Interview: Sandhata, driving DevOps change at Vodafone UK

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Sandhata’s work with APIs has drastically increased productivity for Vodafone’s Integration team

‘DevOps' and ‘transformation' go together like cheese and wine: each complements the other. Consultancies like Sandhata know this better than anyone, making a core business of bringing the two concepts together.

DevOps has been a part of Sandhata - shortlisted in three categories at this year's DevOps Excellence Awards - for years, says Senior DevOps Consultant Bronwyn Davies:

"From the very beginning we embraced automation and lean methods to streamline processes and focus on business outcomes. DevOps principles have been a part of the way we work for more than 15 years."

Sandhata specialises in system integration and DevOps, giving employees the chance to hone their skills with the DevOps Innovation Platform. The company's own senior leadership team is also experienced in delivering technical solutions to clients, particularly in financial services and telecoms.

"This gives us a holistic business view, as well as understanding the day-to-day challenges and what is required to make a project successful in the long term."

That experience came to the fore in Sandhata's recent work with Vodafone UK, which has seen it shortlisted in the Best Automation Project, Best DevOps Team and DevOps Project of the Year categories.

Davies says, "The TIL Transformation Project has touched every area of the large Integration team, and we have seen a step change in productivity and engagement across the domain.

"Within this project we have delivered a huge range of changes across the team, including creation of full regression test capabilities within an automated framework and creation of a service virtualisation hub with the ability to simulate interfacing systems for more than 100 APIs."

Bronwyn Davies, Senior DevOps Consultant, Sandhata

Sandhata's DevOps team designed and delivered bespoke solutions to address various scenarios, with multiple dependencies and touch points - and achieving great success.

"The API directory dashboard we built captures data from a range of sources and serves it up in a single view for impact analysis, showing API configuration details and full connectivity details and increasing productivity across the whole team."

The TIL Transformation Project is only the first piece of work Sandhata and Vodafone's Integration team have embarked on, and there's plenty more to come - building on the automation and cultural changes already implemented. For example, work has already started on a migration project to move the top 40 highest-traffic APIs into the cloud.

"This is really exciting for the team, and has huge potential for vastly reduced support workloads and the ability to support API transaction loads which we can't currently support," says Davies.

She continues: "We also have our sights set on a full API Management solution which will provide a much-needed capability to control and expose our APIs internally. In addition to that, we will also be improving the self-service offerings and auto-documentation capabilities to increase productivity across the whole team."

In the running for three of the most hotly contested categories in the DevOps Awards, Davies looks forward to the winners being announced on the 30th June:

"IT industry awards help to draw a line in the sand, and recognise where we are today. This is useful as a comparison with other organisations, as well as being useful for future self-comparison.

"Awards and external recognition can be a great motivator to employees too, and if an individual is singled out for a personal award, that is a great thing for their career! At Sandhata, we appreciate the opportunity to highlight our employees' contributions in such a tangible and public way."

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