Telefónica Colombia serves 21 million customers with Red Hat technology
With more than 21 million customers, Telefónica Colombia is one of the country’s largest telecommunications service providers. Its ongoing mission to improve the speed and cost of delivering digital services became even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue offering a relevant and responsive experience at scale to users of its Mi Movistar application, Telefónica Colombia migrated its IT infrastructure from its existing Oracle technology to Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat’s container management, integration, and application programming interface (API) solutions. In addition to reducing costs through a flexible subscription model, Telefónica Colombia can now deliver new features to its Mi Movistar application up to 51% faster. The service provider can also ensure uninterrupted service by completing maintenance 99% faster.
- Improved operating costs
- Reduced feature release time by 51%
- Improved security with greater API control and insight
- Enhanced digital experience for growing customer base
Delivering digital telecommunications services at market speed and scale
Telefónica Colombia is the country's largest telecommunications service provider, operating under the Movistar brand. In 2021, Telefónica served 21 million customers across hundreds of cities and towns nationwide, delivering optical fiber, fixed broadband, 4G LTE wireless, broadband, pay TV, and fixed line telephony services, as well as a full range of digital solutions for companies and organizations. Customers use the company’s Mi Movistar mobile application to manage their fixed and mobile services, including data use, account balances, pricing, and invoices. The app also provides access to technical support.
Telefónica Colombia maintains an ongoing goal to find ways to improve its services, deliver new features faster, and make the most of its operational budget. When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted rapid growth of digital services, the company sought to replace its existing Oracle technology with a more agile, cost-effective platform and integration solution using enterprise open source technology.
“Our platform was preventing us from evolving and adapting to market needs, putting our competitive advantage at risk,” said Riyesbi José Camacho, Senior Product Owner, Integration Platform, Telefónica Colombia. “We decided to look for a container platform that would help us reduce time to market and deliver more value to our customers at lower cost.”
Replacing a costly proprietary platform with an enterprise open source solution
Telefónica Colombia’s IT Production team and Architecture Center of Excellence (CoE) evaluated potential open source solutions before choosing Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat 3scale API Management, running on Red Hat OpenShift.
“We knew we wanted open source solutions because the market has definitely shifted to favor speed and flexibility. But we also needed a trusted partner to help us on our transformation journey,” said Harvey Mejía, Portfolio Management Manager, HispAm Technology, Telefónica Colombia. “We found that Red Hat fulfilled our requirements for building and supporting Mi Movistar. They are highly experienced and have successful telco implementations around the world.”
Red Hat Fuse is a distributed integration platform with a cloud-native infrastructure that lets developers quickly and independently create, deploy, and scale microservices. Red Hat 3scale API Management enhances the API integration capabilities of Red Hat Fuse with central control, security, and visibility into APIs across internal and third-party users, such as partner companies. Closely integrated with Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat 3scale API Management, Red Hat OpenShift provides a flexible, modular container environment for developing, hosting, and managing Mi Movistar. This Kubernetes-based platform includes robust security and comprehensive automation capabilities.
Telefónica Colombia engaged Red Hat Consulting to conduct a Red Hat Services Container Adoption Journey, focused on improving operational efficiency at scale across its development, architecture, quality assurance (QA), and production teams. The company also engaged Red Hat Training to enhance the digital skills of its teams and establish best practices for Red Hat OpenShift.
“We want to help our developers and administrators build the skills they need to maintain a secure and stable platform, embrace agile development, and ultimately deliver value faster to our customers,” said Camacho.
In recognition of its success with enterprise open source technology, Telefónica Colombia was named a winner of the 2022 Red Hat Innovation Awards.
Optimizing application development, delivery, and management with a responsive, agile approach
Reduced feature time to market by 51%
Compared to its previous performance with Oracle technology, Telefónica Colombia can now deliver applications to market 51% faster—from 33 days to 17 days. Provisioning in particular was significantly improved with self-service through Red Hat OpenShift, from around 3 weeks to just 4 hours.
Red Hat Fuse supports a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) approach that helps Telefónica Colombia’s teams quickly integrate new tools and components that speed creation, testing, and deployment processes for Mi Movistar.
“We saw that a culture of collaboration and continuous improvements could help us work in a much more agile, connected way,” said Roberto Puche, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Colombia, Telefónica Colombia. “Innovation is one of our core values. We always want to provide our Mi Movistar users with new, surprising services that will help us stand out in the market. We can deliver that innovation much faster with Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat OpenShift.”
Improved infrastructure security
Telefónica Colombia has used the built-in security tools and capabilities included in its Red Hat technology to better protect and manage its code, systems, and API. Red Hat OpenShift adds comprehensive, continuous security to standard CI/CD application tools, such as authentication and authorization, auditing, logging, and integrated container registry for tight control of resources and access. Automated upgrades and life cycle management provide the latest patches for the container host, clusters, and hosted applications and services. Now, Telefónica Colombia can apply security patches to production services in just 19 minutes—more than 99% faster than its previous approach.
Additionally, 3scale API Management provides centralized API traffic control, analytics, security, and access policies across development teams using a wide range of encryption, authentication, and authorization protocols.
“With Red Hat 3scale API Management, we have a stronger security layer for our whole integration and services platform, which is critical to our business operations,” said Camacho. “And if we run into any challenges or issues, Red Hat’s security response team is available 24x7.”
Reduced operating costs with enterprise open source software
By migrating to enterprise open source technology, Telefónica Colombia achieved a key goal of its digital transformation efforts: significantly reducing operating costs for the environment running Mi Movistar.
“One of the primary benefits of open source technology is not being tied to one specific vendor,” said Mejía. “With Red Hat’s subscription-based model, we were able to save on licensing costs through flexible scaling of our OpenShift clusters according to our needs. We also don’t have to worry about being locked in for years to the same offering that may not adapt to future business needs.”
Enhanced digital experience for growing customer base
An overall improvement in operation quality has helped Telefónica Colombia deliver a more stable experience to Mi Movistar app users. Version rollback times have been reduced from 20 minutes to just 2 minutes, and maintenance times are now 90% faster.
“With the responsiveness we’ve gained using Red Hat’s container platform and iterative development, we help our customers feel more connected to our brand with details on their current service, promotions and sales, new services, and support where and when they need it,” said Puche. “We’re setting an example for the telco industry throughout the region.”
Continuous delivery of updates and enhancements means users can more easily view and manage their service information and transaction records. A new chatbot provides timely support responses.
“We have seen 70% year-over-year growth in the number of users who can self-manage their service through the app, thanks to being able to access information like their billing and top-up history,” said John Marín Bernal, Senior Product Owner, Integral App Support, Telefónica Colombia.
More than 110,000 employees worldwide
Software and services
Red Hat® OpenShift, Red Hat Fuse, Red Hat 3scale API Management, Red Hat Consulting, Red Hat Services Journey: Container Adoption, Red Hat Training
Innovation is one of our core values. We always want to provide our Mi Movistar users with new services that will not only surprise them but also help us stand out in the market. We can deliver that innovation much faster with Red Hat Fuse and Red Hat OpenShift.
With the responsiveness we’ve gained using Red Hat’s container platform and iterative development, we help our customers feel more connected to our brand with details on their current service, promotions and sales, new services, and support where and when they need it. We’re setting an example for the telco industry throughout the region.
Finding new opportunities for open source innovation
After adopting agile, iterative workflows to deliver continuous improvements to Mi Movistar and its IT infrastructure, Telefónica Colombia plans to continue to expand its Red Hat integration and container environment to new services and business needs.
“Now that we’ve seen the benefits that open source and containers have to offer, we plan to expand our use of open source to continue delivering innovative experiences faster to our customers,” said Mejía. “We’re pleased with what we’ve accomplished so far with Red Hat’s support and are looking forward to continuing our digital transformation efforts working alongside them.”
Telefónica is a company sensitive to the new challenges demanded by today's society. That is why we offer the means to facilitate communication between people, providing them with the most secure and cutting-edge technology, so that they live better and achieve what they set out to do. We have an innovative, attentive spirit with immense technological potential that multiplies the ability to choose for its more than 322 million customers in 21 countries. We are a private company that has more than 1.5 million shareholders and is listed on several of the main stock markets in the world. telefonica.co
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