Asteros helped MegaFon virtualize its call centers throughout Russia

Aug 24, 2015

MegaFon and Asteros completed a unique virtualization project at all of the mobile operator’s call centers in Russia. As a result, MegaFon was able to significantly reduce its expenses on server infrastructure support, increase fault tolerance, and also provide a quick and easy way for subscribers to connect to new services in all regions of Russia. The project received the Avaya Technology Innovation Award 2015.

MegaFon has branches in all regions of Russia, including the Capital, Central, North-Western, Caucasus, Far Eastern, Volga, Siberian and Ural regions. Each of them has a call center providing service 24 hours a day. MegaFon presently has about 2500 operators taking calls from subscribers.

MegaFon uses equipment from Avaya, a leading international telecommunications company, to ensure a unified technological standard at all its call centers. In order to improve the quality of services and broaden their service offering, MegaFon was constantly expanding the technological capabilities of the contact centers' infrastructure. The rapid launch of new applications required increasingly more productive equipment because, over time, country-wide updates to the companys IT stock had become a drain on resources.

The mobile operator initiated a conversion project to transfer the standard architecture of its call centers to virtual architecture. This was supposed to increase the infrastructures reliability, scalability, and performance. In addition to this, MegaFon was pursuing an important goal: optimization of capital and operational expenses on support for the call centers' infrastructure. In order to carry out the project, a team of over 50 IT professionals from MegaFon, Asteros and Avaya was formed.

The concept of virtualization was first tested at the companys branch in the Volga region. The virtual infrastructure was successfully operating for two years, providing smooth administration, quick scaling, reliability and an increased capacity to deliver new subscriber services at any time.

Over the course of just six months, the project group virtualized all of MegaFons contact centers using the latest technologies and equipment from Avaya based on the VMware platform. While developing the projects architecture and design, professionals from Asteros and MegaFon analyzed the configurations and catalogues of settings from eight of the companys contact centers, and then optimized and unified the settings. This made it possible to substantially reduce the time required to transfer the server infrastructure to a virtual environment. As a result, the management of business processes related to subscriber services was centralized and the infrastructure at the companys contact centers became more fault tolerant.

In less than 3 months, 217 servers were built, configured, tested, and put into operation all across Russia. During the project, all systems were virtualized, including Avaya Aura Communication Manager, Avaya Aura System Manager, Avaya Aura Session Manager, Avaya Interaction Center, Avaya Application Enablement Services, and Avaya Aura Experience Portal.

“Non-stop communication with customers is a top priority for federal companies in the telecommunications field,” commented Igor Romanov, Head of Development and Maintenance of IT Infrastructure at MegaFon. We achieved an important goal thanks to virtualization; we optimized expenses on call center maintenance and also increased their reliability and fault tolerance. Besides this, it was much easier to upgrade infrastructure with a centralized administration and management to adapt to the continuously increasing requirements of the business. From a reliability perspective, in order to restore the working capacity of the server hardware you need time and local resources, but you can put a virtual server into working condition from a previously saved photo in a manner of minutes. We keep in step with all the latest developments and this enables us to not only remain leaders in technology but to constantly improve the quality of services for our customers.

Virtualization has already proven its efficiency and unsurpassed ability to quickly connect new capabilities, which is especially important for the telecommunications operator's dynamic business, remarked Valery Sokolyuk, Head of the Infrastructure and Telecommunication Solutions Department at the Asteros Group. Together with the team from MegaFon and Avaya, we were able to ensure the continuous operation of MegaFon's services because the migration to virtual infrastructure occurred during the hour of lowest workload, in other words, at night, with minimal risks of downtime and taking the time zones into account. This project for MegaFon is our largest to date and is quite likely the most streamlined infrastructure solution which enables the rapid completion of business tasks at a rather economical price.

As part of last springs Avaya Engages Moscow 2015 forum, this project won the Avaya Technology Innovation Award 2015 and received a nomination for its outstanding contribution in Deploying Contact Center Infrastructure Virtualization in MegaFon.

The Asteros Group and MegaFon have been collaborating for over 10 years. Together they have created and upgraded the telecommunications operators contact centers and also implemented the specialized Asteros Business Contact. Telecom solution. In addition to this, the Teleopti CCC shift work planning system was implemented, which made it possible to flexibly adjust the work schedule of contact center consultants to the actual load. Among other large-scale projects are the implementation of an outbound calling system and human resources management system at MegaFons contact centers, the creation of a unified corporate knowledge portal at two of the companys branches, as well as many other projects.

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