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          DevOps & Cloud

          HT Eronet makes its billing system more agile and secure


          Our team and Red Hat helped HT Eronet transition to a modern SAP-based billing system as a part of their digital transformation to make it safer and more agile.


          Telecommunications (telco) company HT Eronet provides mobile telephony, fixed telephony, and broadband internet services to customers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As part of its digital transformation, the telco was transitioning to a modern SAP-based billing system that can consume data from various sources. But its fragmented integration approach was hindering development. Now, Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat 3scale API Management, both running on Red Hat OpenShift on-premise, provides a single central integration platform.

          As a result, developers, for example, can develop faster, connect the billing platform faster, and even reuse code stored in a central GitLab repository. Moreover, hardware costs have been cut, security strengthened, and developers motivated.

          Meeting increasing demands from customers and the business

          Based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, telco company HT Eronet was created after the separation of Hrvatska pošta Mostar (HP Mostar) and Hrvatske telekomunikacije (HT). Operating as JP Hrvatske telekomunikacije d.d. Mostar, the telco provides mobile telephony, fixed telephony, and broadband internet services. “Consumers are demanding more and more,” said Damir Musa, Head of Business Information Systems at HT Eronet, “and telcos need to leverage technology to give them what they need.”

          The telco was transitioning to a new SAP-based billing system that would consume data from diverse sources. “Our information systems include everything from business support systems (BSS) such as invoicing to operational support systems (OSS) managing the radio network,” said Musa, noting the complex architecture’s many different technologies and data formats. “Our customer billing system lies at the core, and we needed to simplify how our billing system communicates with the other systems so we could respond faster to new demands.”

          But HT Eronet’s legacy billing system relied on SOAP web services for retrieving data from the diverse systems, a solution that was complex and difficult to maintain. Individual developers maintained each of the SOAP services. “If someone left our company, we struggled to understand their SOAP service,” said Musa. “So, we decided to build a single, central communications platform and adopt a microservices approach to accelerate the development of the new features and services that our business and our customers were demanding.

          Adopting an agile integration approach

          Red Hat partner and solution provider CROZ helped HT Eronet select, prove, and adopt Red Hat 3scale API Management and Red Hat Fuse ESB running on Red Hat OpenShift for its simplified central communications platform.

          We specifically selected Red Hat OpenShift because it is an enterprise-ready container orchestration platform that could speed up HT Eronet’s journey to cloud-native development and deployment,” said Luka Gauta, Business Development Manager at CROZ. “It helps to speed up application development and delivery, making it popular with HT Eronet’s developers.

          Red Hat 3Scale API Management and Red Hat Fuse run on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, which is deployed in a virtualized on-premise environment. “Our Red Hat integration technologies connect our new billing platform to everything from our financial systems through our network to customer-facing web applications,” said Musa.

          Red Hat 3scale API Management extends the Red Hat OpenShift platform to expose APIs easily and securely outside the platform. Deployment of APIs can be scripted and automated, which makes it a good fit for today’s DevOps requirements. Red Hat Fuse helps further speed up the fast pace of modern Java application development. Its out-of-the-box retry policies simplify the development
          of a robust integration solution for HT Eronet.

          HT Eronet currently relies on CROZ to implement new and adapt existing Red Hat Fuse integrations and APIs on Red Hat 3scale but expects its own developers to take over in time. In addition to knowledge transfer from CROZ, the telco’s teams are continually advancing their knowledge. During the COVID-19 lockdown, they attended online training and, more recently, in-person courses.

          HT Eronet are continuously trying to take advantage of the full potential of our support,” said Luka Gauta, CROZ. “From hands-on IT support to education and consulting in relevant areas that improve business values and process flow, we are proud to be their trusted partner.

          Responding to new demands while amplifying security and cutting costs

          • Accelerated time to market for services and improved business agility and
            customer service
            Adopting an agile integration approach based on Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat 3scale has made it easier for developers to connect applications and data across diverse telco systems. HT Eronet can now create and adapt customer and business services faster.
            Reduced hardware costs by providing a more efficient, central integration platform
            Deploying and streamlining all integrations on one central platform has allowed HT Eronet to operate more efficiently and reduce hardware costs. It also reduces the complexity of connecting various systems, making it more robust and simplifying disaster recovery.
            Strengthened security by improving data and API protection
            A unified integration approach based on Red Hat technologies simplifies identification and authorization for HT Eronet. The telco can better protect the customer data it holds than with the fragmented security in the previous environment.
            Enabled DevOps and motivated staff with modern DevOps tooling
            Shifting to a new platform based on microservices running on Red Hat OpenShift has allowed HT Eronet to adopt a DevOps approach. A central GitLab code repository further accelerates development with developers reusing code for connecting different systems. Furthermore, adopting agile integration based on Red Hat technologies means HT Eronet can offer developers a modern working environment. Motivating development staff has improved retention while attracting new talent.

          Expanding success across the organization

          The new integration platform built on Red Hat technologies simplifies how our new billing system communicates with our diverse BSS and OSS systems,” said Musa, sharing how the open platform provides opportunities to connect to other systems in the future.

          Red Hat technologies will also allow the new platform to scale as demands increase: “With Red Hat OpenShift, we can easily add more resources when needed,” said Musa. “Talking of scalability, we envision migrating to the public cloud in the future but must first address concerns around data and security.”

          The company is now looking to expand its use of Red Hat agile integration technologies. “Red Hat technologies have an important role in our digital transformation,” said Musa. “We are also considering using our new integration platform across other parts of the company.


          Originally published here.


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