Merging Jira & Bitbucket instances to facilitate better visibility & collaboration between teams

Neptune Technology Group Inc. is a technology company serving more than 4,000 water utilities across North America. The organization is focused on making data actionable via effective software and hardware tools that are interconnected by a smart network, with expertise focused on bringing engineering and technological innovations in the water utility business. With multiple development, design and engineering teams collaborating on numerous company initiatives, Neptune recognized the pressing need for a consolidated environment of their Atlassian application instances. This is their success story.

Client
Neptune Technology Group

Industry
Technology

Size
400+ employees

Atlassian products used
Jira Software
Bitbucket

Botron Software product used
Configuration Manager for Jira

Challenge

Managing multiple disjointed Jira & Bitbucket instances

Solution

High-fidelity merge with zero data loss

Result

One environment to rule them all

“Once we saw the Application Migration Specification document, we knew we were in good hands. We were very pleased with the process and the team gave us the confidence that the consolidation will be completed successfully. All the issues we encountered were professionally handled and the team did a fantastic job on this initiative.”

Troy Harstad
Engineering Resource Manager  | Neptune Technology Group Inc.

Challenges

Like many organizations, Neptune had a bottom-up adoption approach to Atlassian’s applications. Within a relatively short span of time, the company was actively using and maintaining three disjointed Jira and two Bitbucket instances – one cloud and one server. This approach soon proved to be too costly and ineffective for the needs of the company. Nepture were faced with three major challenges that led to the subsequent consolidation effort:

  • High costs of ownership & licensing fees: managing multiple instances entails a higher cost of ownership – the administration costs and licensing fees were adding unnecessary costs to the company.
  • User access challenges: Neptune was facing constant collaboration problems where a user will have access to one Jira instance and upon clicking on a web link attached to the comments or description of a particular project issue, would be redirected to another Jira server for which the user doesn’t have access. Additionally, the company was constantly hitting its user tier and every time an access needed to be granted to a given user, someone had to be removed.
  • Inconsistent project configurations & lack of visibility: the inconsistent project configurations and differences in versions proved challenging to manage and administer. Each version behaved differently – one would allow rich text, while another would only allow markdown etc. Having to separately upgrade versions and implement configuration changes on all three instances was a costly and time-intensive undertaking, required on a semi-regular basis. Additionally, people didn’t have a consistent visibility across the multiple initiatives and often had to switch access between instances.

Faced with these challenges, Neptune’s team decided that the best approach would be to consolidate their Atlassian application instances by merging their three existing Jira instances into one and moving to a consolidated Bitbucket server.

“Botron’s team were able to handle our consolidation project without any of the stress associated with such initiatives. The process was methodical, professionally handled, and transparent.”

Troy Harstad
Engineering Resource Manager  | Neptune Technology Group Inc.

Solution

The merging of Atlassian application instances requires the migration of all projects, issues, historic data, schemes, workflows etc. from one instance to another without losing or changing the existing data in the target instance. After the merger, users are expected to resume their work in the target instance. Botron Software’s professional services team has a long-standing record of successful and transparent for the end user mergers and migrations. With millions successfully migrated Jira issues and Confluence pages, Botron Software’s team hasn’t had a single post-production issue reported.

The consolidation initiative for Neptune was executed by Botron Software’s Professional team in four stages in the timespan of 4 weeks. The phases include:

    • Analysis phase: during this stage, an analysis of the conflicts and gaps between the project configurations was performed and all parties agreed on Application Migration Specification (AMS) document that defined the scope of the initiative
    • Development phase: during this stage, the migration procedure was developed and tested on the test server
    • Staging phase:  the migration deployment procedure was staged and tested on the staging server
    • Production: the migration deployment procedure was executed in the official production environment.

During this process, all the projects from the three Jira instances and two Bitbucket servers were successfully consolidated into a new instance – the initiative was completed on time, within budget and without any significant issues reported.

Result

Upon completion of the consolidation effort, Neptune was able to enjoy some immediate benefits, as well as projecting several longer-term benefits for the company.

Immediate benefits

Active directory login: the consolidation completely resolved Neptune’s user access challenges. Instead of having local accounts, users can now log in with their user IDs to Neptune’s consolidated Jira instance where the current licensing model accommodates all existing users and even allows them to pull in outside department personnel when needed. Additionally, this ensured greater visibility for all team members into the work that’s being done.

Better visibility & collaboration between teams: prior to the consolidation, Neptune tracked the development and validation testing of their products on two separate instances, with little to no visibility and manual communication between the teams (emails or face-to-face conversations). After the successful consolidation, all team members were able to experience the immediate improvements of the new system, gained better visibility and improved the communications between the teams.

Long-term benefits

ROI in administrative costs and licensing: the consolidated Jira and Bitbucket instances are projected to significantly reduce the costs associated with administration and licensing, thus seeing a return on investment within the next 12 months of operation.

Standardization of projects configuration: the consolidation enabled Neptune’s team to set standard processes deliverables across development, engineering, design, manufacturing and other teams using Jira, thus further reducing time, resources and bottlenecks associated with managing different project configurations across multiple instances.

Consistency in Jira usage: one of the objectives of this consolidation initiative was to achieve a consistent usage of Jira software company-wide – with active directory login, consistent project configurations, and better visibility into projects.

“We were very pleased with the results of this consolidation effort and were able to see some immediate benefits that positively impacted our day-to-day business activities.”

Nick Waters
Project Engineer | Neptune Technology Group Inc.