BT Wholesale Streamlines Application Communication Through Unified Hub
- BT Wholesale wanted to deliver telecommunications products such as broadband faster and cheaper but was hampered by legacy applications that didn't talk to each other.
- CSC helped BT Wholesale deploy an enterprise application integration hub.
- Enterprise application integration hub that streamlines application communication
- and saved BT Wholesale £11 million in 14 months.
BT Wholesale wanted to deliver telecommunications products such as broadband faster and cheaper but was hampered by legacy applications that didn't talk to each other. CSC helped BT Wholesale deploy an enterprise application integration hub that streamlines application communication and saved BT Wholesale £11 million in 14 months.
BT Wholesale, part of leading European telecommunications provider BT Group, conceived the hub initiative as part of an ambitious cost reduction program. Its aim was to streamline and simplify the integration of the systems that form the backbone of BT Wholesale's business. CSC, working closely with BT Exact, the company's internal research and IT operations unit, came in to complete the hub initiative.
Delivering new products faster and cheaper
The BT Group serves more than 20 million business and residential customers with more than 29 million exchange lines. BT Wholesale runs BT's networks and provides network services and solutions to other communications companies. It ensures that the 300 million calls a day and 350 million Internet connections a month all get through. BT Wholesale has more than 500 corporate clients who buy its products, services, and network capacity, and sell those services in turn to their own customers.
BT Wholesale had to deliver new products to the market quickly to remain competitive, but its underlying IT infrastructure made that difficult. The disparate software applications that BT Wholesale relied on were not integrated completely. They were connected in point-to-point fashion, which meant that communication among them was extremely cumbersome and time-consuming. Moreover, the cornerstone applications of the business, such as copper line management and bearer management, were legacy systems and the prospect of migrating them to commercial-off-the-shelf applications presented a huge challenge. Although BT Wholesale had taken the first steps to solve the integration problem with the installation of a hub, it didn't have the requisite experience and specific skills to exploit it.
In a hub architecture, applications, rather than being connected directly to each other, all plug into a central hub that manages the communication between the systems. It greatly simplifies systems integration and reduces the cost of introducing new applications. However, the architecture requires specialized enterprise application integration (EAI) skills — in project design and delivery, implementation of best practice program governance procedures and EAI standards.
Making it work - together
Making the hub program work required a team with the right mix of architectural and governance experience. BT Wholesale picked CSC for the task based on CSC's extensive practical experience in building the type of flexible architecture that BT Wholesale needed.
CSC, working closely with BT Exact, formed the C-SCaPE alliance with a number of other suppliers to deliver the hub program and transfer knowledge to BT Exact for ongoing support. The alliance's first task was to define a future target hub architecture to which BT Wholesale could evolve.
Working smarter, with greater agility — and £20 million cheaper
BT Wholesale wanted to work smarter, cheaper, and with greater agility. The implementation of EAI software and solutions has allowed BT Wholesale to realize those goals.
Within 14 months of the hub program implementation, BT Wholesale saw savings of £11 million. Those savings were achieved primarily through the reuse of components when interfacing new applications, the introduction of technical guidelines and quality assurance, and the introduction of governance principles to ensure efficiency. Cost savings are predicted to grow to £20 million over three years.
The seemingly impossible task of migrating BT Wholesale's core applications from their legacy systems to commercial-off-the-shelf applications has been simplified through EAI software, which limits the number of custom interfaces BT Wholesale has to create.
The C-SCaPE alliance has generated a catalogue of available interfaces from which to pick and choose. It gives interested parties a clear picture of what is available, preventing duplicate development and saving time, effort, and money in the process.
The hub program has provided BT with a new form of electronic trading with partners and vendors. For example, the Broadband Fast Repair project allows broadband faults to be raised directly by ISPs, reducing costs for all parties involved. This is being further enhanced by the development of online fault management diagnostic capabilities. The new hub model is positioning BT Wholesale for customer self-service transactions, giving it an added-value service in an intensely competitive marketplace.
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