The telecommunications industry is more dependent on software today than ever before. Deploying new software – whether it's a client-facing application or an internal platform – must be fast and efficient. In that regard, software automation is an absolute necessity to meet the demands of the modern communications service providers.
As a leading innovator in the telecom billing and workflow automation space, IDI Billing Solutions consistently implements new technology and applications with the most advanced techniques available. Software automation is a key component in these efforts by ensuring fast, efficient and reliable outcomes.
Updating software deployment practices
The traditional model of software deployment involves development teams writing the code, designing the software and then handing it off to the IT department to build out servers and infrastructure to support those applications. This approach inherently necessitates a great deal of repetitive work from software engineers and other knowledge workers to accurately accomplish the tasks multiple times with every revision of code.
Relying on manual workflows in this way can be cumbersome, delaying software launches and drastically increasing operational costs. It also presents greater risk for human error that can negatively impact service delivery and lead to a poor customer experience. Automating software deployment enables companies to efficiently and consistently execute this workflow at a fraction of the cost while consistently improving deployment software quality.
IDI's approach to software automation
The IDI team focuses on two major areas with software automation: deployment and server provisioning. In addition to building and releasing customer-facing applications, IDI's knowledge workers are routinely tasked with provisioning new and existing customer environments – all of which requires end-to-end processes to execute in a timely fashion.
On the software deployment side, IDI uses a monthly release train to roll out new applications and platforms to customers. Users can select the release cadence they prefer, so they can choose to implement the most essential updates for their operations.
Because all automated provisioning runs through Microsoft PowerShell Desired State Configuration and automated workflows, IDI's knowledge workers have a shared language to communicate and collaborate with. This has directly helped IDI cultivate a strong DevOps environment where everyone works together pursuing the same goals. Thanks to the large, global PowerShell community, IDI teams can leverage existing, vetted implementations rather than build them from scratch, saving even more time.
Deployment times have consistently fallen as IDI has incorporated more automated workflows into the software launch process. A small update can require as little as a half hour to complete, while even larger ones may only take a couple of hours to finish.
Furthermore, automating software deployment minimizes the chance that something could go wrong during the update. Faster release times, more reliable processes, fewer headaches – what's not to like?
Software automation also allows IDI to quickly stand up new servers and configure platforms on behalf of the customer and provide users access as quickly as possible without running into any hiccups. This is an important capability to keep customers on the latest version of software applications. IDI can build a virtual server to provide high availability and performance for any client with the push of a button.
IDI's server provisioning automation is fast and consistent, incorporating code review, revision history and a deployment pipeline whenever any configuration changes occur. All updates are thoroughly tested and reviewed to prevent disruptive errors and maintain consistent service delivery.
Using PowerShell DSC and automated workflows, IDI is able to scale at a global level while maintaining the highest levels of availability. As such, IDI can reach any customer in the world and consistently provide incredible service quality.
"IDI is able to scale at a global level."
Building a stronger team with software automation
Software automation holds many benefits for knowledge workers as well. There are the obvious time-saving and productivity advantages, as software engineers, operations teams and IT departments spend less time provisioning servers and launching software, freeing them up to tackle tasks that are more closely tied to business goals and improving the customer experience.
Not all companies are ready to embrace this mindset. It takes a talented team and an organizational culture that is open to the principles of agile and DevOps to implement software automation on a large scale. IDI is in a perfect position to drive innovation wherever possible and incorporate new processes and technologies into internal workflows and systems. That innovative spirit will continue to drive IDI as it strives to provide the very best telecom billing solutions available.