Executive summary

Client background

Lebara is one of Europe's fastest-growing mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) with operations in 10 countries. The company offers Pay As You Go mobile SIM cards and other related products and services for migrant communities.

Business challenge

Lebara needed to improve their legacy IT infrastructure and undergo a comprehensive digital transformation to ensure scalability, agility, and faster time-to-market.

N-iX approach

N-iX formed an R&D center with over 100 experts that support Lebara’s digital transformation. We provide a wide range of services, including software development and quality assurance, business intelligence, database administration, and more.

Value delivered

N-iX has helped Lebara expand into new markets by improving the time-to-market of its solutions. Additionally, Lebara enjoys a quicker, faster, and more flexible way of introducing innovations.

Location:
United Kingdom, London
Partnership period:
April 2018 - present
Team size:
100
Team location:
Ukraine, Lviv
Technologies:
Java .NET Hybris JavaScript iOS Android Microsoft SQL Server, Android SDK, Android Studio IDE, HTML, Gulp, HTML5/CSS3, Node.js, SQL, Azure Cloud Service, Azure Service Bus, Spring boot, Hybris OOB stack, Gulp JS

Success story in detail

Business challenge: Optimizing operations to support a growing customer base

Lebara initiated a digital transformation program that would support their expansion to new markets. The program was designed by a leading consulting agency and required assistance in implementation from an experienced software development partner. At that time, Lebara had several IT vendors. However, the company was looking for another provider that could cover all their needs in software development, such as optimization of their existing BI solution and platform migration from on-premises to the cloud.

Lebara case study image
N-iX approach: From a single development team to a full R&D center

N-iX has formed a strong development team that completed the initial requirements of the client which included the migration of the Hybris-based B2C platform, performance optimization of the BI solution, and Azure microservices development and platform migration from on-premises to the cloud. As our cooperation continued, more and more responsibility was given to our team which eventually transformed into a development center.

Implementation: Digital transformation powered by microservices, cloud, and data

Hybris-based web channel. First, Lebara needed to migrate its Hybris B2C platform from 4.3 to 4.8 version to meet its needs for client base growth. Our specialists developed a single master data system for offline and online channels (website, mobile app, SMS, USSD, and customer service), which allows Lebara to deliver a seamless omnichannel user experience. To ensure the product meets the quality requirements, the N-iX team built a custom test automation framework.

Also, our team developed the website, which is available in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark. The website users can buy, register or activate their SIM cards, buy and change plans (data, SMS bundles), top up or configure the auto top-up. In addition, the website allows users to check the balance, access online support, and manage multiple user accounts.

BI expertise. Our team contributed to Business Intelligence development, which covered performance optimization, support, and development of the existing enterprise BI solution previously supported by IBM. Our team has optimized the workflow, removed delays in reporting, and helped reduce the support team by half, which resulted in decreased overheads.

Cloud and Microservices. Following its digital strategy, Lebara decided to migrate its solutions from on-premises to the cloud. To avoid the vendor lock-in and have more flexibility, our client decided to follow the multi-cloud strategy and chose two cloud providers - AWS and Azure. N-iX leads Lebara’s cloud transformation and development of scalable, easy to maintain, and cost-efficient cloud solutions.

First, our specialists worked on building the microservices architecture on AWS. Our DevOps experts designed and developed a fully automated CI/CD pipeline in AWS. Then, during 2015-2016, our professionals contributed to the migration of the infrastructure from on-premises to Azure. To ensure a clear and automated CI/CD process, we designed and developed a fully automated CI/CD pipeline in Azure.

Furthermore, we migrated from Azure Service Fabric to Azure Kubernetes Services, which involved migration from Windows to Linux to save costs.

Expanding cooperation: New DX streams

After we successfully delivered initial projects, Lebara decided to expand the N-iX team and engage it in a number of other digital transformation projects.

Besides the development and maintenance of Hybris-based web-channel, N-iX heavily contributed to the iOS Application development for Lebara Talk, Lebara Hub, Lebara Travel, and Android Application development for Lebara Money and Lebara Talk. Part of Lebara’s development team at N-iX has been working on back-end development for post-paid services, including Lebara Talk and Lebara Community. Additionally, we started providing technical support, as well as the support of CRM and Microsoft Dynamics AX teams.

Gaining trust: Transformation into a full-fledged R&D center

While at the start of our cooperation Lebara kept full control over the development, with time, the company has handed over more control of processes and project management to our team. Since 2017 this process has accelerated and eventually, our client delegated 100 % of R&D capabilities and part of project management to us. Lebara’s development center at N-iX comprises over 100 software engineers working in various directions, from mobile to Big Data.

Consulting. In 2019, Lebara initiated the audit of its 5 teams to assess their performance, processes, architecture, transparency, business orientation, etc. The N-iX Solution Group conducted the two-week audit, identified the gaps and bottlenecks, and drew up recommendations to optimize costs and boost efficiency. Recommendations fell into several categories: quick actions, architecture-driven actions, leadership actions, and general cross-team recommendations.

As a result, Lebara received an independent, in-depth, data-driven report, which covered all the pain points and allowed building a strategic roadmap for Q3-Q4 of 2020 for the company’s IT department.

Data expertise. Our team has provided comprehensive data analytics expertise to help Lebara monitor and optimize the operations of its departments. The company generates reports on the statistics of calls, SMS, top-ups, and more. The reports are sent to end-users of different Lebara’s departments in 6 countries. The sales department uses them to see how the department performs; the financial department — to see what is going on with the client base and whether the business generates profits or not; the marketing department — for data analytics and generating specific marketing campaigns.

Also, we have helped Lebara to ensure the reports come with no delay as the previous system lacked performance and scalability with reports coming at an average delay of 3-4 hours. As a result, Lebara decided to replace the existing solution with an Azure-based data lake, which enables almost real-time data streaming and timely reports for multiple departments.

What we have achieved together: Comprehensive digital transformation

Over the course of our cooperation, N-iX has helped deliver multiple solutions and provided various services, including consulting and data expertise that support Lebara’s digital transformation. Our original team transformed into a full development center with over 100 engineers who take care of Lebara’s technical needs.

Value delivered by N-iX: Optimized operations, faster time-to-market, and expanded customer reach
  • Created a seamless omnichannel user experience;
  • Simplified business processes and improved management of commerce data flows;
  • Developed a website with wide functionality to serve the needs of Lebara’s customers in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and Denmark;
  • Implemented a multi-cloud strategy that ensures better flexibility and avoids vendor lock-in;
  • Optimized BI report generation and removed delays with data lake development;
  • Reduced infrastructure expenses and improved scalability with cloud and microservices;
  • Developed a test automation framework that prevents downtime and speeds up time-to-market;
  • Accelerated the introduction of new features with the microservices architecture.
Location:
United Kingdom, London
Partnership period:
April 2018 - present
Team size:
100
Team location:
Ukraine, Lviv
Technologies:
Java .NET Hybris JavaScript iOS Android Microsoft SQL Server, Android SDK, Android Studio IDE, HTML, Gulp, HTML5/CSS3, Node.js, SQL, Azure Cloud Service, Azure Service Bus, Spring boot, Hybris OOB stack, Gulp JS

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