From Email Chaos to Centralized Control

ITSM Overhaul Boosts Collaboration for Leading Industrial Supplier


About OTC

2k Total Associates  

40 OTC Owned Brands

60 Branch Locations  

40+ U.S. States

OTC Industrial Technologies, a leading provider of industrial and manufacturing solutions, faced significant challenges in managing its IT operations. Initially using Jira Service Management (JSM) for their IT Service Management (ITSM) needs, OTC had recently migrated from the Jira Service Management Data Center to the cloud. However, there was an opportunity to enhance their configuration for greater efficiency and scalability.

The Problem: No Scalability or Centralization for IT


Scalability Issues: The existing IT Service Desk setup in Jira Service Management couldn’t scale with the growing business needs.

Lack of Centralization: No centralized system to monitor the IT team’s project activities, leading to inefficiencies.

Dependency on Emails and Inboxes: Over-reliance on emails and shared inboxes for departmental requests resulted in fragmented communication and workflow disruptions.


Visibility and Tracking Challenges: Inadequate processes for tracking, managing, and escalating requests led to information silos and visibility issues.

OTC needed a centralized and streamlined process to better serve its customers and deliver business value. This would enable them to maintain visibility across various tasks and sub-tasks, ensure deadlines are never missed, and improve visibility across complex tasks and sub-tasks.


The Solution: Establishing a Clear Point of Authority

Empyra proposed a comprehensive overhaul of the IT Service Desk and project management processes using Jira Service Management, integrating it with Jira Software, and addressing the key pain points faced by OTC.


“Empyra has allowed us to take the use of Atlassian's Jira product to new levels across the organization, providing significant improvements in workflows in IT as well as many Finance and Operations teams. They have always been super responsive and are keen to work with the various OTC teams to solve their individual business needs.”

                                                                                                                                               -Roger Abrahams, Senior Vice President - IT

The Process: Empyra’s Expert Assessment and ITSM Overhaul

We had a unique advantage in this scenario, as the client was already using Jira Service Management. The adoption process depended less on the technical aspects of the tool and more on embracing new processes and procedures. We focused on identifying manager-level champions within IT for the new process, enabling them to document and assist with its implementation.


Initial Assessment

Understanding Current Implementation:

Assessed the existing JSM setup implemented years ago on the Jira Service Management Data Center.

Stakeholder Interviews:

Interviewed ITSM stakeholders to understand their needs, instruct them on ITSM best practices, and help organize the work they wanted to track.

Template for Requirements:

Gathered requirements for the Customer Portal using a custom template spreadsheet created by Empyra.

Configuration Overhaul

Starting from Scratch:

Redefined workflows for Incidents, Problems, Service Requests, and Changes due to the inefficiencies and lack of scalability in the existing setup.

Resolver Groups and Escalation Pathways:

Formed various resolver groups and defined triage and escalation pathways for all requests.

Tailoring Jira Service Management Projects to Department Needs

We implemented a consistent workflow structure across all departments, ensuring a seamless transfer of tasks and information between teams. This uniformity enhanced collaboration and efficiency, reducing bottlenecks and improving overall productivity. By tailoring Jira Service Management to meet specific departmental requirements while maintaining a standardized workflow, we created a robust system that supports diverse needs and fosters inter-departmental synergy.


Department-Specific Customizations:

Identified needs through template spreadsheets and built Customer Portals for each department to enable easy request submissions.

Workflow Structure:

Implemented a consistent workflow structure across departments, allowing for easy transfer of work between teams.

Data Migration Strategy

Historical Data Transfer :
Migrated historical ITSM data from the old Jira project to the new Jira project using built-in Atlassian features and automation rules.


Maximizing Collaboration with Custom Integration Services

Enabling the IT team to plan, manage, and execute IT projects effectively involved providing clear visibility into project timelines and dependencies. Integrating Jira Service Management with Jira Software ensured a unified workflow, allowing service desk requests to transition smoothly into larger project initiatives. Additionally, integrating Azure Active Directory (AD) for attribute synchronization enhanced the efficiency and security of user management, ensuring that user data remained up-to-date and secure.


Technical Overview

A consistent structure was established for workflows, resolver groups, and escalation paths, promoting better collaboration. User-friendly portals were developed to simplify department-specific request submissions. Historical ITSM data was seamlessly transferred using Atlassian’s automation tools, maintaining data accuracy. Additionally, integrating Azure AD ensured synchronized user attributes, improving user management and security.


Platform Migration:

From Jira Service Management Data Center to JSM Cloud.

Configuration Overhaul:

Redefined workflows for Incidents, Problems, Service Requests, and Changes.

Stakeholder Engagement:

Conducted interviews and provided ITSM best practices training.

Requirement Gathering:

Utilized a custom template spreadsheet to procure Customer Portal requirements.

Workflow Implementation:

Established a consistent workflow structure, resolver groups, and escalation pathways.

Customer Portals:

Created user-friendly portals for department-specific request submission.

Data Migration:

Migrated historical ITSM data using Atlassian’s built-in features and automation rules.


Implemented Azure AD Attributes Sync for enhanced user management.


The overhaul of OTC’s IT Service Management (ITSM) framework resulted in significant improvements to scalability, centralization, and efficiency. Empyra implemented a comprehensive solution using Jira Service Management integrated with Jira Software, addressing key pain points such as over-reliance on emails and fragmented communication. By creating over 20 tailored service desk projects for departments like HR, AP, AR, and Sales, the solution provided a consistent approach across the organization.

A centralized system was established to track, manage, and escalate requests, reducing inefficiencies and enhancing workflow visibility. Robust approval workflows were implemented to ensure accountability. The integration with Azure AD strengthened user management and security.

Overall, the outcome was a streamlined ITSM framework that improved collaboration, reduced operational silos, and enhanced project oversight, allowing OTC’s IT team to focus on strategic initiatives rather than administrative tasks. This transformation drove operational excellence and positioned OTC for continued growth and success.

“Each of the implementations has brought positive benefits to the organization, freeing team members up to focus on the more important aspects of their job, rather than chasing emails. There have been some complex requests that Empyra has dealt with, and all have been completed professionally. collaboratively, and efficiently.”

- Roger Abrahams, Senior Vice President - IT

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