Swissphone | DevOps implementation for improved business agility

Innovative software solutions for the products that support every step of the alarm chain is based on modern technologies. Automation, cloud solutions, and new virtualization technologies are used to modernize the entire development process, speed up testing and delivery of new releases too.

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Swissphone Wireless AG is a Swiss-based company founded in 1969. It is producing robust pagers, designing secure networking and developing innovative software solutions. It’s products and solutions support every step of alarms chain, ranging from emergency calls to coordination in the control center, up to network and pager alerts.

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Responsibilities

Serengeti maintains the entire infrastructure of the Swissphone Development Department. At the same time, we are upgrading and migrating the existing infrastructure to new hardware and software. We also implement upgrades in automation and continuous integration within the development department. 

Swissphone has a large development department in house, but they realized that they do not have enough available engineers, Linux and DevOps principles and tools knowledge for successful migration. In discussions with Serengeti they decided that Serengeti engineers could do the complete migration.

The biggest challenge is migration of old infrastructure to new, integration of newer technologies for system monitoring, continuous integration and upgrade of all software solutions to the latest versions. Also, moving to newer virtualization technologies, such as Docker was a big challenge.

Solution

Serengeti has expertise in DevOps implementation both in Linux and Windows environments. Swissphone decided to engage Serengeti team to design and implement DevOps system. Implementation is ongoing process. In the first phase of onsite work, customer engineers worked together with Serengeti engineers. That way trust and good communication channels were established which are basis of successful co-operation on distance. Swissphone was sceptical of how efficient the Serengeti engineers would be to operate at a remote location. However, because of the good preparation and proven engagement model, moving to a remote location was smooth and the team quickly achieved full productivity.

Serengeti engineers in Zagreb work as part of the Swissphone team, the assignments are created by the client and then in sprint planning tasks are explained to all members of the team; engineers select the tasks on a weekly basis depending on the specific business priorities in agreement with the Swissphone team and also depending on delivery deadlines for new versions of software developed within all development teams.

Communication with Swiss colleagues is regular and informal, on a daily basis and once a week to discuss what has been done in the past week and what are the priorities for the next week. This way, the work of Serengeti Engineers is maximally effective and synchronized with customer changing requirements.

Result

Swissphone, in cooperation with Serengeti, has stabilized the existing infrastructure, and migration to the new infrastructure is underway in parallel. Long-term partnership was established. Successful cooperation in the field of existing infrastructure maintenance has also been extended to the DevOps area thanks to the proactive consultative approach of the Serengeti. In this approach, Serengeti, after being well acquainted with the business and the needs of the user, proactively suggests areas in which the overall development process can be improved. The most valuable result of this co-operation is that the user has a long-term partner to maintain, automate and improve development department systems. Serengeti uses its broad DevOps knowledge to consult customer how to apply modern technologies such as automation, cloud solutions, new virtualization technologies and CI / CD technologies.

Serengeti has proved to be reliable partner with deep expertise in DevOps area. They helped us to modernise our development process and speed up testing and delivery of new releases.

Christoph Balzer

Head of Software Engineering at Swissphone

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