Bharti Airtel improves time taken to set up new accounts

 

BHARTI AIRTEL IMPROVES TIME TAKEN

to set up new accounts, improves customer satisfaction with WebSphere solution

 

ENTERPRISE SERVICE BUS (ESB) FORMS THE CORE FOR BHARTI SOA TRANSFORMATION. IT PROVIDES A FLEXIBLE SOLUTION TO ADDRESS WIDE RANGE OF CONNECTIVITY REQUIREMENTS

 

ORGANIZATION NAME: Bharti Airtel Ltd

WEBSITE: www.airtel.in

INDUSTRY: Telecommunication

COMPANY PROFILE: Bharti Airtel Limited is India's largest integrated and the first private telecom services provider with a footprint in all the 23 telecom circles. Airtel operates through three units namely Mobile Services (mobile services over GSM), Airtel Telemedia Services (broadband and telephone services and DTH services) & Enterprise Services (end-to-end telecom solutions).

 

CHALLENGES

Bharti Airtel signs up an average of 1.5 million customers per month. Critical to its business is the ability to activate new accounts with maximum efficiency. Faster service for its existing customer base is also a key imperative to succeed in this highly competitive space.

Bharti Airtel realized it needed to maximize its operational flexibility and growth potential by adopting a business-driven framework for integration of multiple processes, thereby allowing it to implement and deliver new services rapidly.

IBM proposed to create a highly flexible platform for integrating Bharti Airtel's customer-facing processes by transforming its Operational Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS). By integrating the account activation process with such key backend systems as billing, provisioning and order management, Bharti Airtel would be able to cut its activation time by 90%. This in turn would enable Bharti to handle more customers.

The project involved the integration of multiple systems including legacy applications such as Oracle CRM, Kenan Arbor Billing System & other applications which had to be integrated with the new/upgraded applications like SelfCare, Oracle eCRM, Kenan FX Billing System, Common Payment System, Number Management System, and Order Fulfilment System.

To reduce the potential impact on customers, the project was implemented in five phases across the country. The major challenges in doing this were:

  • Integration with 11 applications. This is one of the most complex end-to-end integration in any telecom transformation project
  • Standardization of business processes across all the telecom circles
  • Ensuring High Availability, assured delivery, scalability, security.

 

SOLUTION

 

Bharti Airtel opted for a Service Oriented Architecture to support the dynamic nature of its business and to encourage re-use of services. Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) forms the core for Bharti SOA transformation. It provides a flexible solution to address wide range of connectivity requirements and is compliant to IBM's Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE). SPDE is a SOA-based telecom industry framework focused on the telecom service lifecycle from creation through maintenance.

The ESB was implemented using the following IBM middleware products: WebSphere Message Broker 6.0.0.6, WebSphere MQ 6.0.2.3, WebSphere Business Integration Adapters 2.6. ESB provides transport services, event services, routing and mediation services. The Adapters allow a quick and easy mechanism to create integrated processes that exchange information between enterprise applications.

 

EAI Solution

The EAI solution was built around the following principles

Minimize Domain Interaction: Functionality and data must be clustered in order to keep the number of interfaces to a minimum. The architecture should have simple and clearly defined interfaces, which minimize the amount of data transfer and control/event messaging required between entities. An Integration-matrix with inter-applications transactions must be defined.

Publish/Subscribe Technology: The EAI uses a publish-subscribe model that consists of applications that publish information and applications that have subscribed to receiving information on specific topics of interest. These subscribers can then consume the particular information they're interested in after the information is published. The advantage of this publish-subscribe model is that it enables development of loosely coupled, highly flexible business systems.

Use of Service Bus Technology: The Service Bus concept is essential for Service Orientated Architectures (such as IBMs SPDE) so services that are exposed by participant applications can be utilised by others in the framework without them having to supply the same integration technology. It recognises that the traditional Hub and Spoke architectures are only one of the integration paradigms and that the web services interface at point of exit integration paradigm is essential for future Xtranet integration architectures.

Application Integration to Bus via Adaptors: WBI adapters are to be used for integration of application with the Service Bus, as this minimizes the impact of non-standard interfaces to the Service Bus. The adaptors are to be built as per the standard adaptor development framework. These adaptors are part of the common EAI infrastructure. Separation of Business Process from

Switching Logic: Business Process Logic specific to the application must be localized to the application itself. A separate common business process choreography infrastructure can be used for processes that are reused by & common across multiple applications.

However the EAI builds processes that do not belong to applications but happen to relate to co-ordination of business functions or application interconnection logic.

 

BENEFITS

The EAI solution has allowed SelfCare and Order Management to scale their solutions easily. It is now processing around 7 million messages per day and has allowed multiple versions of the products to co-exist while BSS transformation was taking place. As EAI now provides service, the requesters do not have to worry about the complexity of the provider legacy system. For example Bharti could have both Arbor BP and Kenan FX systems without affecting SelfCare or CRM systems.

The EAI has multiple benefits over normal nonstandard based integration which includes:

  • Avoiding point to point connections
  • Enabling Dynamic Selection of Services
  • Ensuring Extensibility
  • Providing Flexibility
  • Giving Support for Event Services
  • Enabling re-use of Application

 

Due to the OSS/BSS transformation,Bharti Airtel was able to significantly reduce the time required to activate new mobile accounts from four days to two hours, and billing cycles from 15 days to two hours.

The solution has also helped Bharti standardize their business process across the telecom circles. These changes in turn have resulted in increased levels of customer satisfaction at Bharti. The integration framework has also led to stronger business intelligence capabilities, which have in turn enabled the company to maximize the value of its customer relationships through cross selling and market segmentation. Due to the generic solution that IBM had designed, Bharti could re-use the solution for 3 more transformation projects.

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