What is our primary use case?
We are using it for internal issues related to our ERP system. We are tracking these issues and, more importantly, linking them to development tasks. So, if we've written an extension and there is a bug, and somebody opens a help desk case with it, we can link it directly to a bug ticket in Jira. We then know when this bug is fixed.
We are cloud-based, so we are always on the latest version.
How has it helped my organization?
The biggest thing is integration. Instead of having to have requirements in Word and then issues tracked somewhere and development tracked somewhere, everything is now in Atlassian. So, we've got requirements linked to development cases and the help desk tickets linked to development cases and tests.
What is most valuable?
The links between the help desk and Jira issues and between Confluence and Jira issues are most valuable. I can write requirements in Confluence and link them to user stories in Jira and test cases. I can see my test coverage and all that kind of stuff. The integration between these three is very useful.
It is pretty customizable, and it integrates well. There are a lot of add-ins and a lot of connectors to third-party products. In my last company, we used Test Royal for managing all the tests, and it integrated perfectly with that. For any issue or bug, we could see what tests have been run and the complete history of the tests.
What needs improvement?
The way it handles subtasks can be improved. We would really like the ability to have different types of subtasks. If we have a user story for a feature, we would like to have a subtask for documentation, a subtask for requirements, a subtask for development, and a subtask for testing. Right now, we just make four subtasks, but there is no way to specify their type, so we have to add a custom field to specify what type of work is this. It just means you've got to look at more data.
For logging time or time tracking, we would like to have something using which we can define the work type we're doing. We would like to log whether we're working on a bug, a new development, scope change, or rework. We've got a user story for which we do the dev, and then we have to do more dev. It is the same story, but some of it could have been a scope change, and some of it could be a rework because we either screwed up the first time or missed something obvious. Currently, we have to have a custom field and track that separately. It would be nice to have some kind of work type for logging time.
For how long have I used the solution?
I used it in my previous company for about three years, and we literally just started with it the last week here.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Its stability is very good. So far, I've got only one issue in Confluence. When I'm at a table and I tab to a new cell, for some reason, it changes the text direction from right to left.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
I never had any performance concerns. Currently, there are two of us who are using this solution, and we are developers. Ultimately, there will probably be ten of us. The other members are going to be the members of the ERP implementation team. They are subject matter experts in each department.
I and another developer are just moving all our stuff from Azure DevOps. He has never used it, so I'm kind of teaching him. We're configuring it how we want. Ultimately, I'd like the whole company to use it, but the big problem is the licensing.
How are customer service and technical support?
I have interacted with their technical support. I would rate them a seven out of ten.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We were using Azure DevOps, which is Microsoft. It is totally free because we use Office 365 and their development tools. We used Azure DevOps for a while, but it kind of sucks when it comes to test cases, so we ended up moving over to Jira.
The biggest thing was that their boards are really bad. As compared to Jira's backlog and sprints, what Microsoft has got in Azure is just not very good.
We also wanted to make a task of type Test, which it supports, but the problem is you can never delete it. You also can't have a hierarchy of two tasks that are of the same type, so I couldn't have two issues that were both a user story and put them in a hierarchy. It will let you do it, but it gives you a warning, and then it doesn't show up at certain places.
We also wanted to put our artifacts somewhere. Azure DevOps doesn't support artifacts. We are on the Microsoft ERP system, and we can't upload an executable because it is not a supported artifact type. On the Microsoft ERP system, when we write extensions, it makes executables that are .app files. Normally, when we compile a new application, we store the compiled version in some kind of artifact repository. Microsoft has a feature called artifacts, but it only supports specific things. It doesn't support .app files, even though it is a Microsoft product. So, we were not able to manage the artifacts. We can't do that in Jira either, so we'll probably end up using Nexus, but the fact that Microsoft has artifacts and they don't work was just really annoying.
How was the initial setup?
For me, it was relatively straightforward because I implemented it at my last company. For a new user, it is pretty complicated. It involves setting up workflows screens and issues screens, and there are so many different schemes that are interrelated.
If you're happy with everything that comes out of the box and their standard workflows and project types, you can get it up and running really quick, but if you've got specific needs, you will spend a lot of time learning about all the configurations. I probably spent a total of eight hours this time, but I have spent hundreds of hours on it at my last job.
What was our ROI?
The investment is $10 a month now. If we're paying $10 per agent per month and even have more than three agents, it is easily worth it. It is worth its weight in gold in being able to link everything together and have everything in one place.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Right now, there are only two of us who are both agents on the help desk and developers. We might be on the free version because we're less than three agents or users. I'm looking at Zephyr tests, which have a $10 a month flat rate, so right now, it is $10 a month.
There are lots of add-ons. They do a free version, a standard version, and a premium version. In the last company, we started on $50 a month. By the time I left, we were paying $4,500 a month. That was mainly because we had 100 users on Confluence. I bought an add-on for Jira software for which we had 10 users, and that was $5 per user per month. It was costing me $500 a month, whereas it should only be $50 a month. I don't know if licensing fee has changed.
I'd like our whole company to use it, but the big problem is the licensing because the Confluence side is what is really useful, but if I add 30 users to Confluence and then buy an extension for Jira software, I've got to pay for 30 licenses, even though I've only got two users in Jira software. It is the one big disadvantage of cloud software. You always have to pay for the number of seats regardless of which product you are on. This will probably severely limit how many people would use it because I'm not going to start paying $10 per user per month for a Jira software add-on when there are only two people using it.
What other advice do I have?
It is free to try, so make sure you try it. The single biggest thing to look at is the licensing cost, especially if you plan to use something like Confluence, which is something you would probably want to roll out throughout the company because it is just a Wiki. If I've got two software developers and I put an add-on, having to pay 100 licenses for that is just crazy.
I would rate Jira Service Desk an eight out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?