In 2020, a well-known operator in Egypt had to take serious steps towards improving its situation and gaining a larger market share. It announced a RFQs (Request for Quotation) for carrying out nodes implementation services. Among many providers, the operator chose SIGMA as a service provider for the expansion and modernization of Ericsson’s Charging system “CS” including the HW and application design, installation, integration, testing, and acceptance for different nodes, having the solid technical capabilities, resources and experience to be in charge of the vigorous task.
The operator was dealing with Ericsson as a product vendor in managing the charging nodes services which included: license, implementation services, and support. It then decided to carry out a cost optimization in services, so it kept the license, hardware and support from Ericsson, and was looking for a trusted service provider to offer the implementation services instead. It was also looking forward to let its own team gain the experience to carry out the services on their own.
Ericsson became in charge of first node implementation services only, thus the operator faced a challenge that the team technical capabilities could not completely fulfil the implementation process with the manpower needed support to maintain sustainability of the project. So, it decided to divide this implementation task between its team on one side, and another system integrator provider with fixed milestones on the other, to guarantee not to burden its team all the way, putting part of the load and responsibility on the new system integrator selected.
The operator succeeded in saving 30% of the implementation services cost; an ongoing save for CAPEX. The issue was not only saving, but saving while maintaining the same quality Ericsson was providing, and in the meantime raising the operator’s team knowledgebase through a teamwork with SIGMA experts.
SIGMA had a sense of ownership, not only providing the nodes integration services to the operator, but also engaging in any service that may need interference and optimization to help in the full system operation, new technology, expanding and increasing subscribers’ base, and modernization of out of support old hardware. This was a challenge story for timelines and expert resources. SIGMA finished the tasks on time, with less cost, same as Ericsson’s quality, carrying out-of-scope tasks as well when needed down the journey, and most important is increasing the team’s knowledgeable bar. The implementation program lasted 3.5 years instead of 5 years’ time.
The operator’s Management had the confidence that they can plan for their budget and come up with new methods for optimization, going beyond boundaries of operations or business configurations, thus architect and innovate new solutions same as the vendor.
During SIGMA’s journey with the operator, we had milestones of a cutover for extended work introduced over one night. Multiple tasks introduced with no defects was an achievement: CRs implemented overnight activity, how many nodes added, subscribers transferred to the added nodes, and successful planning for migration with no leakage proven over time; in addition to sustainability of optimization and leading the market.
SIGMA provided Project Management as Implementation requires Integration of different systems to avoid problems or cover any occurring ones. Any aspect emerged during planning, was added to the scope. We worked in an agile mode to keep updating our scope whenever needed.
With multivendors, ownership is lost, that’s why SIGMA is a one-stop shop. Its consultants engage and take ownership to achieve an overall successful delivery; we fix things together. This approach made the operator decide to expand with SIGMA and sign new partnerships to be announced soon.