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JBoss Innovation Award Winner

Company: Verizon Business

Innovation Award Category: Superior Alternatives

Industry: Telecomm

Geography: North America

Solution: JBoss SOA Platform; JBoss Business Process Management; JBoss Enterprise Application Platform

BACKGROUND

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 94.1 million customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 194,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of $106.6 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE

In early 2010, Verizon was looking to "harden" a relatively new element of its mission critical Network Management System. The application, named IMPACT, was built to automate management of Network Management Alarms and Events. IMPACT had become increasingly important because its automatons improved customer service and saved countless man-hours of the Network Operations Center (NOC) personnel. As additional Verizon Business customers began to rely on this service, the IMPACT team was awarded funding to harden the architecture. This involved replacing the current, proprietary BPM system, that was EOL, with a new BPM system that had better performance , and moving from a single-point-of-failure environment to a highly available, clustered environment. Lastly, it involved moving more than 70 business work flow automatons, some with up to 400 actions, to the new environment.

SOLUTION

As the company began evaluating solutions, it was imperative that several key initiatives were addressed. Verizon wanted to implement a high-availability architecture that would support the required scalability and performance, improve up-time and provide better support to the operation systems.

The current implementation was already built on JBoss Application Server, so the Verizon Impact team was comfortable with the high quality and value of the open-source model. As such, the company preferred a solution that had flexible subscription terms and avoided vendor lock-in. Therefore, Verizon was interested in expanding their JBoss product use as long as they performed equal or better than the proprietary solutions in this very demanding application. It was also critical that the products were standards-based and extendable, which afforded flexibility to customize the products' behavior as needed.

Lastly, because of the scale and complexity of this project, the Verizon Impact Team was looking for a true partnership for design and implementation support for the new solution. With a tight deadline of only six to eight months to take the project from development to quality assurance to production, the company understood the importance of services and support.

After an exhaustive search and performance bake-off that included evaluating the leading middleware products on the market, proprietary as well as open-source solutions, Verizon selected the JBoss SOA Platform, which includes JBoss Business Process Management (JBPM) and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, and design and implementation professional services from Red Hat's Amentra.

The Verizon Impact team and Amentra started working on the project in March 2010 and over the course of five releases, one every other month, Verizon built a stable, highly reliable, and high performance system. The open standards-based design of SOA-P enabled the Verizon team to add customized functionality to meet specific business and technical requirements. During the project, Verizon has moved over a number of the most demanding automations and the up-time statistics have been improving with every month.

BENEFITS

The IMPACT application has had a very large impact for the Verizon Network Operations (NOC) Centers. Since it's implementation, Verizon NOCs have been able to better meet their internal and external customer Service Level Agreements and avoid associated penalties when SLAs were not met. NOC personnel were able to focus more on higher value activities like proactively resolving potential service affecting issues rather than clearing less critical alarms and events.

In the end, Verizon considered Red Hat technology because it was open source, but they also selected it because it out performed the proprietary technologies and allowed the company more customization for its application. Red Hat made it easy through their very skilled Amentra consultants, and Verizon has proved that Red Hat's open source is mission-critical ready.