Atlassian launches crisis management platform, bottles up OpsGenie

Atlassian

Atlassian has moved to clear up the loose ends created by Agile and DevOps by launching a cloud-based incident management platform and hoovering up incident response platform provider OpsGenie.

Scott Farquhar, Atlassian’s co-founder and CEO, described JiraOps, which is open for review as of today, as a single place “to respond, resolve and learn from every incident.”

When we say incident, we’re not talking about an internal email problem, rather “major incidents”, the sort that leave banks cut adrift from their customers, or football fans fuming as YouTube TV has a liedown during the world cup.

Jira Ops will allow teams to have preset escalation and other, with an incident triggering the creation of a Slack room for technical people to get to grips with the problem – safe from curious marketeers for example. Action points and updates can be pushed out direct from Slack into a Jira Ops timeline and the product is obviously also integrated with Atlassian’s StatusPage service.

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“In times of crisis you don’t want people making it up,” said Sid Suri, head of IT strategy at Atlassian.

Jira Ops is integrated with popular alerting tools such as PagerDuty and Opsgenie, as well as traditional service management tools. But Suri said that while traditional enterprise service management systems from the likes of CA or BMC had reporting functions, it might be difficult to differentiate between an internal problem with email, or something that affects the firm’s ability to do business.

“Nobody really does major incident management,” he claimed.

Which begs the question, what counts as a major incident?

Suri said any incident where customers are “impacted or nearly impacted customers. If setup right, might be that customers don’t notice.”

Farquhar said the key to reducing incidents is a “solid post mortem process” and action items would underpin this. The product also spans analytics, so that the buildup and impact of incidents can be tracked over time.

The shift to the cloud and the advent of agile development and devops is linked to the potential for outages to be more problematic Suri said. Customers’ website experience is crucial to a company’s brand – and turnover – and companies deploy new software or features far more frequently. It doesn’t take much imagination to consider the effect of a flakey update to an airline or bank.

At the same time, he argued, ops staff are increasingly distributed throughout the company and often sited with developers. Or, in smaller companies, “they don’t have ops, they have developers.”

Being integrated with third party tools is one thing. Owning them outright is another, and Farquhar wrapped up his presentation at the opening of Atlassian Summit 2018 today by announcing that Atlassian had bought up OpsGenie for $295m ($259m in cash and the remainder in Atlassian restricted shares).

The deal proper is set to close net month, and the firms are already having discussions about how to integrate the OpsGenie, JiraOps and StatusPage products. Jens Schumacher, head of Atlassian’s software teams business, said no decisions had been taken yet but it didn’t seem sensible to keep a variety of “point products”.

But, he added, whatever decisions are made on which lines to keep, there would be much tighter integration between the different technologies, as well as with third party products.

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