Transforming enterprise processes with microservices

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Recently, AT&T announced that it is teaming up with IBM Services to use microservices exposed as APIs. The provider will use the APIs to transform and decompose large, complex, multi-functional legacy monolithic applications into smaller, highly reusable business functions that can be independently deployed.

This is great example of a digital leader implementing a microservices strategy to optimize and strengthen their services. At IBM, we view microservices as an innovative approach to revitalizing business processes because they offer a number of benefits to enterprises and their customers. Consider what this can mean for the communication service provider (CSP):

  • A streamlined customer experience
  • Self-service access to a CSP’s offerings and services
  • Fewer user calls to customer service
  • Reduced maintenance cost for the provider
  • Potential for the CSP to pass on some of the savings to customers

Microservices = Endless possibilities

Today’s enterprise is challenged by an on-demand business model. Communication service providers in particular are feeling the pressure to reinvent business functions to face the increasing demands on their networks. Connected customers expect fast, efficient, easy-to-access services. Businesses, like AT&T, want a cost-effective, low-risk approach that can modernize operations and improve customer engagement. Microservices delivers on just those things. Imagine gaining the power to:

  • Configure your telco plan (landline or mobile), internet access or digital content the way you want, when you want.
  • Add or remove services at will.
  • Turn on and off international service.
  • Unlock your phone at will.
  • Increase your internet bandwidth.
  • Add new channels or a movie at will.

Microservices mean enterprises can open the door to the potential for developers near and far to build on the company’s services and create new innovative tools and products. Providers have the potential now to create a whole new ecosystem and platform for all their services and acquire new customers through this third-party ecosystem.

Driving change with speed, reliability, flexibility

By creating microservices for our clients, IBM is enabling enterprises to rapidly transform their legacy applications. Once transformed, the flexibility of these applications increases along with their resiliency and scalability. Most transformed applications are natively cloud-ready because microservices typically take a 12-factor architecture and development approach. If deployed with an absolutely necessary individual deployment pipeline into containers like Docker, these applications are highly portable.

The core problem with monolithic applications is that they are designed and operated as a single entity — one big hunk of code. If any part of the application fails, the whole application comes crashing down. In addition, the evolution, deployment and maintenance of these large applications can create liabilities and risk. In today’s continuously connected, digital world, global enterprises need delivery around the clock with frequent deployments of the latest required functionality.

Microservices fit the bill.


If you would like to discuss further or if you have any questions, I would like to hear from you. Leave a comment below or to speak one on one, schedule time with someone on my team here:

IBM Distinguished Engineer

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