Interview: 8x8, DevOps Excellence Awards finalist

'You can't go fast if you can't be reliable'

clock • 2 min read
Interview: 8x8, DevOps Excellence Awards finalist

The logic of adopting DevOps for digital is fast becoming unarguable.

Companies that supply DevOps solutions, or who are already using DevOps practices for success, are molding the growing space.

Computing's DevOps Excellence Awards showcase outstanding achievements from organisations, personalities and solutions that have successfully applied DevOps methodologies.

This year's winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony on Tuesday 14th March in London.

One of the finalists is 8x8, which has reached the shortlist for a total of four categories: Best Continuous Delivery Product; Best Automation Project; Best DevOps Transformation; and DevOps Project of the Year.

We caught up with Steve O'Hara, VP Engineering at 8x8, to find out what propelled the firm to so many places on the hotly contested shortlist.

Steve started his career with a degree in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, working on military applications for military navies around the world, from steering controls to making sure the toilets flushed properly!

He moved into software engineering and then business systems for legal discovery; television & radio archives/scheduling, then back to his roots in IoT for datacentres. Today he is responsible for delivering innovation in cloud-based contact centres at 8x8.

Steve says the landscape of IT has changed in his time, but the story remains the same: "Go fast, then go alone. Go far, go together".

8x8 is a global cloud communications company, providing cloud-based contact centre, phones, video and chat to over 2 million business users around the planet. The company's products are available in over 180 countries, and it has been in business for over 30 years.

Steve says 8x8's reputation for first class engineering extends into the DevOps organisation.

"Perhaps the biggest change we made last year was reducing our centralised DevOps organisation into an embedded model, where the DevOps are allocated across the scrums. This has energised and enabled our scrum teams to be able to move at much greater pace.

"So much so that, with the development of tools like Hyperloop, a codified version of Jenkins, and GoCD, as well as developing our own deployment tools like Global Deployment Service, that has enabled each of our teams to be able to be autonomous and self-reliant.

"It's made us capable of going fast. Not recklessly fast, but fast. It used to take us three months to get a new, major version of our product to market. It takes us one day now.

"It takes five seconds for us to roll out a new version of our agent workspace, which is our composed experiece; five seconds to roll that out globally. We do that every single day, completely unattended, through huge amounts of DevOps-driven automation."

To find out more about 8x8 and what it is working on this year, watch our video interview with Steve O'Hara now.

The DevOps Excellence Awards will take place on 14th March in London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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