TSRI Modernization of the Sprint Billing System for
Amdocs, Ltd and Sprint Nextel Corporation
Amdocs Limited is a premier provider of services for billing, customer relationship management (CRM) and operations support systems (OSS) for the telecommunications industry. With more than 200 clients including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Bell Canada, Telus, and Comcast, and with more than 20,000 employees, Amdocs serves customers in more than fifty countries and is ranked as the worldwide market share leader in the telecommunications software management systems marketplace.
One of Amdocs’ major clients is the Sprint Nextel Corporation, a company for whom Amdocs provides software systems and services for billing, operations support and customer resource management services. The product suite was written in approximately 5 million lines of Micro Focus COBOL and Pro*Cobol codewith an additional 5 million lines of C/C++ code,operational and support costs for maintaining the system was consuming critical budget and hampering theorganization’s capacity to enhance and scale the system to meet growing operational requirements.
Several modernization options were considered by Amdocs and Sprint. Manually rewriting the Sprint Billing system’s legacy Micro Focus COBOL and Pro*COBOL code was considered and rejected due to the extremely high cost and technical and schedule risks. For systems exceeding a million lines of code, manual rewrites have failure rates of 97 percent, according to the Standish Group “Chaos Summary 2008” report. Platform migration, e.g. a ‘lift and shift’ approach was considered and rejected because it would perpetuate the legacy code and not improve operational readiness. Based on a Return On Investment (ROI) analysis, automated replacement of the Micro Focus and Pro*COBOL with Oracle Pro*C/C++ was selected as the least cost, lowest technical risk solution with the shortest schedule. To support this plan, automated transformation of the code would be supplemented by Amdocs internal and offshore resources, which would carry out testing, integration and deployment of the transformed system.
After evaluating several automated conversion suppliers using ROI, cost and timeline, TSRI was selected as AMDOCS preferred transformation vendor. Several factors drove this vendor selection. TSRI’s automated transformation from Micro Focus COBOL and Pro*COBOL to C/C++ could transform 100 percent of the code without altering application code behavior. TSRI’s transformation approach was flexible enough to make intricate adjustments to the code to address inconsistencies between the Unix and Linux platforms, and the high quality of transformed code TSRI delivered was virtually bug free and could meet the software assurance requirements of Amdocs’ rigorous testing process for functional and volume testing with minimal rework. In addition, TSRI’s automated transformation approach eliminated any need for access to end user subject matter experts, thus assuring the modernization project would be conducted without impacting operational service.
The modernization of this Unix COBOL system was a major success for TSRI and Amdocs, exceeding Amdocs’ ROI expectations. The modernization project was undertaken in two phases. In the first phase, which was undertaken from September 2009 to February 2010, TSRI assessed, transformed, refactored and documented the Sprint Billing from Micro Focus COBOL and Pro*COBOL into C/C++ and supported Amdocs’ platform adaptation and testing process.
Following delivery of the modernized Sprint Billing system, TSRI provided follow-on support during a warranty period of 3 months on an as-needed basis as Amdocs incrementally deployed the system.
During the modernization process AMDOCS also preformed a Linux modernization effort. The result of the combination of this project and the TSRI modernization project is that the modernized Linux C/C++ system is now 40 percent faster, simpler and more reliable than it was before. During the modernization, preexisting functional and logic bugs were discovered and corrected, and third-party code linkage dependencies were eliminated. The TSRI supported enhancements improved code quality, functionality, and stability. The result of the Linux modernization was the achievement of dynamic allocation of processes across many servers, which improved the code’s performance. Furthermore, this modernization reduced the cost of per-record processing substantially, and made it possible for Amdocs to move from one many HP Superdome monolithic servers to four 1U rack-mounted systems. The actual realized cost savings exceeded the initial ROI targets and expectations. The Sprint Billing CRM system was transformed by TSRI in only 7 months (1 month of setup and 6 months of code transformation for the over 5 million lines of code). According to Amdocs’ ROI analysis, the cost of modernization was recovered in about two years.
Sprint Billing System Modernization Technical Summary:
Performance / System Specs
Conclusions (Lessons Learned)
The IT system was modernized in only 10 months.
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