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Facilitating embedded Atlassian consultancy

A person points overhead at different apps connected to the ScriptRunner Connect logo
Blue Ridge Consultants is a small Atlassian consultancy with a big ambition: to feel like part of their clients' teams. Based in the United States, their aim is to prioritise quality and develop truly meaningful relationships with clients.
To achieve this, Blue Ridge commits to embedding their top experts within a client's team early in an engagement.
The practical implementation of this presented some challenges around privacy that ScriptRunner Connect was able to solve.
"We wanted to do things a little differently," says Kyle Moseley, CEO of Blue Ridge Consultants, "by onboarding our Atlassian experts into our clients' organisations. We build a deep connection with our clients and build better solutions."
Towards this goal, clients often onboard Blue Ridge's team as if they were traditional employees, providing them with email accounts inside the organisation. These come with inboxes and calendars, which allow Blue Ridge's team to work with clients on their own terms and within their own systems, the way that these clients prefer.

The problem

Where it got tricky was the problem that Blue Ridge had run into with this approach: their Google calendars inside client organisations did not reflect their true availability for meetings. Clients would try to book the team for meetings that they appeared to be free to attend, with no way to see that they were, in fact, tied up with a Jira migration call for a different client at that time.
Blue Ridge began to explore how they might sync these organisational calendars with the individual calendars of each consultant. To protect potentially sensitive client information, the consultant's calendars could not be shared or mirrored in their pure form.
Often, the shared meetings and availability would need to be extremely generic, simply demonstrating whether a consultant was available or not at any given time.
"There were some alternative platforms out there that could integrate calendars together," said Kyle, "but they were often low code or no code, which could not solve our complex problem. We needed a platform that could allow us to customise every piece of our integration."

Connecting the dots for a solution

ScriptRunner Connect—from the teams that brought you ScriptRunner for Jira—is an Atlassian integration tool that allows users to connect their Jira, Confluence, Bitbucket, and beyond with non-Atlassian tools. Having used the tool for client work, Blue Ridge wondered if ScriptRunner Connect could help them with this particular challenge.
"Using ScriptRunner Connect's connections, we found we could easily authenticate with and manage multiple Google Calendars. We then used the Managed API library to interact with Google Calendars themselves, which allowed us to spend more time testing our process instead of learning the specifics of the Google Calendar API calls."
Confident that the tool could deliver the solution they were looking for, Blue Ridge created two types of calendars—'primary' and 'secondary'. The primary calendar was the Blue Ridge consultant's own Google Calendar and the secondary calendars were provided by clients.

The solution

Using ScriptRunner Connect, the team built a solution which allowed scripts to run every half hour to action the following:
  1. Pull all data from the 'secondary' calendars into the 'primary' calendar.
  2. Apply tags to that data so the Blue Ridge team know which client calendar it originated from.
  3. Append a URL to the body of the calendar event so the consultant can easily click into the other calendar
    for more detail.
  4. Extract all events from the 'primary' calendar.
  5. Scrub them of all data other than the meeting times.
  6. Rename them to a generic meeting name.
  7. Push those data-safe generic meetings back into all the 'secondary' calendars.
A diagram showing the relationships between the calendars in Blue Ridge's setup

Secure data and accurate availability

This solution allows Blue Ridge to deliver their high-touch Atlassian expertise for many clients without:
  • Needing to re-arrange meetings due to unclear availability
  • Having to manually manage calendars
  • The risk of data from one client being exposed to another
A screenshot of the successfully anonymised calendars

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More about Blue Ridge Consultants

Blue Ridge Consultants are based in North Carolina and South Carolina (United States) and offer professional services for Atlassian products, including application administration, migrations, merges, installations, customisations, and integrations.
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