Since I got rambling on Atlassian tools in my last post and decided not to include Customware, we’re going to focus this post on how Contegix put us in touch with another organization that continues to make a positive impact on HotWax Media.
In the early days of working with our Atlassian tools, we began to understand the power and potential of the applications at our fingertips, but didn’t have enough expertise or time to invest in getting the most out of it. Yeah, we wrote a couple of JIRA plugins (to add timesheet capability and enhance reporting of work efforts for billing, but we were tiptoeing around modeling all of our processes in the application because it was not clear how to make it happen – that’s when we decided to enlist help from the experts!
I immediately went to the Atlassian site to find out how they handle their support services and I have to admit that I was shocked to see that Atlassian does not offer any professional services support their products at all. Instead of falling into the common pitfall of trying to run both a product company and a services company, and often not doing it well, they opted to focus on their product and build a network of professional service providers that would handle their growing community of users. I went to their network and just picked the company that looked like the closest match to our organization.
To make a long story short and not to name names, we had a really strange experience with that provider and went back to Contegix to discuss who might be a better fit for HotWax Media. Contegix informed us that they have partnered with Customware, on Australian based company, to provide their Atlassian professional services and put me in contact with Robert Castaneda, the Founder and CEO of Customware, to see if there was indeed a fit.
Robert and I decided to meet at ApacheCon US 2009, in Oakland, just as he was formalizing his new office in the Bay area. We got down to business quickly – I explained our current conundrum (problems with our home grown JIRA plugins after a big upgrade), the new Greenhopper plugin I was excited about using, our development processes, some and the challenge of modeling our workflow in the Atlassian tools. With Robert’s experience and understanding of both these tools and running a successful service organization – he was able to understand the problems we were facing and provided us with a solution from which to start our modeling effort. We started right in making modifications to our plugins and discussing folding in JIRA’s Agile views (see Greenhopper) into our world in the appropriate ways.
In the subsequent months, Customware has continued to refine our custom JIRA plugins while HotWax has concentrated on iterating on our process workflow to refine it into something that will exceed the expectations of our customers. One word to describe working with this group: effortless – they simply provide high quality advice based on years of experience and back it up by delivering. We couldn’t be more pleased with the support and look forward to every possible opportunity to work with Customware.
Contegix brought our two companies together, helping us to benefit from partnering with like minded organizations dedicated to improving the quality of service that customers expect. This ends my series on partnerships, but provides us a great bridge to my next set of discussions around our development workflow and utilizing our Atlassian tools to make transparency with your customer a way of life.
Tim Ruppert is Chief Operating Officer at HotWax Media, an OFBiz service provider, as well as an OFBiz project committer and active community member. Tim will join other HotWax Media employees and advisors in periodically posting thoughts here related to OFBiz, eCommerce, ERP, and related topics.