By Soenke Jens, VP, Services,
Optiva • July 23, 2021
I have been in the telecom business for more than 30 years. Looking back at the days that we call the good old times, I wonder if it was really the good times — or if we are in a better situation today.
In the telecoms industry, and specifically in the IT ecosystem, for many years we have followed a traditional delivery approach — the “waterfall.” Whether it was a greenfield implementation, a swap project, or an upgrade to a new software generation, we had to deal with long project durations for planning, development, and delivery of a project. Every implementation was highly customized, and many customers even asked for the exclusivity of selected features, which made it more complex. And of course, this resulted in high implementation costs, long duration, and risks related to the scope that often changed throughout the project.
Cloud technology brought dramatic changes to the way services are managed and rolled out in the internet arena and for SaaS services especially. These include:
Single version – with cloud-based products, and new development tools and methodologies, software developers have the opportunity to manage a single main version of the product across all installations.
Automated rollout of new features – the adoption of CI/CD methodology and available tools along with cloud-native, services-based architecture brings the opportunity to roll out our new features fast to the market.
Automation for testing and operations – cloud-based tools provide automation ability to many of the processes both for development and delivery, including functional and user testing and ongoing operations activities such as database management, compute scaling, etc.
Standard implementation fit for all – installation and launch can be within weeks instead of months, reducing delivery risk and ensuring scope alignment while dramatically reducing delivery timelines.
We already see these approaches being implemented successfully in many industries across many enterprise verticals, but when it comes to the telecom industry, it is taking time because of the sensitivity of the software and the general industry perspective that telecom is a “unique case.” We disagree! We believe that assumption is no longer valid as a reason to go cautiously — time to embrace the revolution that is underway!
Delivery Redefined, Advantages Transformed
Following the adoption of cloud-native technology for our products, we at Optiva put an emphasis on redefining the way we deliver our software to take advantage of the benefits and share them with our customers. We believe that CSPs will not be able to ignore or defer the business and operational advantages of cloud-native technology for much longer, and they must embrace the changes necessary in their internal business processes to take full advantage of the value. This includes:
Improved time to market (TTM) reducing initial setup from 6-9 months down to 2-4 months
Shift upgrades into a faster quicker less risky continuous functional delivery rollout framework
Adopt automated testing in every step of the process
Move away from a tailored or customized version of your platform to one that maximizes the use of standard-based configuration
But what does this mean in reality, and how did it change the way we deliver at Optiva?
Goodbye customizations! Incorporating all past customizations into the product along with enhancing the configuration capabilities and flexibilities allows us to maintain a single version of our product’s software across all of our cloud-native implementations. For our customers, it means when new capabilities are rolled out, they do not need to worry about backward compatibility and risky upgrades.
Starter pack defined. With more than 20 years of experience in managing CSP charging solutions in markets at various stages of development across the globe, we analyzed our diverse implementations and identified that more than 80% of the offerings are similar across all regions. Thus, we decided to invest heavily in automation based on a predefined scope that covers the majority of common use cases and enables a shorter setup time and faster TTM.
Delivery reversed! Installation first, configuration later. This is possible only because of the combination of a single version and the defined starter pack. With these, we are able to deploy a new instance within nine weeks and go live. Additional configurations are performed jointly by Optiva and the customer in short cycles while ensuring the needed scope is what is delivered and that the customer is trained on the system and new technology.
Major upgrades and software end-of-life are a thing of the past! With the CI/CD tools and aligned single software versions across all implementations, every new feature is rolled out automatically, providing CSPs access to the latest versions and capabilities. This ensures they do not need to perform major upgrades to get new features!
Testing end-to-end at all times. We developed Optiva Testing Framework for both our internal development and customer deliveries to facilitate the fast process of fully automated testing for all scenarios and cases in very short time frames.
With the introduction of our starter-package approach and our standard built-in automated testing framework, we are driving a revolution in telecom software delivery.
Before: Test case execution was manual work →
After: Fully automated
Benefits: Shorter timeline, less effort, improved quality — able to run the full test suite within few days or even within hours)
Before: Business use-cases are project-specific per customer case →
After: Pre-defined, pre-configured business use-cases including defined test-scope fully automated
Benefits: Shorter timeline
Before: Overall timeline for a comparable project scope 6-9 months →
After: The overall timeline will be reduced to 2-4 months (based on the customer’s environment availability)
Benefits: Improved TTM
Before: Offering is based on a customer scope discussion, which leads to a “all in” approach →
After: We offer a “Starter Package” with a predefined scope, optimized project timeline, and costs + optional packages to select
Benefits: More competitive, improved TTM, great quality
Are you interested in discovering how Optiva can accelerate your business velocity? Request a presentation.
Have feedback or questions for the author? Contact
VP, Services, Optiva
Discover more. Read Cloud-Native Architecture — The Database Reimagined.