Buxum is a communications agency with a full range of services. They help Swiss companies with their communications strategy, including the creation of printed materials, the realization of campaigns in both traditional and digital media, as well as creating web and mobile applications. The agency was created in 2006 and has more than 15 employees. Their greatest challenge lies in accompanying customers quicker and better across a range of communication channels, while ensuring overall consistency.
«With Jira, we can be creative without having to develop a specific app - and as creativity is our core business, this suits us perfectly. We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do, and we needed an expert like Valiantys to help us put it in place.»Guillaume Pegoraro, Creative Director and Co-Owner
Guillaume Pegoraro became the co-owner of Buxum after the agency was bought-out. The team grew from 9 employees to more than 15 within a few months. Due to the new developments introduced by the three owners, productivity evolved and employees' workloads increased. Before the arrival of Jira Software, the agency was only equipped with Daylite, their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. Client projects were traced through the tool, but only partially as the technology came with limitations. Buxum needed to improve the efficiency and reliability of planning and information management in order to handle the growth of incoming projects - and they needed to make these changes fast.
The agency's owners searched for the ideal project management tool for their agency. It needed to be functionally rich, but customizable to sync with the operations of their human-sized organization. It needed to be affordable, yet could scale to meet the company's future evolution. Several tools were analyzed, such as Liquid Planner and Jira. Jira was evaluated through a free online trial version, completed with the Tempo Planner app.
After the trial period, the team was convinced by the tool's flexibility.
«Jira is much more than just for planning. The tool is more complete than the other ones we investigated - it's even over-sized, but this makes it possible to anticipate future needs», says Guillaume Pegoraro
«With Jira, we can be creative without having to develop a specific app - and as creativity is our core business, this suits us perfectly.»
The agency was reassured by the fact Jira is used both by small teams and international enterprises.
«The reassuring side with Jira was its potential to support the growth of the agency. It is suitable for both a law firm and an international video game development company like Ubisoft.»
Buxum first deployed Jira on the Cloud, with the agency's developers having the first swing at the tool in order to understand its workings. After playing around with the tool's capabilities, the owners decided to switch to a server deployment, with the help of Valiantys, in order to get the results they needed.
Buxum was able to further define their needs through a framing workshops with an Atlassian certified consultant in Lausanne.
«We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do, and we needed an expert to help us put it in place,» says Pegoraro
Valiantys was charged with quickly training Buxum's Jira admins on the software's architecture and interface. The agency wanted to have full visibility and autonomy so they could use the tool correctly, and where necessary adapt to the needs of the company. The team, relatively small in size, wanted to maintain its agility and react quickly and independently.
«We appreciated the adaptability from the consultant who accompanied and trained us. While he was more experienced with larger companies - he was on another long-term mission with a major Swiss bank - he was perfectly able to adapt to meet the needs of our smaller structure.»
After validating the POC completed by Valiantys, the Buxum team directly managed their own implementation and configuration. Buxum chose to Valiantys to provide long-term support for their Jira instance. As the instance was personalized, their was a strong interest that an Atlassian expert was available to provide assistance when necessary.
Jira is used to manage different client projects, with different tasks in each project being tracked by Tempo Planner. Buxum's Jira instance is unique in its structure: Projects are clients, epics are client projects and menus have been renamed in this way thanks to the Stagil Navigation for Jira app. Big Picture was integrated when the team moved to the server deployment of Jira, which helps manage the multi-team aspect, Gant diagrams, and even manage cross-tasking across projects. A single workflow, which is applicable to all projects, can be viewed on the dashboard and helps each member of the team follow their tasks.
Today, as predicted by Buxum's owners, Jira's scope has moved beyond only project management. New processes have been created and automated in Jira, including managing expense reports and absent reports. The development team also uses Jira to manage their customers' bug tracking concerning web and mobile application development. Their Jira instance became strategic for the entire agency.
Convinced by Atlassian's vision and support from Valiantys, Buxum recently chose to deploy a Jira Service Desk portal, with the help of Valiantys, in order to optimize customer communication. Once the instance is launched, the objective is to share the processes, contracts, deliverables, etc., which are linked to each project.
«[Through the portal] our customers will eventually be able to validate a schedule for an operation, validate the right version to print, submit a support request or trace an anomaly identified on the website we created for them.»
The portal offers a single point of contact for clients to track the progress of their projects (or view archived project). This is much more convenient, easier to trace, and reliable than email. In the future, certain columns will be automated to give maximum visibility, in real time, for the agency's customers and thus optimizing Buxum's responsiveness.
Valiantys provided support to Buxum for configuring and implementing Jira Service Desk, ensuring the tool met the agency's specific needs. Synchronization between Jira Service Desk and Jira projects allows external users to access Jira's data and content directly within the service desk interface.
It was clear to Buxum that if they wanted to stay competitive and reach all of their goals, they would need to rely on Valiantys' certified Atlassian consultants to be their high-level experts.
«While we appreciate Valiantys' expertise, we're also grateful for the very human and friendly relationship we developed with them. I particularly appreciated having dedicated consultants working with us, as we've met them and there is a sentiment that they are committed and involved in the team. We don't call a hotline leading to a stranger in another country. The projects and requests are solved and monitored by the same people.»
The different teams quickly adopted Jira Software and Jira Service Desk, allowing collaboration within the agency to run smoothly. BigPicture has also become a major asset for large-scale projects. Employees are more relaxed now that they have better visibility over their tasks, time and progress.
Buxum can give their customers realistic schedules and be more reactive to requests. Customer satisfaction is up, thanks to meeting the schedules' deadlines and increased visibility over projects. The agency was able to improve the management of resources and increase the number of simultaneous projects, thus increasing revenue.
Buxum has its eyes on testing the CRM for Jira apps so they can move towards having all their activities on one platform. Confluence will soon be rolled out to all the employees. Once installed, framing workshop with Valiantys will be held around Confluence to ensure the tool is used correctly, with the end objective of centralizing their files so satellite documents no longer exist.
As it concerns Jira and Jira Service Desk, the team plans on automating certain tasks and notifications. Specifically, wants to avoid needing to have the status of projects manually emailed, both externally and internally. Guillaume Pégoraro wants to take on the challenge of «becoming more pro-active while keeping the human aspect intact within communications»