ITIL - Certified Atlassian Jira Service Management (JSM) solution for SpaceDC

Streamlining all the Incident, Problem, Service and Change Management Processes

Introduction

With the rise of hyperscale computing and increased adoption of the cloud, the demand for data centre facilities has been growing at an exponential pace in Southeast Asia.

A company riding on this wave of growth is SpaceDC, a Singapore-based visionary data center provider that is offering maximum uptime, efficiency and performance across its green-focussed data centres.

SpaceDC recently set up its first JAK2 data centre facility in Jakarta and is launching another facility in Manila in 2022. It currently has a workforce of about 50 employees across its Singapore and Indonesia operations. The company is rapidly growing its customer base and plans to expand its footprint globally over the next few years.

Since its inception in 2018, SpaceDC’s operational response times and service-level agreements (SLAs) were stored in excel spreadsheets and shared folders. 

Carolyn Harrington, Chief Operating Officer at SpaceDC said the company was looking for software that could easily support existing daily business workflow as well as new systems and procedures in the company’s global operations. “The data centre industry doesn’t really have a plug-and-play system and we were looking for a solution that we can build and self-manage. We didn’t want a solution that was sandboxed – when the supplier upgrades the code, we want to take advantage of the upgrade without having to make any extensive customisation.”

A key goal of the investment into new software was to drive business efficiency and make technology easy to use for both staff and external stakeholders. 

“It’s about translating the workflows that we have developed from our systems and processes into an online workflow management system that everyone could access. Our data centres run live 24/7 and it was important that the system ensures that our staff can follow the processes correctly,” Harrington said.

“The workflow and usability must also be exceptionally detailed-driven. It was vital to get timely and correct information so that we can log that information, whether from our desk or remotely with our mobile or iPad. At the same time, it must also be easy for our customers and suppliers to be able to log into the system.” 

In addition, the system must provide a single oversight of all the data; and which can be extended into other areas such as operations and customer service management. 

“We want a system that provides visibility into who is visiting our data centres or to assess incidents that happens in the data centres, such as an alarm from the generators so that we can respond quickly,” added Harrington.

Our Approach

SpaceDC decided to go with ITIL-certified Atlassian Jira Service Management (JSM) solution to streamline all the incident, problem, service and change management processes. The ITSM solution will be integrated with SpaceDC’s building management, security access, CCTV and data centre infrastructure management systems to capture alerts in real time and assign tickets to the right teams through automated escalation workflows. 

Supporting and complementing JSM were also other tools such as:

  • Confluence – Providing collaboration, transparency, and data-driven action by aligning business functions within a single tool so they can work better together. The tool also provides strong self-service capabilities when integrated with Jira Service Management.
  • Jira Work Management – Flexibly designed for marketing, HR, finance, and other business teams to collaborate and work in any way they want
  • Atlassian Access – Empowers organisations of any size to add enterprise-grade identity and access management (IAM) features to their central admin console.

The Selection Process

The next step was to find a vendor partner who can meet the company’s requirements. A tender was issued in June 2020 and eight SI vendors from Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia were shortlisted. The selection process involved several parties from the project manager, the CTO, COO, CEO and board of directors.

When reviewing the tender submissions, SpaceDC looked at criteria including the quality of the proposals, compliance to the cost, the suitability of the project team and their skillsets, as well as ability to meet project timelines. Other key factors include the vendor’s geographical coverage and understanding of local cultures.

In December 2020, iZeno was selected as SpaceDC’s technology partner. Critical to the success of iZeno’s selection and deployment was the planning process that the team undertook to ensure they selected the solution that met SpaceDC’s business requirements.

“What stood out from iZeno was their ability to come up with a complete and well documented proposal within two weeks. iZeno understood our objectives, were thorough in their preparations and competitive in pricing. A recommendation was made which take went up to our management,” said Harrington.

Since then, the strong collaboration between the SpaceDC project and iZeno development teams has enabled solutions to be quickly and efficiently developed.

“During the UAT phase, we had to work quickly and used an agile approach where the team had daily consultations. Often changes were recorded and made on the fly, sometimes even during the testing. We found that iZeno was flexible to adapting to changes and this helped maximise the efficiency of the project,” said Harrington.

How did our client achieve their business objective?

SpaceDC can now get better transparency and governance of their work processes. The data center provider was able to provide efficient service request options for vendors, customers, and internal business teams to find answers to common questions, and enhanced user experience as a whole.

“All our workflows can now be monitored and traced in our service management. As ninety percent of our management team is in Singapore, we can easily view and control our remote sites,” said Harrington. 

“The implementation also fits our expansion strategy and business requirements — we want to grow our data centres in stages and site by site, with our global Network Operation Centre in Singapore overseeing the global sites. From our headquarters, we can enforce the workflow across the region and can scale much faster this way.”

She said JSM’s flexible module-based and licensing model benefitted SpaceDCfrom both a CAPEX and OPEX perspective, with cost savings estimated to surpass more than 50 percent compared to using a traditional service management solution.

The robust JSM service management solution is now the centre piece orchestrating and supporting the daily operations of SpaceDC data centres – from keeping track on all visitors entering the facilities, to operation alarm handling, maintenance, asset management and customer services. Fulfilment and customer requests can now be tracked in JSM to enable the Sales team to take effective actions if/when necessary.

SpaceDC is now able to streamline communications as well as improve productivity, operational efficiency and customer service. It could also uncover insights from the data so that front-line or management teams can make decisions, mitigate risks or solve problems more quickly.

“The level of customer service from iZeno was exceptional and not something we’ve seen for a long time. We would readily recommend iZeno to any service provider if they’re looking for an integrator who sees it as a partnership and who can understand their unique business needs.”

Carolyn Harrington, Chief Operating Officer at SpaceDC

Our Future Plans

Harrington said SpaceDC’s service management solution will continue to evolve overtime, whether is it due to changes in Atlassian or from operational requirements. 

“The iZeno partnership has significantly sped up SpaceDC’s support system development, allowing us to concentrate our resources in growing the business. iZeno will be our key partner to facilitate and improve SpaceDC’s data centre operation.”

SpaceDC will be planning for more data centre builds and a second site in Manila is already in the plans this year which will require another ITSM tool.

Harrington said this is good opportunity for SpaceDC to forge a closer and stronger partner relationship with iZeno and Logicalis when the IT infrastructure is further expanded. 

“We’re already in the cloud and now have the capability to scale further by using virtual and software-defined technology in our servers. We will need a technology provider who can provide us with one single technology. The solution can be tested and integrated here in Singapore and then shipped to Indonesia or Philippines or anywhere that we want, but still enable the management and project team to monitor and control from Singapore,” she added.

“When we grow and scale, we want to be able to simplify the technology, the management and the cost.”

Harrington said the level of customer service from iZeno was “exceptional and not something we’ve seen for a long time.”

“We would readily recommend iZeno to any service provider if they’re looking for an integrator who sees it as a partnership and who can understand their unique business needs.”

iZeno is an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines

iZeno, with proven expertise in DevSecOpsAgile Development, and IT Service Management, has joined the Atlassian Solution Partner Program as a Platinum Partner. iZeno has demonstrated the highest standards of certified consulting, implementation and training services for the Atlassian product suite for different industries across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.