ECT’s extensive research and development has been further augmented and converted to agile methodology, including all related activities, such as testing, product management, and project management. With the company’s Joint Agile Product Development Program, communications service providers can now directly cooperate with ECT in the agile development of services based on ECT suggestions as well as their own product ideas.
Munich, February 13, 2019: ECT (European Computer Telecoms AG), Europe’s leading communications software company for the realization of value-added services in next-generation networks, has undergone a revolution with the implementation of the agile development process throughout the company. It incorporates a set of principles, practices and processes that allows stakeholders, product owners, developers, testers, etc. to further improve quality while responding promptly to changing market requirements.
“We began using agile methodology last fall in the internal development of our new workstream collaboration service,” explains Wolfgang Huber, Deputy CTO at ECT. “In this case, the principle stakeholder is our own Innovation Department and based on its positive response as well as the requests from several customers, we decided to institute agile methodology throughout the company.”
In order to make this possible, the company dissolved the barriers that previously separated the customer and ECT’s separate departments for product management, system architecture, frontend engineering, backend engineering, quality assurance, etc. The ECT experts have now been reorganized into teams called squads. Each squad includes all the disciplines necessary for the entire development process. The squad members sit together and generally work on only one project or product. Of course, this means there are quite a few squads and ECT has augmented its workforce accordingly, adding scrum masters, UI/UX designers, frontend and backend engineers as well as testers. (ECT has never used offshore development and the complete R & D is working in the company’s headquarters in Munich, so it’s quality made in Germany.)
Each development projects at ECT is now assigned to a specific squad and then divided up into multiple iterations, called sprints. Each sprint realizes a small subset of features in just two weeks, including planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, testing and documentation. As the principle stakeholder, the communications service provider has the unique opportunity to participate in the review meetings at the end of each sprint, ensuring fit-for-purpose results and receiving visibility of any impediments or corrections as these arise. Instead of waiting perhaps months to receive the entire results all at once, the provider can now monitor and contribute directly to the development process.
ECT also makes it possible for providers to even further intensify the cooperative development process. Via the company’s Joint Agile Product Development, a provider with the company’s INtellECT® Service Delivery Platform also has the option to procure an entire dedicated and full-time ECT development squad. Moreover, the provider can also participate by directly integrating their own engineers or their trusted third-party engineers into this squad. Each sprint is tested live on the INtellECT® Service Delivery Platform directly in the provider’s development network and integrated into any of the provider’s backend and frontend systems. This ensures that the new service is available as quickly as possible, fit-for-purpose and ready for launch.
“In today’s provider landscape, innovation and time-to-market are particularly important,” states CEO Dr. Marshall E. Kavesh. “We’re investing heavily in both to keep our customers ahead of their competition.”