1640253720 <![CDATA[Blog]]> /blog english nigel@newverveconsulting.com Copyright 2021 2021-12-23T10:02:00+00:00 <![CDATA[Migrating Jira Server to Cloud With Exalate]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/migrating-jira-server-to-cloud-with-exalate https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/migrating-jira-server-to-cloud-with-exalate#When:10:02:00Z In this guest blog, Exalate explains how to use their tool to migrate to Cloud at your own pace. Jose Lobo, Presales Engineer at Exalate, presented this overview alongside an Exalate demo from New Verve’s Technical Consultant, Jamie McCulloch at the second webinar in the Atlassian in Scotland 2021 webinar series.


In this article, you’ll learn about migrating Jira to the cloud using an integration tool called Exalate. You’ll discover several approaches and recommended practices, and read about specific issues encountered during a migration.

Exalate is primarily an integration tool but it can also help you transfer your projects from one place to another. It works with these platforms:

  • Azure DevOps
  • Jira
  • GitHub
  • Zendesk
  • ServiceNow
  • HP ALM
  • Salesforce

You can also connect multiple instances of the same platform.


Types of Migration:

There are several possible approaches to cloud migration:
Let’s see what those involve.

  • The Big Bang Approach
  • Project by Project Approach
  • Issue by Issue Approach

The Big Bang Approach

In the big bang approach, you migrate everything at once, perhaps over a weekend or holiday.

It’s fast, but there are some problems. Migration errors can occur. When a lot of data is involved, these are easy to miss.

Also, employees may not be ready to use the new platform, especially if they haven’t been trained. They have to adapt suddenly.

For these reasons, we don’t recommend it.

Project By Project

Here, you move projects over one at a time. This works well on a small scale, but has similar problems to the big bang with larger migrations.

You still need to think about the above issues, though they are less common.

Issue by issue, or Live Migration

This is Exalate’s recommended method.

Here, you gradually transfer issues from the origin instance to the system you are migrating to. It takes longer, but lets people move at their own pace.

You can wait until staff are happy with the new system before completing the move.

It’s easier to spot errors too, due to the more gradual rate of transfer. You can verify data matches the original source, and try again if errors occur. Fixing problems in this way helps refine your approach.


Once all the data has been checked, you can retire the original instance.

More About Exalate

Exalate can handle roughly 300 tickets per hour. It can synchronize data on multiple cloud instances. Even with multiple connections, it still costs the same.


What Can You Sync?

Exalate lets you synchronize issue data. The terminology varies by platform. For example, Jira uses tickets with descriptions that you can sync just like issues.

Issues contain various fields, which can all be synced. You can choose which are mapped, and what maps to what. You can even use code logic to make decisions based on issue content.

For example, the status or issue types on the source could be sent anywhere on the destination instance - to the description, the title or equivalent fields. You need to create any custom fields yourself, however.

Exalate doesn’t migrate project configuration. You can do that manually, or with another tool.

Exalate as an Integration Solution

Exalate supports multiple use cases. It can filter and adjust data as necessary.

Live integration means tickets are automatically synchronized and updated between different systems.

To try Exalate yourself, reach out and book a demo. It has a 30-day free trial and experts on hand to explain how it can help you. There’s also a freemium plan available.

Case Study: New Verve Consulting - Our journey with Exalate

Let’s see why New Verve Consulting chose Exalate for their migration.


NVC chose a hybrid approach. Though looking to take advantage of the benefits of Jira Cloud, they still needed functionality only available on Jira Server.

Why Exalate?

They chose issue syncing apps to ensure the least disruption for their team and the least implementation effort, letting them focus on other things.

They needed a solution that would consolidate work no matter where it was being tracked, and act as a single source of truth.

Jira Cloud has limited reporting capabilities, and lacks feature parity with JIra Server apps. They also have lots of reports on Jira Server that aren’t available on Jira Cloud.


Setting up a sync between Jira Cloud and Jira Server let them take advantage of both, and ease the transition. Migrating from cloud to server is unusual. One of Exalate’s advantages is its versatile approach that covers all scenarios.

They also had to pick which fields to use, including several custom fields.

NVC investigated various issue tracking apps, looking for the following functionality:

  • JIra Cloud and Server Support
  • Custom field support
  • One and two way sync needed for future scenarios.
  • Customization, to include and exclude fields as needed.
  • Easy to pick issues, setup and test.

Exalate was the clear winner!

Their implementation strategy was to migrate issue per issue, ensuring their users kept the same interaction with Jira as before the sync, and having a single source of truth.

The plan involved three steps.

Firstly, initial setup. Configuration had to be done manually. After creating a target project

The instances were connected by initiating a connection on one side and accepting it on the other.

The sync rules were updated to decide what maps to what.

Step two was a test run. They added JQL triggers to decide when and what to sync. These triggers can be updated any time. Jira users already know JQL, and it allows a lot of customization.

Then they ran Bulk exalate which captures all issues matching a JQL query. It worked as expected on the test issue.

Step three was the production run.

The triggers were modified to include everything required.

Bulk exalate was executed again.


After that, Exalate was now running in the background doing what it was set up to do. NVC can now do the following as needed:

  • They can iterate and improve.
  • They can update the rules and triggers at any time.
  • They can add new fields.

Exalate in action

Let’s take a look at Exalate’s user interface.


Here on the connections screen, we are editing our connection.

  • You can change the outgoing incoming sync rules using the Groovy scripting language.
  • Much of what’s there is the default.
  • Comments show some of what you can do.
  • There’s also a visual mode that lets you avoid using code.
  • The outcoming and incoming rules don’t need to match.

On the triggers screen, you create JQL queries to catch issues you want to sync. Triggers can be easily activated, edited or deleted. You can also manually Bulk Exalate.

The errors screen lets you diagnose and resolve any problems. You can reattempt syncing until it works.

Working With Exalate

Let’s talk about NVC’s experience of working with Exalate.

  • The implementation had:
  • A clear process to follow
  • Plentiful well maintained documentation, with examples and steps.
  • Helpful support from the Exalate community.

Exalate brings several benefits:

  • Silent Solution - no need for user interaction after setup (unless making changes)
  • Benefits of both Jira Cloud and Jira Server features
  • No Change in approach from users
  • No downtime
  • NVC’s plans for the future include:
  • Migration of other projects to cloud (by project)
  • Syncing back to server for reporting
  • Migrating at their own pace. There is no downtime with Exalate migrations.

NVC learned several lessons during the experience:

  • Migrations are not daunting, especially hybrid.
  • Unforeseen minor problems always happen, such as missing data and groovy errors. These are mitigated by using an iterative process.
  • Lower effort can bring a lot of reward. The integration took weeks and has been working for over a year.

Key Takeaways:

Exalate works as a migration tool - just stop syncing after it’s done.

There are tools to help you migrate - it doesn’t need to be as daunting as before.

This post is based on a Webinar from the New Verve Presents Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series. You can watch it here.

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2021-12-23T10:02:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Celebrating Giving Tuesday with Mary’s Meals]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-giving-tuesday-with-marys-meals https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-giving-tuesday-with-marys-meals#When:16:03:00Z This Giving Tuesday, we would like to highlight the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals who are the deserving recipient of our first Pledge 1% campaign.

New Verve Consulting is proud to have taken the pledge as part of the global movement Pledge 1% in order to give back to the local community by sharing our skills and giving our time. We chose the Scottish charity, Mary’s Meals as the recipient of our first Pledge 1% campaign and we are able to help them make a difference by committing up to 2 days per month for free to assist them in evolving their Atlassian solution.

Upon hearing about our pledge, Mary’s Meals founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow said:

“This is wonderful news. We are so grateful for the kindness of organisations who give their support to Mary’s Meals and help us reach more children with daily school meals. Thank you to New Verve and Pledge 1%.”

The mission of Mary’s Meals is simple – to provide hungry children in some of the world’s poorest communities with a nutritious daily meal in their place of education. The promise of food encourages children back into the classroom so that they can continue learning and have the hope of a much brighter future.

Currently Mary’s Meals feeds an incredible 2,058,099 children every school day in 20 countries from Haiti to India, often working in the most challenging of conditions and environments. Mary’s Meals is a low-cost charity and spends at least 93% of donations on charitable activities.

As an Atlassian Solution Partner, we work directly with the Mary’s Meals Glasgow office IT team and assisted them in introducing Atlassian tools like Jira Service Management and Confluence to help streamline their internal service desk. Our work with them includes consulting and training on products. Our solutions and services help Mary’s Meals to efficiently offer their global support service and to manage the delivery of project work with third-party suppliers. You can read more about the technical solution we created with them in our case study.

Mary’s Meals was also the charity sponsor for our event New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series and their Infrastructure and Operations Manager, Stephen Neil was one of our speakers. You can watch his presentation here.

As you can imagine, it is vital that Mary’s Meals kept their costs as low as possible which is why our Pledge 1% campaign has been such an important benefit for them! As part of our Pledge 1% commitment, we gave 24 days of our time (£20,000) for free to Mary’s Meals since 2020. This has meant they’re able to provide high quality and efficient IT support while maintaining a low budget and ensuring their money is better spent elsewhere in the charity. Mary’s Meals Infrastructure and Operations Manager, Stephen Neil was delighted with our efforts and said:

“Our experience of working with New Verve has been incredibly positive. From initial engagement they took time to understand our organisation, its aims, objectives, structure and processes so that they could become a valuable partner to us in delivering consulting and services.”

After the success of our first Pledge 1% partnership, we are now looking to expand our commitment and involve more of our team in the initiative. Pledge 1% has solidified itself as a key part of New Verve’s strategy and has enabled us to integrate giving back into our culture and values.

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2021-11-29T16:03:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Codegeist 2021 - Organizations Manager]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/codegeist-2021-organization-manager https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/codegeist-2021-organization-manager#When:10:57:00Z Atlassian hosts a hackathon on Devpost annually called Codegeist, it helps teams unleash their potential by building Atlassian apps. This year was focused around using Atlassian’s Forge platform to build apps for DevOps, IT and Business teams.

Ideation

The first step of creating the app was a group session to generate the ideas of what we could build. For this, we used Trello. Trello facilitated the submission of ideas and created cards for each one. After all the ideas were in the pot, we voted on what would be developed.

Our entry - Organizations Manager - was initially pitched as Crumbs lite, a twist on our existing marketplace app called Crumbs.

One advantage of building a similar app is that user stories were transferable, and due to it being the most refined idea we decided to proceed with Organizations Manager.

Submission and Challenges

We continued to use Trello and Confluence to facilitate our submission to the hackathon. The app was developed in an Agile method, a proof of concept was delivered first and subsequently refined.

Most things do not go according to plan, and our app was no exception. We faced a number of challenges:

  • Technical - The Forge platform is the next shiny tool from Atlassian, but this also means the platform is not as mature. We faced a number of technical challenges including buggy extension points and incomplete APIs.
  • Skill - For most members of the team, this was the first Forge app they had worked on and, with the time constraints, were unable to contribute to the code development.
  • Time - Given that we still had our usual day to day responsibilities for other projects, not all features could be completed.

In the end, despite these challenges, technical and non technical members of the team pulled through to submit Organizations Manager.

The Result

Organizations Manager, extends the native Jira Service Management organizations, provides a central place to manage, edit, and administer JSM organizations, and enables agents to quickly address service requests. It provides a high level view of the organizations and the current level of engagement in the landing page, while in the organization view, new custom fields are added to capture client specific data.

We are proud to say that our app went on to win the Honorable Mentions award! You can read more about the Codegeist 2021 winners on Atlassian’s blog.

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2021-11-02T10:57:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Celebrating 10 years]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-10-years https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/celebrating-10-years#When:15:10:00Z ​Looking back

It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years since New Verve was born.

Initially launched as a bedroom startup, we have evolved into a focused and trusted partner in the Atlassian ecosystem. Over the course of a decade, we have grown from a team of 1 to an incredibly diverse group of 14 individuals. This year, quite fittingly, we have surpassed £1 million in annual revenue for the first time.

I’m incredibly proud to reflect on our collective achievements to date. Everybody on the team has played a key role in evolving and growing New Verve, and huge kudos go to each and every person involved over the years. A massive thank you of course goes to all of our customers and partners with whom we have engaged over the past decade.

Our mission has always been to inspire effective teamwork, and while our overall focus as a business has evolved, this mission still holds true. When I first set up the company, I didn’t really have a strategy or end goal. I simply wanted to help teams deliver solutions effectively. Agile, with a capital ‘A’ was a natural fit with its iterative approach to software development, rapid feedback, and improved outcomes. With some experience in this area, I decided that Agile project management would become our first listed service as a business.

Our first big customer was IDM, a software development house based in Paris. We played a key role in the development and launch of key projects for two of IDM’s customers: Ipsos MORI and Oxford University Press. These projects involved significant work over a number of years and required collaborative input from a large number of teams and stakeholders, all of whom were geographically distributed across a range of international locations. Agile methodologies and techniques were essential in delivering successful outcomes in both projects. Equally as important were the tools that we used at the time. No prizes for guessing that these included Jira Software and Confluence!

Planning for growth

The first few years of my journey at New Verve were hugely challenging, educational and rewarding.

Over 3 years passed and like many business owners, I began asking myself whether and how I’d like to grow the business. To do that, I needed a vision and a roadmap. I also needed to gather a great team.

In 2016, I graduated from a bedroom-based business to a more credible outfit. At the time, a key milestone in this graduation was to move into an office somewhere. In the context of our current work-from-anywhere setup today, it seems crazy that my number one priority at the time was to lease a room to make my growth ambitions official. Ultimately it was a good move. I ditched my growing sense of cabin fever and began to invest in the local community. More specifically, I spent a small fortune on cappuccinos and calzones for the next two years!

Most importantly though, I hired my first staff member Kris, initially as Technical Project Manager. Hiring their first member of staff and trusting them is a big step for any business owner. Kris put my mind at ease very quickly and not long after being hired was fully entrusted to run all of our project engagements with IDM, while I took a short career break to reflect and refocus. Incidentally, Kris and I went on to form a long-lasting and trusting relationship. Today, Kris is New Verve’s Head of Operations.

On my return from my career break, I created a formal business plan for the first time. To grow New Verve, I decided it needed more focus. I also decided it needed a more local presence.

In 2015, we signed an agreement with Atlassian and officially became an ‘Atlassian Expert’ company. Our vision was to establish New Verve as a credible service provider for Atlassian tools in Scotland and the wider UK. Our first customer was 3Gi. In 2019, New Verve was recognised as 3Gi’s partner of the year and I’m proud to say we continue to provide key solutions and support services to 3Gi today.

Throughout 2016, we continued to win managed service and support contracts. Our contracts were predominantly in the private sector, however, after signing up to the G-Cloud procurement framework, we began to build our reputation with public sector organisations here in Scotland. We continued to grow our team and added two more members of staff. By 2017, we had 5 members of staff as well as an intern through our longstanding relationship with the University of Glasgow.

Growth was great, however, I still felt we weren’t focused enough as a business and subsequently made my most difficult decision so far. I decided to retire our Agile Project Management service offering completely and offboarded our biggest client (IDM) with mutual agreement in mid-2018. From this point onwards, our focus was absolute. Our entire focus of the business became Atlassian tooling and enabling businesses to gain maximum value from tools such as Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence. Our regional focus shifted to Scotland and with the help of our first dedicated marketing talent, we steadily began to build awareness of New Verve’s capabilities.

Our value proposition continued to evolve and over the past few years, we have positioned New Verve not just as implementers, but as delivery partners that can help steer our customers to success. We’re not just a service provider and we strive to create and add value in all of our engagements. Today we partner with a wide range of customers, including Social Security Scotland, Kantar Global, Mary’s Meals, Synergy Learning, and the University of Dundee.

Reflecting on today

Today, we have 14 people at New Verve working cross-functionally across 4 teams (Operations, Solutions, Products, and Marketing). Incredibly, there are 9 different nationalities represented in the company.

Birthday celebrations on a recent night out with the team

As a business, we are now ranked the #1 Atlassian Gold Solution Partner in the UK and #22 out of 50 Gold partners globally. We have 6 Atlassian certified individuals in the UK and we hold 19 Atlassian certifications across the team, reflecting our ongoing commitment to inward training and development.

In terms of what we do, not a huge amount has changed in the last few years. However, we are much more solutions-driven today. Our value lies in the solutions we design and build for customers. Over the past few years, we have built extensive knowledge in two key areas: IT Service Management and Agile. We are becoming more and more embedded with teams as part of longer-term engagements and we are increasingly providing guidance not just at a tactical level, but at a strategic level too. A perfect example of this is our ongoing engagement with Social Security Scotland, where we help drive the adoption of Atlassian tooling for planning and reporting purposes, including Jira Advanced Roadmaps for the implementation of Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) practices.

Having decided to invest in our own product offerings, we are delighted to see our customer base continuing to grow on the Atlassian Marketplace. Crumbs, our light-touch CRM product for Jira Service Management is beginning to gain traction and we’re excited about adding more new features over the next few months!

Atlassian has made it clear that building a world-class cloud platform and migrating their installed base of server customers continues to be their primary focus. It’s no surprise that this approach is mirrored in our own future plans. We are becoming increasingly busy with migration projects, helping customers to plan and implement their journey to the cloud.

We do our best to make New Verve a great place to work. Our culture is open, trusting, and encourages innovation. We want New Verve to be a place where people and teams feel motivated, involved and autonomous. In the last 2-3 years, I feel we have matured considerably as a business and I’m looking forward to us all collectively shaping our future.

Looking ahead

It’s been a challenging period over the past 12-18 months for many businesses and New Verve is no exception. Luckily we have survived and now are back on track to thrive again.

We’ve experienced double-digit growth every year since 2015 and we expect to hit revenue of £1.4 million in our next financial year. We continue to grow our team and fine-tune our considerable expertise in Atlassian cloud solutions, in Scotland, the UK, and now Ireland.

To ensure we scale sustainably without impacting our culture, our latest business plan puts people first. I’m really looking forward to investing time and energy into further maturing our approach to team autonomy, enablement, and health and wellbeing. We’re also planning to invest in a new community giving strategy, building on our already fruitful Pledge 1% commitments over the past couple of years which saw us giving away more than £25,000 of our time for free.

I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I decided to ‘go it alone’ and it’s amazing to reflect on what we’ve collectively achieved over that period. I’m so excited to see what the next period brings.

Thank you!

I’m truly proud of everyone that has been involved over the years and am hugely thankful to the entire team at New Verve for helping us get to where we are today.

A massive thank you to all of our loyal customers and partners. It’s been a pleasure building up so many long-lasting relationships and we are grateful for all of the opportunities our customers and partners have opened up for us. Most of all, thank you to Atlassian, who continue to innovate and drive a hugely successful ecosystem.

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2021-10-26T15:10:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Prepare for Life after Server with New Verve!]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/prepare-for-life-after-server-with-new-verve https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/prepare-for-life-after-server-with-new-verve#When:13:46:00Z

By 2025, Gartner have said they expect 80% of enterprise workloads to be in the Cloud. Cloud is definitely the future, so, have you thought about your migration strategy yet?

As Atlassian transition to a Cloud-first organization, it will mean changes for your company. Here’s a few reasons how the switch to Atlassian Cloud could help you.

Why Migrate?

Cloud is the future and migrating now could bring not only long term benefits to your company, but you could also see the changes happen as soon as you switch! Here’s some benefits of Atlassian Cloud:

You can scale faster for less

Cloud technology makes it easier for companies to grow and increase profits! Atlassian Cloud tools gives you the power to offer reliable support as you grow and offers technology that can expand up and down or in and out automatically, depending on your needs. You can trust Atlassian Cloud technology to be flexible and responsive without having expensive and time–consuming manual upgrades.

Lower costs and increase profits

While the cost of migration may seem high, when looking at the long term benefits, Cloud’s value really begins to shine! Atlassian report that the automatic right-sizing adjustments that Cloud provides could mean an average annual cost saving of around 30%. Cloud aims to significantly reduce the cost of major incidents, reduce operational and physical costs, allows for your IT team to focus more on high priority work, reduces the environmental cost and shifts the cost of scaling.

Improved speed and performance

Atlassian Cloud facilitates better performance and added peace of mind through uptime guarantees. With Atlassian’s Premium Cloud offering this means a guaranteed 99.9% uptime SLA and the offer of service credits if it has failed to be met. In their Cloud Enterprise plan, Atlassian increases that financial guarantee to 99.95%. Both plans include 24/7 support with response times of an hour or less.

It also improves performance by providing automatic upgrades while also ensuring there’s no delays. Cloud continuously syncs developers’ work throughout the day and quickly and regularly delivers small software changes which leads to faster product development and deployment.

Atlassian’s commitment to continuous integration not only means that your instance is always at the latest version, it also demonstrates Atlassian’s Cloud-first strategic direction. Atlassian has been heavily investing in new Cloud products (such as Forge and Pipelines) to enhance user experience and enable customisations.

A move to Cloud, with its automatic scaling and standardization of work, could mean a chance to streamline internal processes and improve your team’s speed and productivity.

Increase team productivity

According to research by Office 365, nearly 80% of IT professionals say moving to the cloud improved their productivity. And employees who use cloud apps and as per a study from Stanford, remote access are 13% more productive than their peers.

Cloud improves team productivity by prioritizing focus and expertise, with features such as automated scaling, immediate security and feature upgrades. It allows non-technical teams to streamline their workload, as they now utilise automated workflows, project templates, and standardised tasks. It also enables technical teams to automate everyday tasks and free up their resources while they focus on what they’re good at!

With all these features, Cloud provides better transparency and connection between teams which fosters improved collaboration and smoother workflows.

Future-proof against competitive forces

As mentioned, Cloud gives you instant access to the latest features, security upgrades and bug fixes and can help prioritize creativity and strategic work, empowering both technical and non-technical teams. This also means that Cloud helps simplify remote work and distributed teams, helping most of us who have transitioned to working remotely over the past year and a half.

As Atlassian say, Cloud is no longer a differentiator – it’s a strategic requirement for long-term success!

Staying Secure

Security is often cited as one of the top concerns customers have when moving to the Cloud. However, Atlassian state that 94% of businesses surveyed said security got better for them after moving to the Cloud.

Click through below to learn how Atlassian have dispelled common myths about security & compliance in a Cloud deployment.

How to migrate?

We understand that migration is not a one size fits all approach - we want to help you find the solution that works best for your team. That’s why we create bespoke migrations that let you chose when, how and what you migrate.

Atlassian also want to make your migration as painless as possible so they have developed the Migration Assistant for Jira Software and the Migration Assistant for Confluence applications and are working on Migration Assistant for Bitbucket to streamline the process. Additionally, Atlassian app vendors are providing apps of their own or migration paths to ensure that there is minimum data loss and feature disparities.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out the planning checklist from Atlassian - it’s a great asset to help you figure out how you want to migrate. Then you can get in touch with New Verve to begin your journey to Cloud.

Atlassian In Scotland 2021 Webinar Series

Looking for more Cloud information? Have migration questions to ask? Join us at the New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2021 Webinar Series to dive into Cloud migration with the experts. The webinars are set to prepare you to migrate and give you the tools and best practices to enhance you current Cloud solution. So wherever you are in your migration journey, the series can help you!

Now in its third year, the series will bring you Atlassian’s Cloud vision and the journey to the Cloud, migration best practices and customer use cases, demonstrations of key Cloud features and much more.

Watch the series so far on our YouTube channel and you can register for our next webinar for FREE here!

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2021-10-11T13:46:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Cyber Essentials]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/cyber-essentials https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/cyber-essentials#When:10:03:00Z


Committed to Cyber Security

Many companies claim that they are ‘committed to cyber security’. New Verve is too. But what does that actually mean? And how can we reassure our customers that we practice what we preach?

We recently carried out an internal audit to satisfy one of our customer’s ISO 9001 obligations. As part of this audit, we needed to highlight how as a business we complied with all applicable data protection legislation. Crucially for our customer, we needed to show that when it came to data security, we had adequate measures in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their data.

As a business, we are process and detail driven. We have always carried out due diligence on supplier systems and software, and we have a number of operational runbooks and policies in place to help enable staff to work in a secure way. So, we were in a good place and scored very highly in the audit.

However, we identified a few areas where we could make improvements.

Working From Home

Similar to lots of other businesses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New Verve team had no choice but to work remotely for an extended period of time. We now have a permanent ‘work from anywhere’ policy, meaning that people can work wherever they like as much as they like.

‘Anywhere’ equals somewhere that ultimately New Verve does not directly manage or control. To mitigate against cyber risks when staff work from a non-office location, we already had established numerous measures:

  1. staff are provided clear obligations and guidance within our policies (Data Protection, IT and Communications, Work from Home, and Information Security Incident Management).
  2. when accessing any New Verve or customer data, every staff member must use their New Verve laptop or a company-managed work profile (e.g. on mobile devices).
  3. every staff member must connect to our VPN facility before accessing any of our systems.

However, we realised that we could do more to further reduce cyber risk, specifically when it came to network security. While VPN connections were dictated by policy, they weren’t automated. This of course left room for human error or oversight.

We replaced our own VPN hardware with AWS Client VPN, providing a highly-available, managed, and elastic cloud VPN solution to protect all network traffic. We then made sure that the connection to our VPN network was automated on all laptops when people logged in.

Software Safety

We’ve always encouraged and promoted autonomy within New Verve and for a while, every staff member was a local administrator on their own machines. This was great because it meant we did away with extra process. If somebody needed a tool to enable them to do their job, they could install it themselves.

Unfortunately, this approach doesn’t float so well when it comes to security.

To ensure that our machines only had software that had been properly assessed and approved by the business, we decided to ditch our ‘local admin’ approach. All unapproved software was identified and removed from New Verve machines. Now, staff must seek approval for new software via our service desk and when approved, the software is installed and managed remotely by an authorised staff member using JumpCloud‘s software management feature.

Training

Staff need to be enabled when it comes to data protection. Until recently, New Verve has provided data protection guidance in the form of policies and operational runbooks. However, we realised that we were lacking a formal training program.

To bridge this gap, we signed up to iHasco’s GDPR and Cyber Security training courses. Specifically, we provided advanced training to staff who are responsible for enforcing or managing data in our workplace, and essentials training for everyone else. The courses are well constructed and delivered, and the learning tool is extremely easy to use.

Reassuring Customers with Cyber Essentials

The audit that we carried out for our customer was great. It reassured us as a business that we were on the right track and in a strong position when it came to data security. It also identified areas where we could improve and we did so quickly.

So what next? How can we reassure our customers that this is the case?

Step in Cyber Essentials.

Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that helps protect businesses against a whole range of the most common cyber attacks. Through an official certification, it gives companies peace of mind that their defenses will protect against the vast majority of common cyber attacks.

I’m delighted to say that as of July 2021, New Verve is now Cyber Essentials certified.

With this certification, we:

  1. have a clear picture of New Verve’s security level.
  2. can reassure our customers that we are working to secure our IT against cyber attack.
  3. can attract new business with our promise that we have cyber security measures in place.

If you haven’t already audited your own data security measures, I’d encourage you to do so now! Cyber Essentials is a great place to start. Feel free to reach out if you need more insight into the gaps we identified and how we address them.

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2021-09-09T10:03:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Atlassian Developer Day 2021]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-developer-day-2021 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-developer-day-2021#When:12:16:00Z


Developer Day is an opportunity for app developers, admins and integrators to hear about the latest Atlassian efforts in the ecosystem. Atlassian Developer Day 2021 took place on 25th May, and continued on the previous year’s theme of a unified extensibility platform, Forge. Here are some key take-aways from this years event:

Free until 2024

Forge and its power will be free until 2024, which gives developers lots of time to create new apps using the single extensibility platform and consider rewriting existing apps in Forge.

Custom UI, the leading extensibility offering

Custom UI was announced at Developer Day 2020 and Atlassian has since seen a major uptake in apps written with Custom UI and especially those in the Marketplace. When Forge was first launched it was limited in capability and only allowed developers access to a controlled list of user interactions. With Custom UI, developers are less bound to limitations and can use more common front end frameworks and libraries like React, Angular and Vue.

Unified, platform power for everyone

The vision for Forge is to be the single extensibility platform for all Atlassian apps. Currently, Atlassian are working on integrating Forge with Compass and Trello to continue this vision. They are also working on a lot of exciting features in near term:

  • Performance and scale
  • Data residency
  • Observability
  • Multi user apps
  • Harmonisation with Connect

And much more!

Data egress

App security is at the core of Forge so, Atlassian initially released Forge with tight control over where data comes and goes. They are now allowing developers to add declarations to allow the app to bypass some browser security policies as long as it is accepted by admins to enable more use cases such as inline styling and more complex front-end setups.

Connect to Forge pathways

As part of the single platform initiative and harmonisation with Connect, Atlassian specified that current apps can either perform a full rewrite, or in the more likely scenario, migrate parts of functionality over time with Connect on Forge app features. During the presentation, they gave examples of how fictional apps, with striking similarities to existing apps on the marketplace, would migrate from Connect to Forge, for example “Script Jogger”, a Groovy automation tool, could migrate some of its component to increase security or “Spiffy”, a diagramming tool, could migrate to Forge to minimise egress of data.

If you would like to watch any of the developer day videos, they are currently on-demand for the rest of June. Watch the sessions here!

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2021-06-23T12:16:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Atlassian Team ‘21]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-team-21 https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/atlassian-team-21#When:14:05:00Z Atlassian Team ‘21, formerly Summit, took place last week (28 & 29 April 2021) and comprised of two full days of inspiration and discovery, focusing on new ways to unleash your team’s full potential. The past year has seen our working lives transformed and the goal of Team ‘21 was to inspire ways to improve your work and wellbeing through Atlassian tools, whether you’re working from home or meeting face-to-face.

The event consisted of live keynote talks from Atlassian leadership, like Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. Plus panel discussions and talks with the CEOs of Zoom and Slack, a world-cup winning Soccer coach, a New York Times bestselling author and many more! There was also on-demand content from across the Atlassian ecosystem covering teams and culture, business transformation, scaling for enterprise, ITSM and ITOM, DevOps and agile, and journey to the cloud.

Of course, Atlassian let us know about the products and updates they have planned for the coming year. Check out our announcement highlights below!

Point A

Atlassian introduced us to Point A - where good ideas become amazing products. Point A is a new generation of collaboration tools that span across all teams in an organization.

Jira Work Management

This work management tool is Jira for business teams, providing a single place to track, coordinate, and manage all aspects of an organisation’s work with structure and consistency. Jira Work Management connects seamlessly with Jira Software and Jira Service Management, all with a friendly and easy-to-use interface and 20 business-based templates ready to use. The tool is an enhancement of Jira Core and includes exciting new features such as ‘list view’, where all your project’s work is sorted into a single list that can be scanned quickly, sorted by category, and allows inline editing. The new features will be delivered automatically on April 28th to all cloud-based business projects with no loss of data or changes to settings.

Jira Work Management's new list view
Jira Work Management’s new list view

Jira Product Discovery

This tool will help product managers to build what matters! As the first Atlassian tool specifically built for product managers, Jira Product Discovery provides a single place to capture all product insights, ideas, data and engage with your teams. Product managers can prioritize work and integrate seamlessly it into delivery planning and execution. You can sign-up today to join the waitlist to be an early adopter.

Team Central

This is your organized home for teams, enabling you and your teammates to connect and communicate as frequently and frictionlessly as modern work demands. Team Central allows you to track goals and status updates, and connect staff to company values. You can identify problems then connect them to anyone, across any team to fix, giving everyone access to real time progress.

A sneak preview of Team Central from Atlassian
A sneak preview of Team Central from Atlassian

Compass

Compass enables you to track all DevOps work in one central, searchable location and helps software development teams realize the benefits of distributed architectures. The tool guides you through the challenges of data sprawl and connects teams, software components (services, APIs, documentation), insights and policies in one place.

Halp

Halp has recently joined the Atlassian family and is a modern ticketing help desk that seamlessly integrates with Slack and Microsoft teams so you don’t need to leave the tool you’re using to ask for help.

Remote work

Naturally, there was a huge emphasis on how to continue to work well as a team while working remotely. Atlassian announced they have published their Remote Plays - team-playbook enabling you to follow their lead while working from home.

Updates to assist cloud migration

As Atlassian moves further towards becoming a cloud-first organization, they have made some changes that will help your company on your migration journey:

  • Cloud Enterprise Edition - Enterprise-grade security, control, and flexibility on Cloud. There will be enhanced security and data compliance, and a platform that drives team collaboration at scale. Unlimited instances, highest uptime guarantee and 24/7 Enterprise support were key features announced at Team ‘21.
  • Data Residency - coming later in 2021, Data Residency will be available across all paid plans, expanding capabilities and additional regions. Find out more information here.

We know how challenging it can be migrating to Atlassian Cloud, especially if you have a complex setup with lots of apps, integrations, and bespoke configuration. We have lots of experience with complex setups and can help you plan your journey to the cloud, get in touch to speak to one of our technical experts who will guide you through the process.

Jira Service Management

Jira Service Management brings Dev, IT and business teams together and empowers your teams to deliver great service experiences, fast.

Atlassian is investing in an intuitive self-service portal, a built-in knowledge base, conversational ticketing capabilities using Halp and as a result of Atlassian’s recent acquisition of ThinkTilt, ProForma capabilities will be included in JSM, giving you access to an easy forms builder that includes 300+ pre-built templates.

ProForma in action in Jira Service Management
ProForma in action in Jira Service Management

Atlassian also announced that Mindville Insight asset management capabilities will be included in Jira Service Management premium and enterprise plans. Insight enables you to discover and track assets which aid planning, audits, and compliance, making it a great tool not only for teams to manage IT assets but also HR, sales, legal, facilities, and other functions.

Finally, Atlassian’s investments in deeper incident and change management capabilities means that your Dev and IT teams can respond to changes and resolve incidents faster, ensuring that you have great customer and employee service experiences that are always on.

Open DevOps

Dev and IT teams can now collaborate on a common platform with Open DevOps! A new pre-configured DevOps project in Jira combining Jira Software, Confluence, BB, JSM and partner tools. Open DevOps enables your team to use the tools they need (and want) to build, ship and operate software effectively.

Access

A reminder that Access has been updated to help unblock users and improve your overall Access experience.

  • In order to give you more flexibility, Access customers can now set multiple authentication policies to apply to different subsets of users in their organizations.
  • You can now select one authentication policy to be non-billable so, you can choose small groups of users to exclude from Access billing if they do not want to apply any Access features to that group.
  • The domain claim email will be removed - instead, managed users will now see a non-intrusive notification on their profile page. This will help customers evaluate Access without unnecessary disruption.
  • Atlassian also revealed they now support Statuspage and PingFederate, as well as supporting provisioning external users.

Trello

Trello is also receiving an update, as we continue in this era of remote work, in order to combat data sprawl and facilitate collaboration.

5 new board views have been introduced - Timeline, Table, Map, Calendar, Dashboard - to give new perspectives to work and Link Cards give users visibility into their work across other tools.

Trello's new board view options
Trello’s new board view options

Atlassian will be building on the visual nature of Trello over the next year and they will be opening up boards and cards to bring in data from tools and services that teams already rely on.

Confluence

Confluence enables teams to collaborate on one platform and now Atlassian want to make that even easier while adding more personality to the tools!

Newly available features include new editing capabilities, smart links, page archiving, analytics and team calendars, plus the mobile version has had an upgrade so it now includes features such as dark mode, inline comments, and supports 18 languages.

Coming soon:

  • customization of pages (cover images, title emojis, space avatars and more)
  • smart links to display other tools in their native format
  • scheduled publish
  • the ability to visualize data in a table into a graph or chart and edit macros in the right rail

And finally, coming later is a personalized activity feed and homepage and the addition of external guest collaborators.

Forge

Forge is Atlassian’s new Cloud extensibility platform where you can build apps that extend, integrate, and customize Atlassian’s Cloud products. This Cloud-only tool will be generally available to users– including in-house developers and Marketplace partners - on 25 May 2021 and is available for Jira and Confluence today.

“A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”

The Team ‘21 live broadcasts ended on this note from New York Times bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell and it acted as a reminder that this past year has shown us just how important effective teamwork is to a company’s success. Atlassian have demonstrated that their tools are made with teamwork in mind and will continue to facilitate and improve collaboration across your whole company.

Get in touch if you would like to learn more about anything covered at Team ‘21, we’d love to assist your team in their Atlassian journey!

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2021-05-06T14:05:00+00:00
<![CDATA[Keeping track of your projects costs directly in Jira Cloud]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/keeping-track-of-your-projects-costs-directly-in-jira-cloud https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/keeping-track-of-your-projects-costs-directly-in-jira-cloud#When:08:18:00Z It’s hard to overstate the significance of a tool like Jira for anything stemming from project management. The platform has shown proof to be rock-solid and impactful as a one-stop shop for thousands of teams. However, there has always been a gap, in Jira Cloud, between the ability to associate monetary value to the actual progress of your projects. Up until now, you needed to take extra steps and jump away from Jira in order to gain visibility on your project’s costs: not ideal if you need to make sure your costs are under budget or you need to report to your stakeholders.

This low-hanging fruit has since been addressed and with the help of a couple of apps from the Jira Marketplace, you’ll be able to easily monitor the actual costs of your projects directly in Jira. Today, we’ll explore how two tools, Tempo Timesheets and Cost Tracker for Tempo Timesheets, can provide visibility on your project’s health.

Tracking time to calculate the cost of projects

To achieve our end goal of being able to track the costs of a project in Jira, we’ll need to first understand how much time has been spent on it. This is where Tempo Timesheets comes into play.

With Timesheets, users are able to log their daily tasks directly to Jira issues. While this is convenient as it keeps all the data inside Jira, the main advantage in this context is the possibility of overseeing where time is being spent accurately. In other words, stakeholders such as project owners, can reprioritize tasks that are falling behind, and with the help of Cost Tracker, can associate a monetary value to each task and issues of the project to further monitor the health of the project.

Having visibility into the time spent can help gain an understanding of the actual progress of a task.
Having visibility into the time spent can help gain an understanding of the actual progress of a task.

Tracking the cost of your projects with Cost Tracker

Once time has been logged on a project by users in Jira, you will have all the data you need to start tracking the costs of your projects.

The process is extremely simple and can be done in less than 5 steps: Create the Project in Cost Tracker, define the scope, define the default hourly rate, and define your project’s budget.

Conveniently, 80% of the process can already be done in the Cost Tracker home page. In this example, we created a project where we wanted to track all the issues related to the “AKA board” and set a default hourly rate of 10 USD per hour, meaning that for every hour logged to the AKA project, it costs the company 10 USD. Once that is defined, Cost Tracker does the calculations automatically, so the process is fairly hands-off.

Finally, the last thing to do is to set a budget, which will be visually represented by an orange line. You could go without one but realistically these occasions are very rare. To set a budget, you can either put a lump sum (e.g: flat amount of 50,000 USD) or you could go with milestones, which are cumulative sums to your budgets being unlocked at certain dates (e.g: 10k USD from Jan. to Feb., 15k USD from March to May).

You can add the budget and the Milestones from the Configuration Tab of a Cost Tracker Project.

Now that all the key variables have been defined, you will see in the “Overview” tab how the project is doing cost-wise based on the variables that you defined.

As can be seen from the image above, we are doing a terrible job at respecting our budget. We can immediately see that we are about 920k USD above our budget, which would be, under normal circumstances, disastrous. Note that we’re able to hover over days to see what our breakdown for costs are. Had we started tracking the cost of the project earlier, we could easily have seen that the costs were going to be too significant and reorganized the scope.

Diving deeper in the data

That being said, we might want to understand what tasks our budget is being allocated to. This level of granularity is possible via the “Scope” tab where all the tasks that are part of the Cost Tracker Project will be broken down on an individual basis by Costs and Time.

Note that it is possible to organize these tasks by group in order to make the information easier to read. For example, if numerous departments are all working on a project, we might be interested in segmenting the departments to better understand where costs originate from and if they represent the planned costs that we had in mind. Additionally, this could be done to segment different phases of a project, to make sure that each phase is well documented.

One of the main advantages of being able to have the costs and time of an issue is the added visibility from the data. This information can help fuel communications to other stakeholders or clients and keep them up-to-date on the status of the project. In addition, this information can be reused in further projects to help create better approximations as to the cost and time needed to complete tasks and projects of similar nature.

A convenient way to track costs in Jira

We’ve seen how quickly a user is able to set up a Cost Tracker portfolio to keep on top of his project’s costs. The convenience of pooling the data directly from Jira and keeping it in the platform is paired with the added visibility in the actual costs of the project. Indeed, we explored a certain degree of granularity in the data that can be used to help Project Owners understand the tasks that their budget is being spent on and answer if they will be able to finish the project within budget.

You can enjoy a free 30-day trial of Tempo Timesheets and Cost Tracker for Tempo Timesheets from the Atlassian Marketplace.

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2021-04-07T08:18:00+00:00
<![CDATA[New Verve Presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series]]> https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-presents-atlassian-in-scotland-2020-webinar-series https://www.newverveconsulting.com/blog/new-verve-presents-atlassian-in-scotland-2020-webinar-series#When:11:16:00Z Like everyone in 2020, New Verve’s plans were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we had to embrace the world of online events. Our annual, in-person event, New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 was scheduled to take place in Glasgow on 10 March 2020. However, as the number of cases was accelerating rapidly at this time, we decided to cancel the event for the safety of our delegates, partners and sponsors.

After adjusting to life in lockdown and working from home, we were able to transform the event into the New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series, a series of six online webinars starting in July and taking place across the latter half of 2020.

The theme of the Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series was IT Service Management (ITSM). ITSM is a concept for IT teams to manage the delivery of IT services to customers, with the key focus being to deliver a service based on customers’ needs. The webinar hosted a range of experts from across the industry to present and discuss topics spanning all processes and activities involved in designing, delivering, and maintaining IT services.


Industry Experts Presenting Best Practices

The series was able to integrate most of the presenters and panel members from the original, in-person event along with some new content from additional speakers. The aim of the webinars was to explain how, using Atlassian tools and best practices, you can build a robust, lean and agile ITSM solution for your business. Our presenters discussed their successful approaches to ITSM and displayed how you can apply their processes to your solution.

We began with Atlassian’s approach to ITSM and learned how Atlassian tools and best practices can help you to adapt to new ways of working in a world of digital transformation, Agile, and DevOps. This was presented by Joachim Fuchs, Pre-Sales Solution Engineer at Atlassian.


Throughout the series we learned about other approaches to IT service delivery, including ITIL and more specifically the latest iteration, ITIL4. The discussions included the evolution of the ITIL processes while explaining the changes in the grouping and structure that have lead to ITIL4 and the role of automation within the practices was highlighted. The presentations explained how to adapt your practices and tools to new versions of ITIL and how to get the most out of ITIL with Jira Service Management.

Showcasing Atlassian Products and Partner Tools

Atlassian ITSM tools and solutions were at the centre of the series and our presenters demonstrated how products like Jira Service Management, Jira and Confluence are key in an agile and collaborative ITSM approach. This was displayed when Lorraine Brown shared how Capita Consulting uses Jira Service Management as one of the key components in delivering their client support service.

We also got to hear from our partners, eazyBI, Refined and Insight who were the sponsors of our original event. The presenters demonstrated how their products work alongside Atlassian tools and we saw examples of how the tools have enhanced our customers’ IT service delivery processes.


Presenting Customer Success Stories

Our webinars also hosted some New Verve customers who were able to present their ITSM success stories. Stephen Neil, IT Infrastructure Lead at Mary’s Meals explained how, with the help of New Verve, the Scottish charity were able to introduce Jira and Jira Service Management to help them deliver an efficient global support service. Stephen also explained how they were able to work more agile with their suppliers, drive self-sufficiency and manage the movement of their assets through Insight.


As mentioned previously, we also learned how our partners’ tools work alongside Atlassian software to enhance our customers’ ITSM solutions. We heard from Peter Hinds, Synergy Learning’s Head of Operations about how they have used Refined to build a robust ITSM solution. New Verve’s own Head of Operations, Kris Siwiec also presented Cloud migration considerations for ITSM reporting in eazyBI using customer examples. These considerations are of greater significance as Atlassian move further towards becoming a Cloud-first organization.

Engaging in Insightful Discussions

The series gave our audiences an opportunity to ask the ITSM experts their questions on the topic in a Q&A session at the end of each webinar. This allowed our presenters to engage in insightful discussions and give their opinions from across the industry. This was especially the case in our panel discussion webinar where our panellists explored how IT teams can create value at speed, covering the future of IT and how to break down silos, adapt quickly, and be more agile.

Creating a Successful Webinar Series

New Verve want to thank all of our fantastic presenters for helping to make our first webinar series such a success. We’d also like to thank our attendees for joining us, asking great questions and providing useful feedback.

The New Verve presents Atlassian in Scotland 2020 Webinar Series provided expert knowledge and demonstrations of Atlassian IT Service Management solutions and best practices and gave attendees the resources to build a robust and agile IT service delivery team. The series allowed us to maintain Atlassian in Scotland’s commitment to sharing the knowledge from local Atlassian experts while also upholding our gender diversity commitment (we were able to preserve a near equal split between female and male presenters) and bringing together teams from across Scotland’s Atlassian ecosystem to collaborate, discover and have fun!

Watch the series now

The full webinar series is up on our YouTube channel for you to watch and share!

Keep an eye on our events page where the announcement of our next webinar series will be coming soon! #TartanTeamwork

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2021-03-16T11:16:00+00:00