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eir is the largest provider of fixed-line and mobile telecommunications within Ireland, servicing over two million customers, employing over 3,500 people and generating revenues of €1.3 billion annually. In 2011, eir began a complex strategic telecom programme of work on various core technologies, including: a complete overhaul of the core IT systems and software, building a Next Generation Access (NGA) fibre network, introducing 4G LTE and quad play service offerings for TV, fixed-line, mobile LTE and NGA fibre broadband.

Our long-term managed service partnership with eir provided leadership, guidance and governance; providing telecom quality assurance and software testing services for the duration of the project.

The multi-year telecom programme would cement eir’s position as a leader in the Irish market, as well as provide the foundation for their plans for future growth.

The Challenge

Five of eir’s key programmes – LTE (4G), NGA wholesale & retail (FTTH / FTTC), IPTV and a new billing and CRM implementation – required major restructuring of business-critical core systems, including billing, CRM, fixed operations support systems (OSS) and business support systems (BSS).

As the ultimate aim of the programme was to strengthen and grow eir, there was another crucial element of the work – being first to market. Speed is an essential strategy in the fiercely competitive telecommunications sector, so the target was to develop next generation technology and deliver it to the Irish market before anyone else.

Ensuring reliability while rapidly delivering new services presented us with a complex telecom software testing and quality assurance challenge.

SQS’s Approach to Rapid Development Testing Support

Working as a partnership, SQS and eir agreed that the quality management aspects of the various programmes needed an independent, bespoke quality and managed testing solution.

A multi-layered quality management strategy was required: at programme level, issues such as vendor governance needed addressing, while individual projects required functional, performance and automated testing.

Our role was to provide strategic input to the governance board on the programme testing process and vendor performance. The SQS team was instrumental in setting up quality gates for external providers, improving vendor governance and linking supplier performance to programme deliverables.

On a project-level, we provided a large, experienced telecoms software and systems testing team to develop the solution and focus on rapid and cost-effective results. We employed both waterfall and agile delivery methodologies during the programme.

Outcome

The partnership with SQS and a strategic view of quality management have enabled eir to successfully deliver its transformation programmes and gain a clear competitive advantage.

First to Market with Next Generation Technology

eir’s 4G LTE and quad-play services were the first to reach the Irish market, and these services went live with minimal disruption to customers and existing operations.

Growing Market Leader

Our expertise has enabled eir to further establish its position as Ireland’s leading telecommunications provider, win new customers and gain revenue.

Significant Savings

eir achieved cumulative productivity, efficiency and volume savings of over €1.5 million, plus cumulative savings of over €2 million through offshore delivery.

We continue to work with eir in a managed service partnership. Further projects include aggressive testing automation and offshoring to reduce costs, and process improvement to improve eir’s time to market.

“Our company has been through some significant and exciting changes, from acquiring Meteor to introducing new game-changing services. Throughout this period, SQS has been a trusted, reliable and pragmatic partner that has worked closely with the eir testing practice and the organisation to support the most significant change in our company’s history. Together we delivered outstanding quality with minimal impact to customers and operations. SQS’s software quality expertise, knowledge of the telecommunications sector and ability to scale to meet programme demands gave us full confidence in all programmes during our merger and subsequent release of new services, including the accolade of being the first to market with 4G and quad-play bundling.”
- Ashley Morgan, Director Service Creation, eir.

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