A specialized focus
Lanware is a “specialist IT consultancy and managed private and public cloud provider to mid-market financial services sector” business that has been in operation for more than 20 years.
Their unique focus on the financial industry brings with it a distinctive set of challenges with regulatory compliance and security at the forefront of these potential obstacles.
As a managed services provider, Lanware’s service desk is constantly responding to issues raised by their clients with regards to incidents and problems. Beyond that, change is a constant, both at the businesses they serve, and internally.
Since the early part of 2020, Lanware has also had to move from a traditional office setting to a completely remote operation due to the pandemic. The new structure caused some internal disruption along with short-term challenges that forced the need for change within the organization.
Change was not just a goal; it had become a requirement. Lanware wanted to transform their service desk operations in order to enhance the experience that their customers have. After all, service is the very core of their offering, and the teams are always looking for ways to improve.
Starting with ITSM, with an eye on the future
Lanware knew that in order to best meet the needs of their customers, they would have to leave their current platform and find one that could meet the challenges they were facing then, and into the future.
In years past, businesses that Lanware supports have been wary of cloud versions of any kind of software solutions due to strict regulations like ISO 27001, for example.
While cost was a factor, there were also other factors to take into consideration. They required a tool that they could use to future-proof their business with the ability to adapt, plug in tools that they might find necessary, and the ability to auto-detect Configuration Items on their clients’ end in order to more efficiently meet their needs.
Beyond the pure ITSM needs of their service desk, they also sought a tool that would allow them to expand into other areas of their business. A big part of this need was to be able to manage procurement and to meet the challenges of the future.
After significant research and discussion with several consultancy firms and service desk platform providers, Lanware decided to move to Atlassian’s Data Center version of Jira Service Management (JSM) in a private cloud that allowed them to meet their security needs while also enabling new functionality and processes. Valiantys was to provide the migration from Cherwell to the new tool.
A distinct migratory pattern
Before the migration, there was a great deal of consultation to ensure that Lanware’s needs would be met. Lanware brought their service staff and teams into the discussion and delivered a very detailed requirements document outlining their requirements.
Valiantys was able to assess their needs and outline where things could be done in JSM “out of the box,” and where other needs would require customization.
Throughout the migration, the Valiantys and Lanware teams were in constant contact, ensuring that satisfaction was being delivered at each end of the journey.
It was imperative that there be a solid start to the usage of the new tool. To ensure Lanware’s satisfaction, Valiantys had a person onsite at Lanware during the first week of the delivery. According to Ian Brookes, Service Operations Manager at Lanware, the number of issues they faced that week was much lower than they’d anticipated, even with all of the work they’d done on the testing. There were no major showstoppers.
Feedback sessions were held in the first month of going live, as the management team wanted the positivity to continue. Lanware management sought honest feedback, wanting to know what could be done better, and how they could best meet their service desk team’s needs. As Ian puts it, “The feedback we had from every single person throughout the business has been positive — there’s been no negative feedback at all.”
The training was done remotely, and while this was a bit different from how the teams had normally gotten information of this type, Valiantys was able to hold very interactive sessions, ensuring that everyone on the Lanware team knew the capabilities of JSM, and how they could shape it to meet their specific needs.
Better service with better processes
The biggest benefit to Lanware has been the level of satisfaction that their service desk teams have with Jira Service Management. Employees are more involved in learning and in improving processes. They’re actively looking for ways to improve the system and their way of doing things, and they now have the confidence that they’ll actually be able to adapt the system to their needs and use it to improve the processes.
Interactions between the team and management are overwhelmingly positive. Instead of employees not bothering to raise issues with management because they have no confidence in the tool, the team now has the confidence to approach team leads and express the desire for new processes. A conversation can be had around what needs to be done, how they will accomplish it in the system, and then it’s just as simple as implementing those changes.
Another of the key benefits has been the ability to automate the creation of tickets. Lanware has key maintenance windows that they must undertake for their clients, and internally, so they’ve created automated tasks to create a change as a certain number of incidents arise so they can address the issue and solve the problem. In this way, they’re able to pay better attention to the underlying infrastructure of their clients. If a change gets realized, the engineer just needs to look at what they’ve been assigned, and they are able to immediately understand the task and execute.
The implementation of Jira Service Management has had such a positive effect, that other tools and processes that they use internally are being looked at in a different light. Teams wonder why, if their lives can be made so much better by the implementation of this tool, can they not work towards finding solutions for other areas of their business that will lead to the same sort of positive change. And while that is a new challenge unto itself, it is a welcome one for the management team at Lanware.
Jira Service Management has become the foundation upon which the rest of the tech stack at Lanware is being built. Moving forward, a requirement for new technology will be that it must integrate with Atlassian tools and have the same sort of automation capabilities in order to best serve their teams and meet the needs of the customers.
Since going live with Jira, Lanware has seen over 7,500 issues created and amazingly 84% of those tickets were handled and resolved by the Service Desk. This is a 10% increase in issues handled by the team.
The ability to link issues together has given the team better visibility on repeat issues and more detailed view of common issues that require problem management investigation.