Alcatel-Lucent and EXALT Case Study

 

Background
Alcatel-Lucent Application Software Group (ASG), is a business unit in the Alcatel Lucent Company, responsible for the Genesys call centre software product range. About three years ago the company was looking to outsource various aspects of its software development. After reviewing a number of locations and companies it chose to appoint EXALT, with whom it had experience of working with on a number of small and highly successful projects. In the following two and half years the relationship has grown to the extent that the EXALT developers are now seen as part of the ASG team and have delivered and are continuing to deliver multiple projects.

The specific Alcatel-Lucent unit with which EXALT works is the Applications Software Group. It is responsible for the Genesys product range which provides applications software, including contact centre software, IMS applications, and operations support systems and business support systems software.

Genesys software is a very important product within the call centre market; it directs more than 100 million customer interactions every day for 4,000 companies and government agencies in 80 countries.

EXALT Technologies Ltd. is a software development company based in Ramallah, in the Palestinain West Bank. Established in 1997, EXALT helped lead the software outsourcing industry in Palestine with customers such as Siemens, Alcatel Lucent and Cisco. The company provides complete development cycle services, delivered by team of highly experienced engineers covering such technologies as Java based services, web enabled applications and mobile technologies.
 

Alcatel-Lucent provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband access, carrier and enterprise IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move.
 

Projects

EXALT is responsible for multiple projects for ASG, the majority focussed on the development and maintenance of the Genesys call centre solution. An important aspect of the relationship relates to the method of working, which is to ensure the teams from ASG and EXALT work closely together, in many cases operating as one unit whilst providing ASG with the flexibility and access to expertise as it requires.
The projects include:

Mobile Advisor
Description: The Mobile Advisor application allows personnel to view Contact Center Advisor’s data through a pre-installed application on their iPhone, Blackberry and Android mobile devices. It allows users to monitor all key performance statistics in real-time, chart different metrics and view different Call Centers’ alerts.
Objectives:
• Develop the iPhone Mobile Advisor application and views,
• Managed user preferences in an iPhone local database,
• Built the entire back-end system,
• Port the application to Blackberry and Android.
Technologies:
• iPhone Version (XCode SDK / Objective-C), Blackberry touch and non-touch versions (Blackberry JDK), Android , Java EE, Restlet Framework, Xerces parser.
Time frame: January 2009 – Ongoing.


Call Center Action and Alert Management
Description: The project consists of different modules that allow end-users to create Action Management Reports for an Alert within a Call Center. It gives the ability to view a summary of all active and expired Alerts. Alerts and Key Actions can be configured from an administration page.
Objectives:
• Built the GUI for each type of report,
• Built an administration page to mange Alerts and Key Actions taken,
• Connect the GUI with the backend services using RPC.
Technologies:
• GWT (Google web toolkit), TML / CSS, MS SQL Server.
Time Frame: Nov 2007- Nov 2008.
 

Call Center Historic Analyzer
Description: The Historical Option provides the capability to investigate historical call data from Informiam Contact Center Advisor, as well as support off-line reporting and investigative analysis.
Objective:
• Front-end / Backend Development in addition to implementing new features.
Technologies:
• XUL, Oracle, Flex, JAVA/JSP/Servlet.
Time Frame: Sep 2007 - March 2009.
 

Dynamic Call System Management
Description: The Dynamic Contact Center (DCC) is an extension of the Call Analyzer dashboard that allows the user to manipulate the Genesys configuration and resolve issues in real-time without the need to switch to another application.
Objectives:
• Built the different UI (User Interface) modules,
• Integrated the user Interface with the back-end services.
Technologies:
• GWT (Google web toolkit), GWT RPC Service, Restlet, MS SQLServer, Flex/ActionScript.
Time Frame: January 2009 - May 2009.
 

Charting Module
Description: The charting module is a reusable component, built in Flex, which allows rendering live and historical data coming from Call Centers. The Component was used in 3 different projects.
Objectives:
• Development of the charting module
• Integration with other products.
Technologies:
• Adobe Flex / Action script 3, JAVA + JSP.
Time Frame: April 2009 – August 2009.
 

Call Center Customer Interactions Portal
Description: The Genesys Customer Interaction Portal is a Web-based solution that enables managed service providers to “on demand” contact center offerings including traditional touchtone and speech-enabled self-service applications.
Objective:
• Development of new features and modules.
Technologies:
• Oracle & MySQL, JAVA/JSP/JSTL/Servlet.
Time Frame: January 2009 –ongoing
 

IT Operations (Ticketing System)
Description: Web based ticketing system which allows to monitor the availability of IT environment and provide feedback and reporting to the management.
Objective:
• Development of new features and support of the ticketing system.
Technologies:
• MS SQL Server, JAVA/JSP, Servlet.
Time Frame: February 2008-Ongoing.
 

Call Analyzer and Workforce Utilization
Description: A contact center suite designed to monitor performance statistics, agent behaviours and exceptions in real time. It provides alerts for performance deviations and determines where those deviations are occurring.
Objective:
• To add new features and enhancements to the Dashboards.
Technologies:
• Flex/Flash, MS SQLServer, JAVA, Restlet.
Time Frame: January 2009- Ongoing.
 

Platform I18n/L10n Project
Description: To Internationalise and localise a full suite of eight call center related applications to all European languages.                                         Objectives:
• Established development guidelines for internationalizing/localizing new products,
• Developed an internationalization/localization utility that generates string bundles (properties, xml) files from spreadsheets and vice versa.
Technologies:
• Flash, Flex/ActionScript, JavaScript, XML, Mockikit, Java/JSP, XUL, GWT.
Timeframe: March 2008 – November 2008.
 

Why EXALT?
ASG’s motivations to outsource some of its software development were to reduce costs, gain access to specialist resources, both technical and managerial, and be able to balance work flows. In particular it was seeking web development skills as well as more general software skills. In the past ASG had found that outsourcing was not only cost efficient but generates higher quality results.

The relationship needed to be based on quality and trust between the two organisations and between the development teams. Exalt has years of experience and competency in the field of R&D, and had proved it is capable of sharing the knowledge and expertise of its developers by providing outsourcing services to other medium and large businesses based on the latest technologies.

Additionally Exalt, in line with other Palestinian outsourcing companies, offers extremely good value for money which provides ASG with a real cost advantage in its development work.

However, Exalt was primarily chosen for its experience in the software R&D business. In addition to its business philosophy of flexibility, it provides very good engineers with experience in the latest technologies supported by sound software management processes. Its young management and modern spirit provided an innovative approach and the company was seeking to build long term business relationships based on high quality standards and mutual benefits, which matched ASG’s requirements.

Services Provided
The technologies and services provided by Exalt include:
- Maintenance for existing Alcatel Lucent solutions,
- Development of new features for existing products,
- Development of new products based on customer requirements,
- Porting their existing desktop application to hand-held devices.
ASG now rely on EXALT for their User Interface work, having decided to keep the expertise for all aspects of these developments with EXALT, rather than maintaining in-house resources.


Outcomes
The overall outcome is that Exalt and ASG have a very close working relationship whereby the EXALT developers are considered to be part of the clients team. EXALT team have built up many areas of expertise and in one area, User Interfaces, are the experts for the group which demonstrates great trust in the company and the relationship. There have been specific benefits for both organisations:

Benefits for Alcatel Lucent:
- They receive high quality services and outputs,
- The projects are highly cost effective and ensure the best value from R&D budgets and have a positive impact on the profits from the product group,
- Timely delivery allows products and enhancements to be brought to market in less time,
- It provides ASG with access to relevant experience and latest technology experience without having to build the capability in-house.

Benefits for EXALT:
- The relationship creates growth and high standard career opportunities for employees,
- It supports the maintenance of a highly qualified team with hands on experience of the latest technologies,
- It supports the development of increased international business by working with multinational organizations,
- It expands knowledge, develops strong communication skills and competent technical experience,
- It adds to the overall experience of the Palestinian outsourcing business.
 

Client View
The following are quotes from the Clients at Alcatel-Lucent.


“Working with Exalt has been a great experience for my team and myself personally. When we first started working with Exalt, we were hesitant about the direction in which to proceed since we did not know the capabilities of the individual developers and were not sure which parts of the product suite they would be able to work on. However, as time has gone by, I have seen Exalt really step up to the plate time and time again. The developers are always willing to learn new software development practices and technologies and tackle challenging problems, and they work very well with the local development team in terms of collaboration and knowledge sharing. We have therefore developed a very strong relationship with them and the Exalt management team to the point where we consider them to be an extension of our local team. As an example of this unique relationship, I now consider the team to be the UI experts and lean heavily on them for any dashboard development that needs to be done or questions that need to be answered; at this stage, we don’t have any developer on the local team working on the UI for this very reason. The work ethic and processes of the Exalt team is commendable; I get frequent updates from the developers about what they are working on and issues they are facing, which in turn allows me to plan projects more efficiently and address problems before they get out of hand. Overall, I am very happy to be working with the Exalt team.”
Pratik Bang
Development Manager, Performance Management Suite
Genesys

“I have had the pleasure of working with Exalt on a number of products, and have found the relationship very professional, efficient, and productive. Exalt and particularly Sari has consistently delivered quality code, ahead of timing expectations. Exalt has been thorough in thinking through use and edge cases during requirements reviews, allowing the team to get ahead of detailed issues early in the cycles. As a result, projects as a whole run smoother and deliver to field and market expectations. Exalt is a strong asset to any software development organization.”
Craig Farquharson
Senior Product Manager
Genesys, an Alcatel-Lucent Company

For further information about EXALT please contact Tareq Maayah: +970 5992 83964