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Reinvigorating the software development process for one of France’s leading insurance brokers

About Sofaxis

  • Industry: Banking and insurance
  • Location: Bourges, France

SOFAXIS, a leading French insurance broker to local communities and hospitals, draws its strength from its expertise. The company relies on its understanding of the issues local communities and hospitals are facing, as well as the software tools developed internally, to insure and assist its customers.

Controlling the software development processes is therefore a key issue for SOFAXIS. Among its 450 employees, around fifty of them work for the Information Services Division.

When Dominique Jean-Prost, IT Support Manager, met Valiantys during the Devoxx in Paris, SOFAXIS was encountering numerous limitations with its current tools:

«We had been using a primary test management tool since 2003, and were facing several issues. People were not really using the product. It was relatively expensive and some people continued to use another task management tool developed internally. We wanted to reinvigorate the organisation.»

A fast and controlled Jira implementation

Convinced by Jira’s powerful notification system and flexibility, Dominique called on Valiantys to assist him in the migrating the previous task management system to Jira.

«We looked for assistance to guarantee a successful implementation of Jira, especially for workflows and notification problems, which at first seemed complex to us.»

The first key requirement was a rapid implementation. For this reason the project was organized in two parts, with each part lasting two days and taking place 15 days apart. The first step was dedicated to need analysis and creating a proof of concept based on best practices of administration, while the two following days were spent on making final adjustments and completing documentation.

From the very beginning users showed enthusiasm about this solution. «At the end of the first week, we had about fifteen projects already configured and being used in production. With the entire team using Jira, the tool quickly become popular!» recalls Dominique. Working with Valiantys also allowed us to benefit from a procurement process that was well suited our organisation», explained Dominique.

«We were used to settling invoices by bank transfers, so acquiring Jira with a credit card on the Atlassian website was not something our accounting team would agree on.»

Streamlining task management

A month after the implementation, all newly created bugs, tasks and improvement requests were under management in Jira and all requests from the primary test management tool were imported. A project to address existing issues was 50% complete and only a handful of issues from the internally-developed tool were yet to be transferred.

More than 4,200 issues, including 2400 new ones are currently being resolved in Jira and the 60 projects created by SOFAXIS allow a more efficient management of software development processes.

«As for quality and reactivity in the management of a request, it is difficult to quantify, but the benefit is obvious.» highlights Dominique. Besides the configurations made by Valiantys, Jira’s popularity within the ISD and user involvement were key success indicators of this migration.

Dominique currently runs the platform and acts as an internal reference for the use of Jira. Development teams embraced the collaboration functions – especially the comments – and share information around requests through the Jira interface.

«Working with Valiantys allowed us to be operational and autonomous for daily use of Jira, and thus invigorated the ISD to gather our teams around a unique tool.»

Key results

  • SOFAXIS ISD development teams collaborate around a unique task management solution.
  • By the end of the project, the IT support manager and his teams have been operational and autonomous in their daily use of Jira.
  • One month since implementation, 100% of requests from the primary test management tool used by SOFAXIS have been migrated to Jira.
  • Thanks to the collaborative functions of Jira, SOFAXIS users now freely share information on issues and are more productive.

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