The place of Atlassian solutions within the IT department of CDC HABITAT

CDC Habitat - the place of Atlassian solutions

A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts, the CDC Habitat Group manages 500,000 housing units. Anthony Romain is an Operational PMO. He is in charge of the applications within the DSI (Direction des Systèmes d'Information). Aurélie Assouline comes back on his actuality and the place of the Atlassian solutions within the IT department: serving users on several continents, improving the availability of the information systems, integrating new IS, or interfacing with partners.

Aurélie Hello Anthony, "Teams" allows us to finally meet again! Let's start with the news...

Anthony : Hello Aurélie. The group is in a growth phase, which has a strong impact on the IT department. We have just completed an IS standardization project - Trajectoire 2022. The 13 ESHs (Social Housing Establishments) have merged on the same IKOS ERP. We are going to open up some of our applications to our network of partners and organize the convergence of the IS of 6 companies in the French Overseas Territories (SIDOM). These extensions generate traffic on functional assistance for end users (about 3000 tickets per month) and on technical assistance (about 7000 tickets per month).

Aurélie More than 10,000 calls per month just for user support, that's impressive.

Anthony: Currently 250 agents process level 1 tickets via Jira Service Management (formerly Jira Service Desk). We also use a Jira Software license for the 450 users who process our files between the back office teams and the Third Party Application Maintenance (TMA) in place on our major application bases.

Aurélie : Your users are numerous and are based on several continents...

Anthony : Absolutely, we have about 5000 users. The convergence of the SIDOM IS is underway, so users from the overseas territories could call on us. 

The scope of Atlassian solutions

Aurélie What is the role of Atlassian's solutions and especially theTicketing tool in this growth phase of the IT department?

Anthony Jira Ticketing is involved in various IS standardization projects and in the maintenance of existing applications. Jira therefore plays a major role. It's the tool that allows us to communicate with all of the stakeholders: end users, the teams in charge of user support (Level 1 business support service), application or project managers, and TAM service providers. Jira allows for fluid exchanges, it is the transmission belt.

Aurélie : The perimeter of Jira has evolved...

Anthony : Since 2020, we have set up a Jira Service Management portal for the Business Support Services (BSS). It allows end-users to address their functional support requests. And since January 2021, our IT Service Center (CDS) has been using Jira Service Management to allow end users to report incidents or requests (IS access, hardware, software installation, etc.).

Aurélie : But your application perimeter is much wider?

Anthony : Indeed, the application perimeter of the Organization Planning and Control (OPC) domain of the Applications Department includes :

  • the Atlassian Suite (Jira Service Management and Jira Software, Bitbucket and Confluence)
  • Sciforma: our PPM software package (planning and monitoring of projects and project portfolio)

Aurélie Do you have a topic specific to your project management role ("PMO")?

Anthony We manage ticketing very well on the one hand and project mode on the other. But the transition from Build to Run remains a subject that we can still master better.

Aurélie How do you use the other Atlassian solutions, Confluence and Bitbucket?

Anthony The collaborative and document sharing tool at CDC Habitat is Jalios. Only one of our IT teams uses Confluence for technical documentation, which existed before Jalios was implemented. And we use Bitbucket for configuration management, for which an extension of its scope is being studied. We want to get off to a good start with the right IT infrastructure.

The role of SmartView at CDC Habitat

Aurélie What role does SmartView play?

Anthony : Since I joined the group in 2017, SmartView has been providing a service on coaching and consulting. In order to respond to requests from our external (business departments) and internal (IT departments) customers, we work with SmartView to find the most suitable solutions. SmartView then performs the application integration. 

Aurélie How do SmartView services work?

Anthony We work with SmartView in a collaborative mode. Valérie Simonnet is really part of the team. We work well together. The service provided is recognized as being of high quality. Our clients are satisfied. It's great!

Aurélie How does the relationship with SmartView help you on a daily basis?

Anthony Valerie is a trusted advisor. This ensures that the service is provided to our users and that the application is under control. When we have a problem with Jira, for example, I know that I can count on SmartView to find solutions and get help as quickly as possible. Today, it's a collaboration that suits me well.

The choice of Jira Data Center

Aurélie Why did you choose the Data Center version of Jira?

Anthony : Due to recurring performance issues we decided to move to Data Center mode in 2018. We currently rely on 3 application nodes. We took the opportunity to upgrade the database from Oracle to PostgreSQL. In June 2020, we did an upgrade. SmartView helped us to optimize the performance of Jira. Today we have eradicated all downtime in the app. Finally, we decided that we needed to work differently to make it easier for end users to use the tool, and we recently integrated single sign-on (SSO). We cleaned up the hundred or so projects. Data Center allows archiving of projects and requests, which has improved indexing performance. These features have helped us a lot.

Aurélie High availability, single sign-on, you have gained by switching to the Data Center version of Jira...

Anthony : The migration of the database was complicated. Now that it's done, it works well. This is another area where working with Smartview and Valerie allowed us to be at ease. There is mutual trust. The subjects are treated and treated well. One subject that is still a bit unstable is the synchronization of our users with the AD, which we are still investigating.


Migration from server to data center

Aurélie Can you specify what you found complicated?

Anthony : Yes, some special characters were misinterpreted during the migration which corrupted some data. So we had to go back to the Jira tickets by hand over the weekend with SmartView! At that point I learned that it was better to do basic dumps rather than exports. I call this a "hole in the application racket". Again, SmartView helped find the solution very nicely.

Aurélie You trusted me to switch from Jira Server to Data Center. Are you now planning to switch Bitbucket and Confluence to Data Center as well?

Anthony : No, the platform is not sufficiently solicited at this time. The switch to the Data Center has a maintenance cost to check the 3 nodes. When a node has a problem, you have to identify the one that is affected.

Aurélie : The version of Data Center current 2021 allows to simplify the supervision, thanks to an overview of the nodes and the associated logs. By the way, do you mean that the benefit/complexity ratio of Atlassian solutions in Data Center mode is not satisfactory?

Anthony I'm happy with it... I'm looking for the little beast! We chose Jira Data Center to be square on maintenance. On the technical aspects alone, I don't have any justification to date for moving Confluence and Bitbucket to 2 or 3 nodes. New functionalities on Confluence or Bitbucket would be a real motivation for us to migrate to Data Center. 

Data security within the ISD

Aurélie Let's stay on the technical aspects. With multiple sites in France and overseas, how do you ensure the security of the information systems and the Atlassian solutions?

Anthony We systematically validate requests for changes and developments in a dedicated body. The Information Systems Security Manager (ISSM) gives his opinion and helps us move forward. Active Directory (AD) is the single entry point for Jira users in particular. Each user must be present in the group directory.

The last word

Aurélie How do you see the future?

Anthony There is still work to be done to unify the information systems. We are following our guidelines with the Overseas and the partners. This requires a lot of thought and imagination to find solutions. 

Aurélie Do you think that the agile method can help?

Anthony : The Group has carried out some projects in "agile" mode. Agility is a way to cope with growth. We already use the terms scrum or sprint. But implementing agility across the board (business and IT) goes far beyond that. 

Aurélie : What would you say to conclude ?

Anthony I am very satisfied with Atlassian tools and solutions. Our collaboration with SmartView is going very well. I hope to continue it as long as possible. We'll see what the future holds!

Aurélie : It was a real pleasure to share your experience with us. Thank you Anthony!





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