits

“We wanted to take control of our processes, so we moved to the cloud version of the Atlassian suite”, Seymour said. “We now have brand new workflows, and the service desk is working to its full potential as support tickets are managed efficiently, enabling us to internally track the stage they’re at. This helps us monitor and meet internal support desk service level agreements – ultimately, tickets don’t get lost and are dealt with much faster.

“In addition, the development team is using JIRA Agile for Scrum projects, enabling them to move our ecommerce platform forward quickly – while also making great progress with new mobile apps for brands in the group. Agile is well suited to mobile development with new consumer devices being released all the time.”

Seymour also noted that the software setup and implementation was seamless and the LLX GBS team is already benefiting from automatic cloud updates: for example, the JIRA Service Desk ‘request participants’ field, enables LLX GBS to add users to service tickets in order to keep them up to date, thus supporting multiple users per ticket.

Increased development speed was also referenced by Seymour: “Agile is fast paced – JIRA Agile makes it easier to manage sprints and create stories.”

Future development

Since the JIRA, JIRA Agile and JIRA Service Desk implementation, Seymour and his team have added Atlassian’s Bitbucket for source code control and Confluence for collaborative working. The latter, Seymour explained, was essential for LLX GBS’s disparate development teams in Slovakia, the US, and Switzerland: “The Confluence knowledgebase enables articles for support and review, and allows conversations about a document. This removes the need to email, and increases development efficiency.”

Happy with the results of using the cloud version of JIRA as a transitional solution, the final stage of the project is to bring the system in-house, thereby completing the migration.

“LLX GBS took advantage of the speed and flexibility of the Cloud to get going quickly with Atlassian, and now that the Atlassian suite has proved itself as a robust, streamlined solution, LLX GBS is in a perfect position to host the products itself,” Miers explained.

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