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HP Software's community for IT leaders // February 2012
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Improve processes during business transformation

While going through a major data center migration, T-Mobile also improved the development process for its nearly 200 business-critical apps.

When T-Mobile undertook a massive data center transformation project, it laid out an ambitious plan: Migrate nearly 200 applications—including enterprise and customer-facing web applications—to two new data center locations simultaneously. Up front, the big challenge was operational: to maintain performance, particularly of key customer-facing applications, during the migration. But the process also allowed the carrier to make significant improvements to its ongoing development process. A better, more automated quality assurance (QA) process kept apps available through the 18-month migration—and improved developers’ ability to create better software faster.

The apps in question were not insignificant. They were all business-critical and even included the T-Mobile.com website, says Kirthy Chennaian, director of enterprise IT quality management. That meant quality assurance, for the data-center move and going forward, was paramount.

“Moving T-Mobile.com—which is a customer-facing critical application, ensuring that it was transitioned seamlessly and was available to the customer in real-time—was probably one of the key examples of the criticality behind ensuring QA for this effort,” Chennaian says.

T-Mobile consolidated discrete QA teams, once siloed by business unit or application, to establish a common testing platform. It used testing software to build functional and regression test suites. QA teams tested business processes on a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform and performed enterprise-wide load testing. The company also ensured that its security testing was integrated within quality testing processes. The team measured business impact from an end-user perspective and enabled the company to manage service levels proactively. It used solutions that bridge pre-production and production environments, as well as onsite and offshore testing resources. The result: greater efficiency, improved visibility and control over all aspects of the QA lifecycle.

The payoff has been dramatic. The QA team helped T-Mobile:

  • Achieve cost savings of about 30 percent through efficiency improvements.
  • Cut test-execution time in half thanks to automation.
  • Identify and eliminate security vulnerabilities in the development phase.
  • Gain the ability to accelerate application releases to a monthly release cycle.
  • Meet timelines for QA and testing for migrated applications.
  • Improve controls and reduce business risk using a single source of test information.
  • Deliver high availability during migration, due to effective load testing and architecture improvements.
  • Dramatically enhance performance through improved architecture.
  • Improve stability of the overall platform, reducing post-production issues.
  • Increase scalability to support future workload demands.
  • Achieve payback on its investment over a period of two years.

To learn more about the results of T-Mobile’s smooth data center transformation, listen to a podcast (or read the transcript) of the HP Discover 2011 conference.


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