Dec 21, 2016

Moving an MVNO from a Self-Hosted Provisioning System

BACKGROUND

Community Telco Australia (CTA) have been a customer of ECConnect since 2011, and have been running the mobile service provisioning side of their business from a self-hosted instance of ECConnect’s ECGateway product since.

Over the years, the system remained relatively untouched, and allowed CTA’s customer service team to perform mobile service provisioning tasks on a daily basis. When the time came to invest in the platform, to further improve the efficiency of day to day operations, to make use of new and improved features on the Optus network, and to ensure CTA’s servers could handle increased load, the question was asked “How do we minimise reliance on our team, and ensure continual improvement at minimal or no cost?”.

CHALLENGE

There were several challenges to overcome, such as: ensuring uninterrupted service to CTA’s customers and service staff, the time and cost of the migration, ongoing costs, as well as the functionality and ongoing flexibility of the chosen solution.

SOLUTION

Several options were investigated, including simply investing in CTA’s current solution, however the decision to move to a managed cloud-based system was decided due to many factors. The two primary factors being that CTA would no longer need to maintain the environment, and the fact the solution would be constantly improved at no additional cost (unless a specific feature is requested).

The chosen solution was ECConnect’s EAP platform. With constant development, and similar ongoing costs to what CTA had been paying for their own hosted solution, the decision seemed only too simple.

The project kicked off immediately, with a thorough review being performed on CTA’s existing system and data. This allowed the team at ECConnect to plan the migration in detail, to ensure all features, settings, and necessary data would be migrated, thus ensure uninterrupted service to CTA’s customer base and service team.

The migration went ahead without a glitch. Thorough testing was then performed by CTA and ECConnect staff; testing all bells and whistles with regard to provisioning and management of customers and services on the Optus network. Once all checks and balances had been passed, a hard-cutover date and time was set.

At the cutover date and time, CTA’s service team immediately ceased use of the existing system, and began to service their customers from within EAP. Although CTA’s service team would need to familiarise themselves with new tools and visual changes, feedback received was extremely positive; the standout message being that customers and services could be managed with greater speed and flexibility than ever before.

BENEFITS

This project has given ECConnect further confidence in offering a fully hosted and maintained provisioning system to MVNO’s. The benefits to both ECConnect and the MVNO’s who utilise the system far outweigh those of a self-hosted and maintained solution. This project also goes to show that the migration of customers and services between systems can be completed at minimal cost and time.