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Any Atlassian users working in Higher Ed?

Sharon Helms Community Leader Feb 23, 2021

Hi all, 

I'm wondering if we have anyone else out there working in Higher Ed who is using Atlassian products like Jira and Confluence?

  • What products are you using? Server or Cloud?
  • What's your role? (Are you an admin or user? Do you work in IT?)
  • Are Atlassian products available to your whole campus, or to selected groups?

Would love to hear a bit about your experience!



Sharon Helms Community Leader Feb 23, 2021

I'll start off!

  • We're using cloud versions of Confluence, Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Statuspage. 
  • I work for our central IT team as a Confluence admin and technical writer.
  • Our licensed users are currently limited to our IT teams, and our JSM Help Center portal is open to all of campus for IT help.

We might be interested in expanding availability of these tools to more of campus, for example Confluence as an intranet for all employees. Is anyone else using Cloud versions to do that?

The universities I've seen using Confluence have mostly been using Server -- I wonder how people are preparing for the upcoming end of Server.

A good swathe of Adaptavist's clients have been Universities using Confluence, sometimes with aother Atlassian tools we've got involved with too.  Server and DC so far, but a couple of the smaller ones are looking to Cloud.

Like Sharon Helms likes this

Hi Sharon

Great question.  I'm an application administrator at Babson College and I'm the admin responsible for our Atlassian usage.  We've been using Jira and Confluence for longer than the 8 years that I've been at Babson, and recently (last March) migrated our data (on our own) from server to cloud instance.

The Atlassian applications that we use are (in order of importance):

  1. Jira Cloud - supported officially by the college
  2. Confluence Cloud - supported officially by the college
  3. Trello - not officially supported, but endorsed for use by the college
  4. Bitbucket - not officially supported, but endorsed for use by the college

Our recent conversion to the cloud was complicated, but we took our time and in the process were able to streamline our permissions, workflows, and user access.  We use Duo authenitcation as we do on many college platforms to help with secure single sign on to the platform.   One of the major differences between using server and cloud was the licenses.  With server we were able to offer a license to all faculty, staff, or students that wanted to participate.  Now with cloud the payment model is different so we pay per seat, as a result we've restricted access to departments that actively use the products.  We were a bit surprised that there were nominal pushback when this seemingly major change was implemented. 

We are currently using Jira Cloud for our IT team as a queue for Salesforce and Workday project based work, integration work, development work, applications project work, and more. While we use Remedy Force within Salesforce to track Helpdesk issues, we use Jira when a support issue requires more extensive planning to solution.  Our Advancement team uses Jira for managing stewardship initiatives and marketing campaigns.   The Alumni team uses it to track and manage event planning, and our College Marketing team manages their PR projects, Ugrad Admissions marketing, Grad Admissions marketing, and College website work with Jira. 

As for Confluence we use it as an idea space, and as knowledge wiki for select IT areas, but are only really starting to scratch the surface of usage. 

Hope that helps, and I'd be happy to speak more directly toward our usage.   I'm also interested in any other use cases that could help us expand our use of Atlassian products, and maximize our current investment.   

Thanks for any information you're willing to share. 

Like Sharon Helms likes this

Yes, we brought in the Atlassian Suite for Software Development since 2016. Server at first, with the following products, with 250 licenses.

  1. Jira
  2. Confluence
  3. Crowd
  4. Bitbucket
  5. Bamboo

We have since grown to Data Center with 1000 licenses, and Confluence has become the default for all Dev / Ops documentation, including our BC/DR docs. 

My team has automated all of our build and deploy projects with Bamboo, which has made pushing out an update as simple as pushing a button. That being said, we have a robust QA dept. with a QA Director that is second to none. Nothing goes to Production without going through QA.


For COVID-19, we purchased Data Center licensing for Jira Service Desk with 250 Agents, Crowd Unlimited, plus the ProForma, ScriptRunner, and Automation for Jira add-ons. We built our entire COVID-19 Workflow, from Student checklists, scheduling COVID-19 tests, uploading results, and our entire Isolation and Quarantine workflow. 

We could not have done it in the limited time that we had without our prior knowledge of Jira, and then using Jira Service Desk to process the entire University. I'm hoping our Architect of the system, @jdanlewis, will give a presentation at EduCause or somewhere else once things settle down. 

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