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Reply # 70590 13-May-2007 20:30
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Ahh, The gool o'l VSP.. Bad memories a plenty, though some good stuff. Does it even exist still in the old form?

Vodafone are doing a system changeover from the 20th to the 25th I was told,, The other spaces of time are just to actually get everything aligned and the remaning month is a "cool down" period, just to ensure there are no Foul-ups and everyones bill cycles resume at the correct dates once more.

Though the lock of the TXTchange number is a real smack in the face," You choose" suddenly became much harder to manage, but "watch this space" apparently

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  Reply # 70591 13-May-2007 20:42
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It's called project Sam, and is the full replacement swapout of their billing system, which was due to happen some years ago.

But I agree with others on this forum that killing functionality for 6 weeks smacks of corner cutting. most companies seem able to dual-run without that much issue :-)




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Reply # 70592 13-May-2007 20:50
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paradoxsm: Ahh, The gool o'l VSP.. Bad memories a plenty, though some good stuff. Does it even exist still in the old form?


Yes, but not for long. I am told the last system still there is the voice mail platform, which is going to be migrated to a Comverse platform sometime half way through this year.





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  Reply # 70597 13-May-2007 21:18
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Goodbye cobra!

Does anyone have any screenshots of the main Blue screen with the sylized cobra or of that yellow snake in the corner?

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  Reply # 71185 18-May-2007 19:28
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freitasm: [

This is non-sense. I've been involved in larger projects within telcos and any transition period of more than a few hours is just out of this world.

Telecom New Zealand has been migrating their billing and charging systems, migrated its prepaid with millions of accounts, and is migrating the voice mail platform, but never they came out with this "six weeks with no access to your account information or no possibility of changes" thing.

It's just bad planning altogether.



With respect I doubt it.  Why is it that everyone who isn't invlved in this change knows so much about it that they are amazed at how long it is taking???

Just so we know what we are dealing with here (and for those who refer to Telecom's system changes not impacting) this is the equivalent of Telecom replacing ICMS...yes the system they had to pay IBM loads of money to continue supporting a few years ago because swapping it out was not a viable option!!  The billing and rating engine for every on account client they have.

Seeing as you are all knowledgable about doing system upgrades you will all know that one of the first things you do prior to switching it off is create a backup so if it goes wrong you can restore.  Great, how would you like to then throw in a databse which is still getting data fed to it whilst you do that backup and upgrade and have a client base who demands (because you guys do demand) that everything comes out correct during that process....still a piece of cake??..Nah didn't think so!

Just by the way, before you shoot Vodafone for this, you might want to consider who is doing the work....'cos it isn't Voda!

Also, all the references to banks are rubbish, they take down ATM networks all the time to upgrade, they just do it at midnight when most people aren't using them...

And finally, this is all in aid of giving you lot what you have been moaning about for months now...better on account offers..just like pre-pay.  So get off your high horses, suck it up and judge it after it happens

cheers




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  Reply # 71191 18-May-2007 20:01
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pressF1:

With respect I doubt it.  Why is it that everyone who isn't invlved in this change knows so much about it that they are amazed at how long it is taking???

Just so we know what we are dealing with here (and for those who refer to Telecom's system changes not impacting) this is the equivalent of Telecom replacing ICMS...yes the system they had to pay IBM loads of money to continue supporting a few years ago because swapping it out was not a viable option!!  The billing and rating engine for every on account client they have.

Seeing as you are all knowledgable about doing system upgrades you will all know that one of the first things you do prior to switching it off is create a backup so if it goes wrong you can restore.  Great, how would you like to then throw in a databse which is still getting data fed to it whilst you do that backup and upgrade and have a client base who demands (because you guys do demand) that everything comes out correct during that process....still a piece of cake??..Nah didn't think so!

Just by the way, before you shoot Vodafone for this, you might want to consider who is doing the work....'cos it isn't Voda!

Also, all the references to banks are rubbish, they take down ATM networks all the time to upgrade, they just do it at midnight when most people aren't using them...

And finally, this is all in aid of giving you lot what you have been moaning about for months now...better on account offers..just like pre-pay.  So get off your high horses, suck it up and judge it after it happens

cheers



Database replication for backup and performance reasons is something that happens in REAL TIME in millions of organisations worldwide, you are making it sound like its some amazing feat. And you make it sound like this is the reason its going to take 6 weeks. Sure you have to have a backup, but why does this take 6 weeks rather than one day, or a few hours? Vodafone will no doubt have a realtime backup anyway, why could they not just run the systems in parallel and flick the switch?

And as for us demanding stuff, don't you think we kinda have a right to. I spend in excess of $100 a month on my 021 account, and if you took Data out of the picture I would almost certainly get a better deal for calling on Prepaid. ARPU for On Account customers far exceeds ARPU for prepaid customers. Vodafone should recognise the value On Account customers provide to its business, and in return provide us with some value back.




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  Reply # 71192 18-May-2007 20:04
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Guess voda realises they have to offer great value plans after the upgrade to the point of maybe selling out of NZ

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  Reply # 71195 18-May-2007 20:15
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pressF1:

Also, all the references to banks are rubbish, they take down ATM networks all the time to upgrade, they just do it at midnight when most people aren't using them...
cheers



Yes you have nailed the problem on the head, they normally do them at ~2am and they are ready to go the next day

You've got a window of a few hours, if you don't get it sorted by 4am its time to look at reverting!




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Reply # 71196 18-May-2007 20:20
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pressF1: With respect I doubt it.  Why is it that everyone who isn't invlved in this change knows so much about it that they are amazed at how long it is taking???

Just so we know what we are dealing with here (and for those who refer to Telecom's system changes not impacting) this is the equivalent of Telecom replacing ICMS...yes the system they had to pay IBM loads of money to continue supporting a few years ago because swapping it out was not a viable option!!  The billing and rating engine for every on account client they have.

Seeing as you are all knowledgable about doing system upgrades you will all know that one of the first things you do prior to switching it off is create a backup so if it goes wrong you can restore.  Great, how would you like to then throw in a databse which is still getting data fed to it whilst you do that backup and upgrade and have a client base who demands (because you guys do demand) that everything comes out correct during that process....still a piece of cake??..Nah didn't think so!


Respect? I don't think there's respect for the knowledge of others in your comments, and I don't think it's warranted to defend Vodafone New Zealand on this. I agree there are backups before application switches, but not different from what's done every day - as said before other organisations do it all the time.

And testing is done before release and implementation. That's why there's unit testing, system testing, integration testing, regression testing. If you are involved with a develop shop and don't know about this, then I am sorry...

Also, if you are a Vodafone employee, it would be much better if you were more upfront with your relationship with the company. Trolling is not welcome here, and even less by employees.







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Reply # 71199 18-May-2007 20:42
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Vodafone's 'Pit-Stop' will also affect Number Portability requests from other carriers. Disappointing, in my view they should be in for a fine from the comcom, but no doubt being Vodafone they will get away with it. Unlikely if it was Telecom in the same position.

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  Reply # 71200 18-May-2007 20:49
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freitasm:
pressF1: With respect I doubt it. Why is it that everyone who isn't invlved in this change knows so much about it that they are amazed at how long it is taking???

Just so we know what we are dealing with here (and for those who refer to Telecom's system changes not impacting) this is the equivalent of Telecom replacing ICMS...yes the system they had to pay IBM loads of money to continue supporting a few years ago because swapping it out was not a viable option!! The billing and rating engine for every on account client they have.

Seeing as you are all knowledgable about doing system upgrades you will all know that one of the first things you do prior to switching it off is create a backup so if it goes wrong you can restore. Great, how would you like to then throw in a databse which is still getting data fed to it whilst you do that backup and upgrade and have a client base who demands (because you guys do demand) that everything comes out correct during that process....still a piece of cake??..Nah didn't think so!


Respect? I don't think there's respect for the knowledge of others in your comments, and I don't think it's warranted to defend Vodafone New Zealand on this. I agree there are backups before application switches, but not different from what's done every day - as said before other organisations do it all the time.

And testing is done before release and implementation. That's why there's unit testing, system testing, integration testing, regression testing. If you are involved with a develop shop and don't know about this, then I am sorry...

Also, if you are a Vodafone employee, it would be much better if you were more upfront with your relationship with the company. Trolling is not welcome here, and even less by employees.




OK, 1st thing.  Yes I work there.
2nd this wasn't a troll, or at least not an intended one.  My apologies if it came off as one.

The point I was trying to make (and clearly my frsutration coloured my typing) is this...

Vodafone aren't doing the change internally...it is a large system integrator.
You are al sensible people, do you think a business is really just going to close down something like this for the period being suggested unless it really has to (or is told there is no alternative)?
Voda have recognised a serious scale issue with the current platform, had to address it to resolve disparity such as the best mate on pre-pay and (as detailed within a computerworld article not that long ago) kind of got hung out to dry on the solution they decided to run with.

My last bit stands though, wait and see what the result is.  They realise it is causing users pain, but the hope is it will be worth it

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  Reply # 71204 18-May-2007 20:59
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I have been reading this forum for a few months now on and off and have seen that there is some really good advice from some very knowledgeable and passionate people. I have found unfortunately that this thread has turned into somewhat of a fight about who knows what it really going on behind the scenes, and others who assume they know from other projects that they have worked on.

I and my friends and family are also Vodafone customers and can definitely relate to how annoying any disruption to service is and can see why so many people are not happy with how long Vodafone has announced that that this changeover period is going to be.

Putting being a customer aside, I do find it hard to relate to some who believe that all IT projects are the same and it’s as easy as flicking a switch and everything is all go. From other threads and the media that I have read some people have come to understand that this has been a very long and involved project and is not a small undertaking at all. Any change from one long standing system to a totally different, new start of the art system, regardless of the company or industry, would be expected to take some time.

I am not by any means sticking up for Vodafone but do think that by them taking the plunge and upgrading their capability to offer a better customer experience all while risking their image does take a lot of guts. Won't it be interesting to see exactly they have got in store in the next few months once they flex its muscles. I'm sure that many people would be more forgiving about this interruption then.

Interestingly I see that Telecom is recruiting for a large IT project also, I wonder how they will go about it and what the impact on their customers will be.

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Reply # 71208 18-May-2007 21:38
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yousef: Interestingly I see that Telecom is recruiting for a large IT project also, I wonder how they will go about it and what the impact on their customers will be.


As far as I am aware Telecom has no plans to change their main provisioning system in the immediate future, so it is unlikely that there will be any large scale disruption to Telecoms customer base, it's simply BAU unless informed otherwise...

nzbnw








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Reply # 71209 18-May-2007 21:45
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yousef: Putting being a customer aside, I do find it hard to relate to some who believe that all IT projects are the same and it’s as easy as flicking a switch and everything is all go. From other threads and the media that I have read some people have come to understand that this has been a very long and involved project and is not a small undertaking at all. Any change from one long standing system to a totally different, new start of the art system, regardless of the company or industry, would be expected to take some time.

I am not by any means sticking up for Vodafone but do think that by them taking the plunge and upgrading their capability to offer a better customer experience all while risking their image does take a lot of guts. Won't it be interesting to see exactly they have got in store in the next few months once they flex its muscles. I'm sure that many people would be more forgiving about this interruption then.


It's great they are upgrading. It's also common knowledge that system upgrades are not as easy as they see... But most system changeovers are "transparent" in the sense that are planned in advance, and  made gradually. Believe me, I've been through some very large system transitions, including things such as migrating Telecom's voice mail platform from a single system to a fully resilient four-mainframe based platform. It took a couple of years and no downtime. Planning is the keyword.

I've also been involved with Telecom's migration from one prepaid platform to another - and I can tell you that migrating their billing and charging platforms did not require a six month stop in clients requests or information update.

And welcome to Geekzone!




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  Reply # 71212 18-May-2007 21:58
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freitasm:
yousef: Putting being a customer aside, I do find it hard to relate to some who believe that all IT projects are the same and it’s as easy as flicking a switch and everything is all go. From other threads and the media that I have read some people have come to understand that this has been a very long and involved project and is not a small undertaking at all. Any change from one long standing system to a totally different, new start of the art system, regardless of the company or industry, would be expected to take some time.

I am not by any means sticking up for Vodafone but do think that by them taking the plunge and upgrading their capability to offer a better customer experience all while risking their image does take a lot of guts. Won't it be interesting to see exactly they have got in store in the next few months once they flex its muscles. I'm sure that many people would be more forgiving about this interruption then.


It's great they are upgrading. It's also common knowledge that system upgrades are not as easy as they see... But most system changeovers are "transparent" in the sense that are planned in advance, and made gradually. Believe me, I've been through some very large system transitions, including things such as migrating Telecom's voice mail platform from a single system to a fully resilient four-mainframe based platform. It took a couple of years and no downtime. Planning is the keyword.

I've also been involved with Telecom's migration from one prepaid platform to another - and I can tell you that migrating their billing and charging platforms did not require a six month stop in clients requests or information update.

And welcome to Geekzone!

Freitasm, good points.  Voda also changed their pre-pay platform last year with no downtime, which is why I think the fact the systems will be down this time indicates more to it than we are aware.  I am not involved in the project but I do know that the volume of people on it makes anything else they have done pale in comparison (I know that does not necessarily mean a well run project, in fact maybe the complete oppsite)

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