Getting new mobile products to market has become significantly faster and the end-user experience improved, thanks to changes in the way Telstra Wholesale does pre-launch tests.

Telstra Wholesale’s product testing regime – a rigorous process given to mobile customers’ products, plans and updates – has been re-thought over the past six months, in conjunction with partners Ericsson and KJR quality assurance consultants.

The results have given faster turnaround to customers’ new products – and also improved the end-user experience, says Telstra Wholesale’s Mobility Onboarding Manager, Alison O’Leary.

Identifying the problem

“We work really closely with our customers when they want to create a new plan, launch a new service, or change an existing plan, so they can take a compelling product to market,” said Alison. “The requirements are provided to Ericsson for configuration on their platform. At that point, before the service is launched to the general public, we do post-production verification testing to make sure that everything has been delivered correctly.

“Our customers look to us to provide them with guidance on what would be a good experience for their end-users,” added Alison. “So we went back to our testing process to ask:
• are we testing the right things?
• is that what our customer wants us to be testing?
• is the testing producing the outcomes that we want, and is it reducing our time to market?
• where can we automate, and where can we improve the quality of the product that we’re providing ultimately to the customer?

“We have been using traditional functional testing, but over the last six months we’ve added end-user experience testing. We are transitioning to focus more on the end-user experience.”

Rethinking tests for a better customer outcome

The testing, done in Ericsson’s Wholesale Mobile Evolution (WME) platform, includes simulating that end-user experience to ensure it is flawless. This could include checking the wording of SMS service messages which go to out to customers to ensure they make sense and combining messages where possible to ensure minimum messaging to the end customer.

Alison added: “In the past we would check that the text coming from the platform was as provided. If it was: then we knew those two things correspond. Now, however, we’re looking more deeply at whether it all fits together and makes sense. This includes simulating an end-user scenario and looking at how they would consume data and what their experience would be.”

The Telstra Wholesale Onboarding, Ericsson Managed Services and the KJR teams have worked together to track the root cause of common issues and altered their processes to eradicate them. The result: no backlog of issues in the tracking system and a significantly quicker time to market for customers.

“We have also worked with Ericsson and KJR to create a knowledge-sharing database, where we retain learnings from the previous activities,” said Alison.

“We are so pleased we’ve collaborated with our partners and mobile customers, taken on their feedback, and improved our processes and testing times significantly – benefiting all working groups.”

What you need to know:

  • Telstra Wholesale has worked with Ericsson and KJR to improve pre-launch mobile product testing for customers, significantly cutting the time to market for new products.
  • The amendments to TW’s mobile customer testing regime has a number of other benefits including:
    • Simulating end-user experience to ensure perfect delivery of customer messages
    • Combining messages, so that end-users are contacted as seldom as possible
    • Ensuring ‘best practice’ communications between service providers and their customers
    • Improving the quality of the Mobile products and plans offered in market.
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