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Case Study: Migrating to Atlassian Cloud is not DIY

September 25, 2023
<h2 class="wp-block-heading">Cloud Migration with Absolute Software</h2> <p><strong>If your team is still using an on-premise version of Atlassian Server, this case study is for you.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Atlassian Server’s support days are numbered, but Highway Three Solutions has a proven approach, a dedicated team, and a track record of success — across a wide range of industries — migrating on-prem installations to Atlassian Cloud.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p>The end-of-support timeline for <a href="" data-type="link" data-id="">Atlassian Server is February 15, 2024. </a>After that date, they will stop offering technical support, security updates, or bug fixes for critical vulnerabilities.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>This case study is to share how <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="" target="_blank">Absolute Software</a> (“Absolute”) a well-established online security provider serving over 21,000 organizations, <strong>upgraded to Atlassian Cloud </strong>with the help of Highway Three Solutions in Victoria, BC.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="2000" height="600" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2216" style="object-fit:cover" srcset=" 2000w, 300w, 1024w, 768w, 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 2000px) 100vw, 2000px"></figure></div> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Bringing in the Experts&nbsp;</h2> <p>Absolute connected with Highway Three to discuss the migration of a pair of Atlassian servers to the cloud. Absolute had recently acquired another firm with its own instance of Atlassian server, so they wanted a local team to coordinate and lead the dual migration of a significant amount of data.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="" data-type="link" data-id="">Brendan Byers</a>,</strong> senior program manager at Absolute as well as the community leader for the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="" target="_blank">Vancouver chapter of Atlassian Community Events</a>, explained, “We added a lot of functionality over the years, and that brought with it many challenges. For the migration, we wanted to ensure that everything would work. Our goal was parity in the cloud so our users could come in on Friday, use the old systems, and then switch to the new setup the following Monday. They’d be as familiar with the new systems and processes as possible. We wanted to keep things stable and introduce changes and features as they got up to speed on the new system.”&nbsp;</p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2188" style="width:397px;height:397px" width="397" height="397" srcset=" 14840w, 300w, 1024w, 150w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 397px) 100vw, 397px"></figure></div> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Beyond Side of Desk</h2> <p>“Before the end of life of our existing setup,” shared Brendan, “we had dabbled with the idea of doing it ourselves. I looked through some of Atlassian’s documentation about the process and had a general sense of what needed to be done. A few of us here are fairly knowledgeable about the tool stack, but at the same time, it’s something we would have to do off the side of our desks. I have other responsibilities with the organization in terms of maintaining projects for our own software products, and the migration would require a lot of attention and focus. </p> <p>If we were to do it ourselves, it would mean clearing the deck for myself and maybe one or two other people and doing it full-time. When you’re managing your own products and projects, that’s just not feasible. Going with an <strong>external migration partner</strong> that does this repeatedly, with lessons learned from multiple migrations, made far more sense for us.”&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-pullquote has-border-color has-black-color has-text-color has-background" style="border-color:#aec6f9;border-width:14px;border-radius:23px;background-color:#aec6f9"><blockquote><p>“Through the Atlassian community, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a number of other community leaders that have gone through migrations and whatnot, and every one of them says, ‘Get a migration partner. It’s far better than trying to do it yourself.’”</p><cite><strong>Brendan Byers</strong>, Senior Program Manager, Absolute Software</cite></blockquote></figure> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Pre-migration Health Assessment</h2> <p><strong>Krista Stellar, Senior Atlassian Consultant,</strong> explained how Highway Three Solutions developed a comprehensive plan to manage the migration. “For this project, we assessed Absolute’s readiness to migrate through a <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="" target="_blank">pre-migration health assessment</a>: a preliminary look at their setup and how they’re using the product. We used this information to develop a recommended budget for time and costs and identified opportunities for them to clean things up in-house to make the migration smoother.”&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Trust</strong> is an essential part of every migration, and Highway Three uses the pre-migration assessment as a&nbsp; trust-building tool so their clients can get to know them and their methodologies and the Highway Three team can learn more about the client and their operation. For this particular project, the pre-migration assessment revealed the <strong>significant complexity</strong> of this migration and the need for a comprehensive migration strategy.&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">App Review </h2> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2183" style="width:470px;height:313px" width="470" height="313" srcset=" 9900w, 300w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 470px) 100vw, 470px"></figure></div> <p>Krista explained, “Atlassian products are configured with core functionality, and Atlassian has created a framework to add additional functionality provided by third-party vendors. When we look at a migration, apps are one of the most complex pieces because Atlassian does not control them, and they often require manual intervention to be migrated effectively. The responsibility of getting the data from server to cloud is entirely up to the app vendor, and there are hundreds of these apps. </p> <p>That’s why a significant part of the pre-migration assessment is to dive deep into the apps and see what can be migrated — and what can’t. In cases where an app can’t be used in the cloud, there’s typically a newer, and often better, alternative available. For difficult instances, there are some hidden features baked into the Atlassian migration tool that general users typically don’t have the experience to use effectively.”&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Test First. Test Often. </h2> <figure class="wp-block-pullquote has-border-color has-black-color has-text-color has-background" style="border-color:#aec6f9;border-width:14px;border-radius:23px;background-color:#aec6f9"><blockquote><p>“To make everything work, we had to use some of the hidden features baked into the Atlassian migration tool, which is something that general users don’t have the experience to use effectively.”</p><cite><strong>Krista Stellar, </strong>Senior Atlassian Consultant, Highway Three Solutions</cite></blockquote></figure> <p>Krista continues, “The whole point of testing is to drive out the unknowns, so Highway Three conducts multiple tests throughout the migration process, resolving issues as they manifest. “The process is a learning experience for us and for the clients, and the testing process helps us <strong>identify issues before they become problems.</strong> We take a fully documented, test-first approach to ensure a smooth migration so that, once the actual migration day comes, it’s relatively uneventful since we’ve eliminated most concerns in advance.”&nbsp;</p> <p>Highway Three also incorporates <strong>User Acceptance Testing</strong> into the process. Since Jira and Confluence are complex tools and people use them in different ways, it’s essential that the client verifies that it’s working for them at the end of the process so they can confirm their ability to see and do all the things they used to do on the server, in the cloud.&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Communication is the Key</h2> <p><strong>Highway Three uses Confluence and JIRA extensively</strong> and collaboratively as part of every migration project. “For Confluence,” shared Krista, “we set up a space where everyone has access — the client and the entire Highway Three migration team — and we actively keep it up to date. It’s how we communicate questions for our clients, and it’s where they can respond. They can see everything in this space, such as the migration plan, everything that needs to be done to the server, and who is responsible for each stage. They can also see what needs to be done for each app, when testing will happen, and what has been completed and/or changed. <strong>They can see the full evolution of the migration.”&nbsp;</strong></p> <div class="wp-block-image"> <figure class="aligncenter size-full is-resized"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2185" style="width:493px;height:329px" width="493" height="329" srcset=" 9900w, 300w, 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 493px) 100vw, 493px"></figure></div> <p>The migration plan typically includes regular meetings with the Highway Three team. “We talk to you every week to share what we’re up to, ask questions, answer your questions, and get in front of issues early on,” explained Krista. “We do a lot of dynamic back and forth to pinpoint the production migration date. We ask our clients to pick a date, and then we drive toward it. It may change a bit, but it’s the goal we’re aiming for. <strong>Our approach is to keep the process within a light framework. </strong>We don’t want to create extra work for clients because they tend to be doing this off the side of their desks. They bring us in to do the heavy lifting.”&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-pullquote has-border-color has-black-color has-text-color has-background" style="border-color:#aec6f9;border-width:14px;border-radius:23px;background-color:#aec6f9"><blockquote><p>Atlassian Community Events are a fantastic way to engage monthly with a local group to learn how others are using the Atlassian tool stack for their organizations</p><cite><strong>Brendan Byers,</strong> Senior Program Manager, Absolute Software</cite></blockquote></figure> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Life After Migration</h2> <p>At the end of every project, <strong>Highway Three presents a complete archive</strong> that outlines everything that’s been done. This is a valuable tool the client can refer back to as they increase their knowledge and experience with Atlassian cloud. The migration typically takes several months, but the benefits go on forever.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>What can you expect following a migration? “The biggest thing, and one many clients don’t realize, is that they’ll no longer have the headaches associated with maintaining an on-premise server,” said Krista. “People underestimate how much time it takes to maintain that equipment, but once they’ve migrated to the cloud, <strong>they don’t have to worry </strong>about backing up the database server or wondering if the database is running, if they’re on the most current version, or if their apps up to date and working well. Instead of spending mental energy on your server tools, you can redirect that cognitive effort in more productive ways.”&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity"> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>For organizations and institutions with an on-premise Atlassian server, there’s a better option and a local team with the experience, processes, insight, and people capable of completing the migration for you, so you can focus on doing what your business does best.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" decoding="async" width="1024" height="307" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-2192" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1536w, 2000w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px"></figure> <p class="has-text-align-center"><strong>If you’re ready to upgrade to the cloud, contact Highway Three Solutions in Victoria.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p> <h3-contact-form data-subject="Schedule a Discovery Call" class="wp-block-h3-block-h3-contact-form h3-contact-form"></h3-contact-form> <hr class="wp-block-separator has-alpha-channel-opacity">