Case Study: cPrime Deploys JIRA Service Desk The Trade Desk
AT A GLANCE
Industry: Online advertising technology
Highlights of Engagement: A successful implementation of JIRA Service Desk dramatically improves customer satisfaction and leads to its deployment to all support departments.
In the fall of 2015 cPrime completed a fast 120-day implementation of Atlassian JIRA Service Desk at The Trade Desk, Inc. (Nasdaq:TTD), to automate workflow and management processes for Global Support, which supports its Client Services department.
The Trade Desk relies on data collection and analysis for its core business and also carefully tracks customer satisfaction data. When the company engaged cPrime in mid-2015 its internal customer satisfaction ratings were below 60 percent. After cPrime launched Service Desk to support Client Services, internal customer satisfaction rose to 99 percent, where it has stayed since mid-2016. The success of the implementation has led to cPrime deploying JIRA Service Desk throughout all support delivery departments.
In 2015 The Trade Desk was experiencing a period of hypergrowth, but its workflow support processes were not scaling fast enough to match the pace of growth. The Trade Desk identified three pain points, fragmentation, traceability and analytics, that were interfering with its ability to scale its support systems and provide great customer service.
The Trade Desk engaged cPrime to prove that JIRA could eliminate its paint points. In a fast deployment cPrime unified Client Services workflow and communications onto JIRA Service Desk, leveraging its easy-to-use functionality to automate routine tasks. This improved efficiency and collaboration and resolved the customer service issues.
“We had a 120-day deployment window from the day we started the concept of coming up with a better solution, until we developed and deployed our minimal viable product. The cPrime delivery team and the Trade Desk subject matter experts worked closely together in one Scrum team to iterate that solution and deliver it in an Agile mindset,” said Drew West, senior director of global support at The Trade Desk.
“We were able to stay focused on our pain points, and the cPrime team brought together the expertise, thought leadership, and technical skills necessary to design and deploy a solution that met our needs quickly.”
Founded in 2009, The Trade Desk is a leading platform for ad buyers to bid on and purchase digital ads using automated technology. Based in Ventura, California, the company has 20 office locations and customers that span the globe.
The Trade Desk has become the fastest-growing demand-side platform in the industry by offering advertising agencies, aggregators and their advertisers best-in-class technology to manage display, social, mobile and video advertising campaigns. The Trade Desk provides a self-service platform for ad buyers, who deliberately pick from hundreds of billions of digital ad opportunities each day.
By 2015 The Trade Desk was experiencing hypergrowth. But with its success came operational challenges, and the company was unable to scale its systems to match the extreme growth rate. Through iterative organizational growth – typical for a fast-growing company – The Trade Desk was challenged with disparate systems and support processes.
There was no single location to see the entire picture related to a support issue. The Trade Desk’s engineering, development, product management, client-facing and support teams were each using different systems to manage workflows. For example, one team was using Desk.com, another Pivotal, while a third team continued to use Excel.
The entire company relied on email as the primary communication channel across the various teams. Email related requests had no clear accountability or ownership, and it was not uncommon to see many team members addressed or copied on an issue with no primary issue owner. This lack of automation, efficiency or collaboration in workflows and business processes inhibited The Trade Desk’s ability to scale and provide great customer service.
The Client Services Department is the primary point of contact with The Trade Desk’s advertising agency customers. Client Services reps are account managers and traders in the field who interact with customers, working with them side-by-side each day. For Client Services their issues were critical: slow workflows and process management could not keep up with growth.
Client Services was also siloed. It had no direct connectivity to the Engineering & Development team, which handles its technical issues. If a Client Services rep needed to escalate an issue, they had to send an email to an address at the Engineering team with no way to track the message. Emails were often missed or dropped.
“As we started to expand rapidly, the tools that we were using started to break down. It became a situation where we had account managers duplicating effort, working on the same issue, but not necessarily coordinating or collaborating well,” said West.
“Our customers were not realizing the customer service they were looking for. Worse yet, some of them were not getting the answers they needed at all. At that time, our average internal customer satisfaction rating was sub 60 percent, which is totally unacceptable for our organization.
“It was also adding friction to the growth we were experiencing. In some cases our product management teams were not even in the loop on trends that were occurring that might affect our platform.”
The breakdown occurred in three areas: First, there was fragmentation between development teams that used one system, and one or more support teams that used a different platform to manage tickets or requests.
Second, there was no traceability. No system was in place to track the status of each request, or who was in charge to provide an authoritative and timely update to a request. This was exacerbated because customer service reps were logging customer requests into a ticketing system that had no integrated connection to the backend development environment, where the Development team was making relevant upgrades.
Third, there was no analytics system in place. The Trade Desk is a data-driven company that uses automated technology systems to help its clients buy and place ads. Without analytics supporting the company’s internal systems, they were unable to anticipate or predict change or demand that could affect future growth. The Trade Desk wanted to continue on the hypergrowth curve, but in order to do that, management needed a way to make informed decisions based on data.
These three problems motivated The Trade Desk to look at new systems and platforms including JIRA Service Desk. Drew West’s Global Support team recommended Service Desk as a potential workflow platform for front-end teams. They also looked at tools that could align with Engineering & Development. Global Support tested a variety of solutions and chose JIRA Service Desk and JIRA with Agile to close the alignment and collaboration gap.
What Is a Service Desk?
A service desk is a single point of contact to meet the communication needs of both users and IT staff, and also to satisfy both customer and IT provider objectives. -ITIL
The Trade Desk looked for a consulting partner that understood the JIRA platform and could conform Service Desk to their unique needs. In addition, they wanted a partner that could provide strategic direction, and deploy the platform quickly.
The Trade Desk selected cPrime because of its expertise with the Atlassian JIRA platform, its long experience with helping technology teams collaborate and iterate quickly in an Agile environment, and its proven ability to launch in a short time frame.
cPrime demonstrated the ability of JIRA Service Desk to scale for complex IT service management operations in a four-week proof of concept. This included a detailed discovery phase, followed by rapid prototyping and a demonstration of results. At the end of the four weeks, the consensus at The Trade Desk was to select JIRA Service Desk as the platform for all future service management operations, and for cPrime to implement it.
THE CLIENT SERVICES SOLUTION
cPrime deployed JIRA, JIRA Service Desk and Confluence to manage all Support operations at The Trade Desk. Service Desk brings every participant in a request into a central tool, where they can work together on a single version of the request. This eliminates organizational and process fragmentation, and gives managers vision into each service agent’s workflow.
All case communications are handled through Service Desk. Support ticketing and product management systems are seamlessly integrated. The ability to track the lifecycle of each request, and linked or related issues, vastly improves productivity and work quality.
In addition, JIRA Service Desk automates data collection and analysis. It automatically reports status, volume, types of requests and other data. With automated data mining, The Trade Desk can evaluate the highest volume case types that come into all support delivery teams, and the average time it takes to resolve a case.
“We were seeing 300 of a certain type of request come through our process every month, and because we now have traceability and visibility, we were able to say, ‘What if we added a feature to our platform that made it unnecessary for that request to come in anymore? The user of our platform could do it themselves’,” said West.
“We basically eliminated a recurring 300 cases every month, that I estimate took 300 hours. What would you do if you had 300 hours of employee time that you could reinvest? That’s a big value we’ve gotten out of Service Desk.”
cPrime brought a strategy to The Trade Desk to deploy workflow templates as part of the JIRA Service Desk implementation, so that business processes can easily scale as the company continues to experience hypergrowth. cPrime created a variety of Service Desk workflow templates for The Trade Desk to deploy whenever a new department is ready to migrate to the JIRA platform.
The Development team can assess a team’s business needs and processes, look at what they’re currently using as a workflow, and choose the appropriate template for them. The deployment usually takes only a week when a department uses a workflow template that doesn’t need to be conformed.
cPrime helped The Trade Desk build a connected service delivery team of over 150 service agents, and all 500+ employees are now active JIRA Service Desk participants. “Through rapid collaborative delivery, cPrime transformed our implementation into an enterprise platform that is continually being adopted and expanded today,” said Drew West.
“The rapid adoption and ongoing expansion of the JIRA Service Desk system has enabled us to establish consistent process standards and high quality of service, and to expand our efficiency and productivity.”
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