How SPIEGEL Group successfully migrated to the Atlassian Cloud - Actonic – Unfolding your potential
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"I'm now a fan of the Cloud": Why for the SPIEGEL Group, the Atlassian Cloud Migration with Actonic was just the right decision

Actonic supports the migration!

As a media company, the SPIEGEL Group reaches more than 15 million people every week with its independent journalism. And it does so predominantly through digital devices. The massive digitalization push places new demands on internal workflows. To meet the dynamic requirements, the SPIEGEL Group decided to migrate its Atlassian systems Jira and Confluence to the Cloud. Actonic provided them with significant support in this process.


The importance of server infrastructures

“When you host systems yourself, you are solely responsible for things like security, operation and maintenance,” comments Thorben Petersen, IT project manager at the SPIEGEL Group. “That robs precious resources that we’d rather invest in our core processes to further develop products.” For its daily work, the SPIEGEL Group has been using Confluence since 2011, Jira since 2013, and Jira Service Management (JSM) for about four years in addition. Confluence is used as a central documentation platform and is essential for daily work at the SPIEGEL Group. In order to meet the constantly increasing requirements for security and interfaces, it was decided to migrate the products in 2021 in line with the internal Cloud-first strategy.


Why Cloud is the future

Some people have prejudices against the Cloud: it is never finished and always in development. However, the SPIEGEL Group sees precisely this aspect as an advantage in times of dynamic development. Regular updates with new functions constantly improve the workflow – which, in the case of Server and Data Center, can only be imported with additional effort for the customer. In addition, functions are increasingly being made available for the cloud first. Another prejudice against the Cloud is the matter of data protection. Is the data really secure? What about data residency? In fact, depending on the company, there are specific questions that need to be answered before migrating. Atlassian partners provide individual support and help clarify the finer points.


Cooperation with Actonic

During a Big Picture training at the end of 2019, Actonic convinced the SPIEGEL Group with competent and trustworthy communication. At that time, the group was evaluating the Data Center vs. Cloud option and was in exchange with various partners – including Actonic. Actonic’s comprehensive Cloud expertise and a customized migration plan made them a convincing migration partner. Especially when it came to the selection of the appropriate license model by the Actonic sales team, it became clear: The interests of the customer are the main focus and no effort is spared to advocate them to Atlassian.


This is how the Cloud Migration went

Jira, Jira Service Management and Confluence have been successfully migrated to the Cloud. It took about a year from the decision to migrate to project completion. Before the actual migration, some Cloud Admin trainings took place so that the SPIEGEL team could adjust to the new Cloud environment. Since migration paths did not yet exist for all products at the start of the migration, Actonic opted for a highly customized migration solution that began with an extensive cleanup phase. The cleaner the data, the faster the actual migration can take place. A small feature of the joint project was the test migration. This is not absolutely necessary, but proved to be the right thing to do here.

“The test migration gave us additional security in the process,” says Thorben Petersen. Over two days, the entire system was migrated on site for testing purposes. This enabled the team to quickly locate and eliminate any add-on and automation errors. Users who had been inactive for many years were also removed from the system during this phase. Furthermore, Thorben Petersen was able to use the test instance to demonstrate the new functions to his colleagues in advance and prepare them for the new system.


Using the Cloud to support innovative processes

The SPIEGEL Group’s Cloud has been in use since September 2022 and has been well received. “I’m now a fan of the Cloud,” says Thorben Petersen, confirming the same experience among his colleagues. Of course, they first have to get used to the new, modern design and the new functions, but they quickly learn to appreciate the advantages. What’s more, the company has received far fewer requests from colleagues than expected. This is mainly due to the intuitive use of the Atlassian Cloud.

Concerns about data protection were confidently resolved by working in partnership with Actonic. “We trust the Cloud and are convinced our data is protected,” says Thorben Petersen. Thanks to the Cloud Migration, the SPIEGEL Group can now invest more of its IT resources in internal processes.

“We trust the Cloud and are convinced our data is protected.”

About the client



The SPIEGEL Group, headquartered in Hamburg, is one of the most respected German media houses. Its print magazines, digital offerings and TV productions occupy an outstanding position in the German media landscape. Journalistic quality and independent reporting are the brand essence of all journalistic products.

In addition to SPIEGEL, Germany’s most important and Europe’s largest news magazine, the business magazines manager magazin and Harvard Business manager are produced, as well as a variety of moving image formats under the SPIEGEL TV brand.

In 2021, the SPIEGEL Group generated revenues of 274.9 million euros with its approximately 1,300 employees. In Germany, the Group maintains seven editorial offices. Internationally, it is represented at 20 locations.

Interview partner

Thorben Petersen, IT Project Manager, Project Leader of Atlassian Cloud Migration

Thorben Petersen has been working in the IT department at the SPIEGEL Group for five years. There he looks after everything to do with Atlassian products and supports the company’s product development.

The problem

The end of the server licenses and the increasing expenses in the support of the systems forced the SPIEGEL Group to make a sustainable decision for the Atlassian platform. Above all, the reduction in the burden of operating the systems speaks clearly in favor of the Atlassian Cloud. This allows the colleagues to focus on their core tasks and support the editorial processes.

The solution to the problem

Together with Actonic, 500 users in Jira and 800 users in Confluence were successfully migrated to the Atlassian Cloud. Thanks to an extensive cleanup phase, test migration and trusting cooperation, concerns about the Cloud were overcome, so that the SPIEGEL Group now has more resources available for investigative journalism.