Telecoms - Mobile telephony pre market deployment assessment
Dunstan Thomas was looking for an offshore development partner and selected Ascent Software after an intensive selection process. Proximity to the UK and mature management and process were key criteria in making their choice.
The initial project assigned to Ascent was to upgrade and then to maintain an existing web portal of one of Dunstan Thomas's larger clients in the mobile telephony industry. The portal acts as a repository and work environment through which the client communicates with all major mobile handset providers. It is a tool for communication between all involved parties, designed to enhance market research prior to deploying new mobile products and services. This communication takes place on two levels - marketing and technical. A sophisticated mechanism allows multiple worldwide users to provide, exchange and approve details of new products and services before they are commissioned to go live.
Poor initial software design meant that scalability was starting to become an issue, and Ascent was tasked with correcting existing issues and enabling further development.
"Our selection was driven out of the need to increase resource numbers whilst not compromising on quality. In the past we had used Indian offshore companies. The experience was not wholly positive, with communication, culture and levels of skill key amongst the factors.
Working with Ascent has been a completely different experience all together. The very proximity of Malta to the UK coupled with the excellent educational standards and fluent English communication, make Malta a very compelling proposition for UK based companies. We have been pleasantly surprised by the levels of sophistication not only technically but also in the maturity of Ascent's management and process. We shall continue to use Ascent to deliver our products and look forward to a long fruitful relationship. We are confident that Ascent Software can offer a variety of value added services which we can leverage to strengthen our position in the market place."
Ascent Software was primarily responsible for understanding the existing code base, refactoring the entire application and optimising the database backend. Subsequent parts of the project involved the creation of an automatic email daemon and the enhancing of the UI.
Once the code base was absorbed, Ascent embarked on the task of refactoring major parts of the application. The project was developed using C# and ASP.NET using some XML-based processes. Optimisation of the existing solution was necessary to speed up the extraction of data throughout the portal as well as for data retrieval for reporting. Ascent migrated business logic from the portal to the database in stored procedures and also optimised these stored procedures.
An enhanced User Interface included new system features such as the ability to investigate current status of a change notification. Existing features were also improved, including the addition of filters to the administration pages. At the Ascent development team's suggestion, an audit log was also built into the system to keep track of all movements.
Dunstan Thomas saw a rapid and cost-effective project completed for a key client. An important web portal was substantially improved, not only in terms of new features added but also in terms of the ease of future maintenance and development.