Atlassian’s annual user summit in San Francisco this week played host to the release of a number of new features for JIRA, Confluence and the Atlassian Marketplace. The largest of these updates is the new Service Desk feature in JIRA, which allows the issue tracker to double as a trouble-ticketing system for tech support and internal support uses.
Atlassian’s take on support-desk tools comes out of its discovery that as much as 30% of its JIRA user base was already building this type of functionality on top of the platform. But the focus of Service Desk isn’t just the formalization of these customizations; rather, it’s service-level agreements.
“On the team side, we focused on SLAs. We realized there were products that talked about SLAs, but they had a hard time defining those SLAs inside the product,” said Bryan Rollins, JIRA business manager at Atlassian.
This SLA awareness is built into Service Desk from the ground up. That means when a ticket is created around a specific customer, the SLA they’ve agreed to is tracked in the ticket as well. A specific response time, mandated by the SLA, is also included, showing the tech support person how high of a priority each ticket is.
To bolster this capability, Confluence received a number of updates to ease the use of this corporate wiki as a forum and knowledgebase for internal workers.
“You may want a forum where users inside your company can post questions and have questions answered, like Stack Overflow, but for that corporate knowledgebase,” said Rollins. “In addition, with Service Desk coming out, you can make a knowledgebase blueprint. As a part of Confluence, you can have a knowledgebase that has the richest editing experience. The result is you see less tickets inbound because customers can service [themselves] off the rich content you deliver.”
Handled properly, said Rollins, that internal knowledgebase wiki can become a tech support FAQ for both internal and external users alike, solving common problems before users have to contact tech support.