Provisioning System

Introduction

Bitwise was approached by a Client to specify, design and implement a software solution which performed provisioning of in-field devices over a satellite communications network. The system also generated billing data based on device configuration and utilisation; and provided integration with 3rd party provisioning and billing systems for resellers and partners.

This was a completely new development replacing a complex manual business process.

Analysis and Design

Bitwise provided consultancy to clarify the business requirement and bring software architecture, design skills and technology expertise to help specify a solution that both met the customers immediate requirements but was also flexible in its approach so that future requirements may be met with the minimum of additional work.

Key aspects of the solution were the capture and implementation of business processes, procedures and business logic within an intuitive user interface. The application front end was deployed in a ‘follow the sun’ operational manner where the system was used 24/7/365 to support the business. The database was specified, designed and tested to scale significantly past the anticipated sizing identified by the Client. The system was deployed in conjunction with the Clients incumbent IT service contractor in dual redundant data centres within the UK.

Phased Approach

A phased delivery was used to provide early deliverables whilst working towards the ultimate strategic business goal. A total of eight phased deliveries were made over a number of years each delivering a well-defined set of work packages.

Each phase of the project was controlled using Bitwise’s Quality Management System (QMS) and comprised of a requirements capture and review stage with the Client; a design and design review stage; implementation phase; a number of test releases and test cycles (to suit the Client’s early integration needs); and a delivery and integration support stage.

With regards documentation the phased deliverables were also updated, signed off and released using the Bitwise QMS internal document control system.

Over the course of these phases new requirements were identified which required database migration and the provision of a defined and tested upgrade process for the live operational system. All of these changes were technically managed, specified, documented, developed and tested by Bitwise and then verified by the Client prior to the live system changes being applied. Bitwise provided on-going 3rd line support and consultancy for live system issues throughout the duration of this project.

Solution

Technically the solution required a high performance database as the quantities of data stored were not inconsiderable and database performance was a key factor in supporting the multiple user groups using the system at any time. A layered architecture was designed and implemented to separate database access, business logic and user interface behaviour; and to allow separate unit testing and flexible deployment of the solution. In later phases the addition of additional external integration interfaces was also performed in a manner which continued this modular theme.

The solution was Microsoft .net based, using C#, SQL server and various Microsoft UI technologies. Microsoft web services were used as 3rd party, standards based, integration interfaces. Provision was also made to allow the development of a web based user interface to be implemented as part of a future product roadmap.

Project Management

The project was led at a programme level by the Client but the Bitwise Project Manager directly managed the software development team and liaised with the Client Programme Manager. The latter included managing budget, issues, risks and milestones through weekly formal reporting together with regular meetings and conference calls.