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A Flexible Service Desk That Scales With The Enterprise’s Needs

This customer story is based off of a presentation by Erin Collins, Senior Business Support Analyst at Generali, during the Valiantys Enterprise Day London 2018. Find the full video here.



A leader in the global insurance industry

Generali is one of the top three global insurers with millions of policyholders worldwide, including some of the world’s best known multinational companies and brands.

Generali UK provides a broad and comprehensive range of insurance products, from property and casualty insurance, specialty lines protection, employee benefits and global assistance services.

In the UK, Generali is the largest provider of benefit plans and is expanding into the health care market.

Staying ahead of the enterprise's ongoing growth

Generali first deployed Jira in 2008, when Atlassian first released the tool, for project and risk management. Confident in Atlassian's track record, in 2014 Generali deployed Jira Service Desk, Confluence and a variety of Marketplace apps to build their ITSM solution.

The main reason behind this change was to improve the structure of Generali's IT services and increase their added-value within the company. A secondary objective was to improve both internal team collaboration while also allowing external partners to connect securely to the platform. Generali abandoned their previous ITSM solution so the new set-up would be streamlined onto one single platform.

Over a ten-year period the growth of their Atlassian tools increased significantly, scaling with the rate of their customer base. In 2008, they had 10 Jira users and 40 internal service desk customers, stats that significantly grew in 2017 when they had 120 Jira users and over 700 service desk users.

Given this strong adoption, the Generali team decided to upgrade its service desk to ensure quality services remained intact as user growth increased. In particular, they made the decision to outsource management for the frontline and deskside support services. This in itself added a project that evolved the ITSM tool - three years after the original deployment.

Their roadmap included making more use of the features available from the tool, maintaining their apps and leveraging the integration within the system, and improving governance - all while ensuring the continuity of service.

Promoting the portal internally was also a major goal for Erin Collins' team.

"Most of our customers didn't know there was a portal available, in fact more than 70% of requests were being reported by email," says Erin.

They therefore started an intensive "coming soon" communications campaign for their end users in order to give more visibility to Jira Service Desk.

Fully leveraging Jira Service Desk, Confluence and ITSM apps

To get new ideas, evolve their service desk and increase value for users, Erin's team is actively involved in their local Atlassian User Group in London. Furthermore, when Erin needs help when she lacks the time, resources or knowledge to implement her ideas, she calls on Valiantys for assistance.

Their single instance contains 3 service desk portals and 72 projects. This represents over 1,500 service desk tickets per month, which is more than twice the number of tickets from the other 72 projects combined. Maintenance is performed monthly by the three Jira admins, including Erin, and several Jira project administrators.

In order to implement their new service desk, the team needed to increase their training surrounding Jira Service Desk and Marketplace apps. They deployed eazyBI for more advanced reports, Exocet to generate subtasks from post-functions, and Behaviors in Scriptrunner to help ensure the first line team fills in all the required fields.

Furthermore, Generali's yearly IT survey showed resolution and engagement were the top pain points, so this was addressed by deploying Candylio, a customer satisfaction survey app. Engagement between the IT team and users significantly changed for the better.

“If someone takes the time to provide comments, we reach out to thank or get more detail to improve,” says Erin.

The users' feedback contributed to the continuous improvement for defining and managing the most strategic ticket types, along with generating Jira Service Desk's user adoption.

In addition, by subcontracting their service desk's first level Generali was billed as soon as their provider touches the ticket. To save resources, they automated several actions.

Before Valiantys implemented Insight in Jira Service Desk as their CMDB solution, Generali had the usual challenges faced by every organization without a defined configuration management database. They needed one version of the truth to relate applications, infrastructure, and service providers. They worked with Valiantys to build automations for their new starter process, with links to access and assets thanks to Insight.

A comprehensive service catalog was added to the Confluence knowledge base, an initiative which was spearheaded by Valiantys.

"We've partnered with Valiantys in nearly every step of our journey," says Erin.

This marked a turning point in the company's ITIL approach, as users had the means to access information regarding what the IT team can offer as services, how it could be done, how often, and who to contact. Faced with the large number of features available in Confluence natively, along with apps like RefinedTheme for Confluence and TeamCalendar, Generali appreciated Valiantys' support for exploring their needs and integrating the Confluence service catalog with Jira Service Desk. Service desk agents can create user guides directly from Jira Service Desk. All users have a shortcut to this Confluence space and from the service catalog, they can navigate the HelpDesk's available resources.

The next generation of service desk

Generali service desk customers appreciate the branded portal, which is user-friendly and helpful. It is built like a modern website, with a homepage offering quick links on simple actions, the most popular pages, and links to key sections, including a page describing the end user’s technology profile, which is linked from the Insight CMDB.

The outsourced team for managing their level 1 support can easily work with Generali, as they have all the necessary information available through Jira Service Desk. Generali can optimize outsourced activities through automation and closely monitor the services' activity and quality.

Their Jira Service Desk platform adapts to the growing number of users, and the IT team can get all of their requirements met through Marketplace apps. Over the years, Generali has turned to Valiantys to be their reliable partner for evolving their service desk.

"We asked for assistance with every one of our apps and for integrating them together, and they've been more than willing to step up to the plate for some of our more challenging requests," says Erin.

What's next?

Given their growth, Generali is considering spinning up a new Jira Service Desk instance to expand the scope of their service desk. The IT team is also looking into hosting their Atlassian applications with Valiantys.

Erin wants to further optimize the CMDB integration with the Confluence service catalog, as well as create better reports with the eazyBI app.

Like many companies, the team's main tasks include improving governance, implementing standards and regularly cleaning the platform - all while the business and application grow.

"We have about 70,000 issues now, and will probably break 100,000 issues early next year."

Video case study



Interview Generali