UPC Polska has broken the shackles of a 20-year-old IT infrastructure by embracing new agile development through the use of Google Cloud's Anthos. Before implementing a hybrid environment strategy with Google Cloud’s Anthos, UPC Polska was running everything out of its on-premises data centers.
Anthos is an open hybrid and multi-cloud application platform that offers telecommunications companies the flexibility to modernize existing applications, build new ones and securely run them on-premises and across multiple clouds.
Anthos allows Google to abstract cloud environments and use the same tools and mechanisms that they use inside Google Cloud in any other cloud environment, such as Amazon Web Services.
According to a blog by UPC Polska's Monika Nowak-Toporowicz, chief technology and innovation officer, Anthos is now deployed in its on premise data centers.
"With Anthos, we can uniformly set policy at scale and continuously release features without worrying about security, vulnerability management or downtime across different environments," Nowak-Toporowicz said. "Our developers can then focus on writing better code, while operators use Anthos to effectively manage and run those applications anywhere. Accenture further drove the DevOps culture shift we needed to make this all work, through training and support that quickly got our staff up to speed."
UPC Polska serves 1.5 million customers across 3 million services each day, but it realized it needed to move from a waterfall deployment model to an agile model by using Anthos and developing a DevOps mindset for its IT teams.
"While we still run several business critical applications on premises, it also became increasingly clear to us that we could not develop, test, and deploy new features fast enough in our existing environment," Nowak-Toporowicz said. "As a result, we came to a stark realization: We had to transform our IT infrastructure to accelerate our feature release process, or risk losing customers."
Nowak-Toporowicz said UPC Polska's customer service application enables it to build personalized relationships with more than one million customers, but "rapid features are critical to our success." The customer service application was one of the first targets for modernization by using Anthos.
Systems integrator Accenture provided the means to migrate that app to the new hybrid environment. All three companies worked with UPC Polska's employees to help them embrace the changes that were needed for the overall technical migration and a big cultural shift that was necessary to adopt the hybrid cloud model.
Google Cloud and Accenture’s work with UPC Polska began before the Covid-19 pandemic. While the deployment itself took place during the pandemic, Covid-19 didn’t' impact the overall deployment timeline. The initial deployment was completed in roughly six weeks, without any lapses in service or increases in risk.
UPC Polska, which competes against Orange Polska, among others, is looking at adding new services and applications now that it has Anthos in place.
"With our IT infrastructure and culture working together as part of a more agile model powered by Anthos, the sky's the limit for our personalization efforts, which frees us to dream up more ways to serve our customers," Nowak-Toporowicz said. "For example, we’re exploring projects like software-defined access networks, cloud-based CRM, more personalized customer experiences, smart home technology, integrations between mobile and fixed networks, and an ever-growing portfolio of content and services."