An Innovative Solution
This national wireless company targeted a revenue stream that had previously gone unnoticed. By allowing other wireless carriers to locate antennas on cell sites owned by the company, they hoped to raise revenues to an estimated $50m per year.
The Business Problem
A national wireless provider decided to actively target a source of revenue that had previously gone unnoticed. The wireless provider needed to develop a capability to market its portfolio of owned cell sites to try and attract leasing opportunities to other wireless carriers. This capability needed to be ready for launch, at a national wireless conference, in 3 months. Because of the company’s traditional waterfall processes for new software development and systems hosting, the business unit responsible for the marketing of this new capability knew that they needed to be creative to be able to meet their business goals.
They approached Bright Byte to take care of the entire development and hosting to allow them to make this wireless conference and provide the ongoing support until the IT department was in a position to take control. They chose Bright Byte because of their proven track record for making aggressive development dates partly due to not using traditional waterfall development processes.
Bright Byte was also selected for the project due to their extensive network for finding good talent. However this project was still a major challenge to have a system built, tested, and in operation in a high availability environment, within 3 months. This development effort would be further challenged by the fact that the internal company systems needed to interface with the new external system to synchronize data and images.
Bright Byte's approach was to split the project into phases to allow the required goals to be met.
The defined phases were:
Phase 1 – Customer facing website to be operational by the National conference
Phase 2 – Customer service application to be available in time for managing online request and system administration for the customer-facing website.
Phase 3 – Application sustainment through 2006.
Bright Byte’s approach was to allocate a team of 6 resources that provided varying degrees of support for the development and maintenance of the Co-Location system. The majority of the work, during the main development phases (1 & 2), was performed by 2 full-time Open Systems (Java) developers. One of these developers was a senior developer who occupied the position of Principal Consultant. As Principal Consultant he provided all the additional project peripheral tasks such as customer liaison, status reporting, and staff supervision. These two full-time developers were joined by part-time resources that were attached to the project to fulfill particular functions. A Business Analyst was initially attached to the project for a short period of time to perform various project startup tasks related to the Contracts and Project Initiation. A Graphic Designer was attached to the project to provide the website look and feel consistent with the company’s brand. The Technical Writer worked part-time to provide various required documents including User Manual, Training Guide, Technical Documents (FRS, HLD, Detailed Design, Installation Guide, ICD, and Systems Architecture). A Network Administrator resource was attached to the project to install and setup the system hardware.
Two support resource continued to support the application, part-time, during the sustainment phase (3) this involved various application support tasks including status reporting, performance reporting, system health checks, periodic system maintenance patches, trouble tickets, periodic content refresh, and minor enhancements.
This system was engineered to operate within Bright Byte’s Application Portal Platform (InfoX) which supports a robust, scalable architecture enabling the secure and configurable control of browser-based applications and user permissions on the applications. Security data (Rights Management Data) is centrally controlled within the InfoX database and provides flexible control over a user’s access to applications built to operate within this environment. Bright Byte’s InfoX application has been built using open standards, languages, protocols, and open source technologies, including Java, Servlets, JSPs, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), Log4J, Struts, and XML.
Bright Byte also used its Service Level Agreement Methodology (SLAM) to control: system uptime, timeliness of data loads and timeliness of defect corrections. This methodology quantifies key performance indicators (PI) and then assigns positive and negative values for good and bad performances. Bright Byte then credited or debited depending on their performance.
Bright Byte successfully delivered Phase 1 of the project enabling the client to launch the application at the National Conference. The development team received high praise from the client for this achievement.
There were many issues that had to be overcome in making this launch date. One major problem resulted from the late signing of contracts. This meant that the high-availability location was unavailable for the initial launch and we were forced to implement our fall back plan of hosting the application from within our own development facility. By manually monitoring the system availability during the conference we were able to satisfy the uptime assurance requested and shortly after the launch we migrated the system to the high-availability location.