Telecommunications Provider Advances its Development Process

Developers Get Traceability, Real-Time Status, and Better Release Management with Application Lifecycle Management Solution

In June 2011, Hrvatski Telekom, a major provider of telecommunications services in Croatia, began using Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS) to develop a business support billing solution that it employs to prepare around 1.2 million invoices monthly for subscribers of fixed network phone services.

The company’s billing solution is based on multiple Oracle database management systems, Unix application servers, and Windows-based web servers. With TFS, the Microsoft application lifecycle management solution for delivering software, Hrvatski Telekom can consolidate the development for multiple heterogeneous platforms in an mixed environment that includes Oracle SQL Developer, Unix-based Java tools, and the Microsoft .NET Framework. TFS introduces efficient tools for versioning, communications, and releases. These capabilities unify formerly disparate parts of the Hrvatski Telekom development process and enable development teams to work more productively.

“Team Foundation Server is the optimal solution for solving our issues,” says Dolores Brncic Bernetic, Head of IT Billing Systems Development Work Unit at Hrvatski Telekom. “By using it, our company gains a standardized application lifecycle management platform that serves as the baseline for our entire development process.”

With TFS tools, the company addresses a pressing development problem: a lack of traceability between specific requirements and changes. The company releases two versions of its solution annually, and manages a high volume of change requests and bug fixes. Says Bernetic, “By using Team Foundation Server, we can more easily manage change control and versioning of database objects and runtime code.”

Previously, Hrvatski Telekom had been using email to communicate and collaborate with customers and partners on development progress. Now it uses TFS to easily deliver project status through TeamCompanion, a TFS client embedded in Microsoft Outlook. Team members get updates through Microsoft Office—a tool they use every day. “We get better transparency and control of the collaboration process and improved flow of information with Team Foundation Server,” says Bernetic. “It provides real-time status to all stakeholders.”

The company takes advantage of reliable TFS processes for testing in preproduction environments. It also improves release management, which had formerly been error prone. “Errors were expensive and difficult to correct,” says Bernetic. “With Team Foundation Server, it’s much easier to address errors and fulfill specific requirements in a timely manner, and thus provide the agility needed by our business users.” 


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