Part of our work in the Domain Consulting team is advising Cyara customers on their Agile/DevOps journeys. Through this process, we've identified a path to DevOps in the contact center that I'd like to explore in more detail.
In the first post of this series, I talked about putting in the guard rails with design-driven assurance. In this post, I'll talk about how to accelerate the delivery of value using automated deployment and configuration of off-the-shelf contact center software, or implementing cloud contact center software. And in part three, I'll cover ways to reduce the cost of failure, through building solutions with testing and monitoring in mind, automated deployment and configuration, or using test data in production.
Value-Adding vs Non-Value-Adding Activities
There are a number of activities in a typical software development project:
- 1. Planning
- 2. Feature development
- 3. Code builds
- 4. Environment setup (deployment and configuration)
- 5. Functional testing
- 6. Regression testing
- 7. Day 1 and level 3 Support
- 8. Operations
Many of these are what I would term ‘value-adding activities.’ Chief among them is feature development, because new innovations and experiences are what really add value for an organization’s customers. A number of other activities are ‘non-value-adding,’ but they take up significant time and effort. Of the list I’ve outlined above, these non-value-adding activities are code builds, environment setup, regression testing, and day 1 and level 3 support. The key to accelerating the delivery of value lies in automating as many as possible of these non-value-adding activities.
- Orchestrate continuous integration (CI) and continuous deployment (CD) with solutions like XLR or uDeploy, etc. This controls/integrates the CI solution and deploys software
- Monitor source code repos such as GitHub, BitBucket, or SVN, build and unit test with solutions like Jenkins, Bamboo, Team City, etc. for IVR apps, routing scripts and agent CTI soft phone applications
- Maintain configuration as code, automate configuration migration between environments and easily roll forward and roll back. We have come across a number of different solutions for different contact center vendors, for example BlackChair (supports Genesys and Cisco), Pointel, InProd, and Eemaan
- Trigger automated regression and load testing with Cyara, from the CI & CD solution using the REST API