A royalty accounting company speeds agile development

IBM Rational software helps accelerate multi-platform development and support an SOA

Published on 27-Jun-2013

"When we talk about using partners like Prolifics and IBM, it’s not just about us hiring people to come in and install things and put things together. There is a lot of enablement going on. This is a true mentoring." - Senior director of quality assurance, royalty accounting company

Customer:
A royalty accounting company speeds agile development

Industry:
Professional Services

Solution:
Agile Software Development, Collaborative Lifecycle Management

IBM Business Partner:
Prolifics

Overview

This company is a global leader in the international copyright community, developing international royalty accounting and collection systems to benefit writers and publishers worldwide. It licenses content to a broad range of businesses, including television and radio stations, websites and mobile technology businesses such as ringtone and ring-back providers, satellite audio services, nightclubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and live concert venues.

Business need:
This company wanted to completely overhaul its development environment and create a service-oriented architecture (SOA) as well as implement agile methodologies.

Solution:
It worked with IBM® Software Services for Rational® and IBM Business Partner Prolifics to implement a collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) platform based on a suite of IBM software.

Benefits:
Using the new platform, the company gained visibility into its processes and unified groups that were previously siloed, leading to improved software quality.

Case Study

This company is a global leader in the international copyright community, developing international royalty accounting and collection systems to benefit writers and publishers worldwide. It licenses content to a broad range of businesses, including television and radio stations, websites and mobile technology businesses such as ringtone and ring-back providers, satellite audio services, nightclubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and live concert venues.

Aggressively changing its development philosophy

The company’s senior management identified a strategic initiative to remain ahead of its competition by improving its ability to quickly deliver valuable products and services to licensees and affiliates, including writers, performers and publishers. This initiative included developing new dynamic and interactive mobile and web offerings. To create these new products and services, the company needed a new, flexible and comprehensive technical platform. The IT division was tasked with selecting and building the infrastructure necessary to support these new applications.

Unfortunately, the company had aging applications and processes that needed updating. The organization’s challenges included the need to develop for multiple platforms, including iOS, Android and standard web browsers; teams using several development languages; siloed development and support staff; and inconsistency among locations. The organization wanted to completely overhaul its development environment and create a service-oriented architecture (SOA) to gain the benefits of speed and reuse. It sought to support the new architecture by implementing proven agile methodologies, model-drive development, requirements-based testing, test automation and continuous integration.

“We had a new senior vice president come in over our information services group who wanted to introduce a service-orientated architecture, change our development philosophies, think about how we’re developing software and be more consistent in the software that we’re writing as opposed to creating siloed applications,” says the senior director of quality assurance at the company. “So we were aiming for a complete philosophy change and actually a very aggressive change.”

The IT division had recently adopted Scrum practices on a few of its small project initiatives. The company needed to figure out how to scale this agile methodology to support the strategic business initiative while establishing the new enterprise standards.

Driving multiple initiatives with IBM Rational software

The company worked with IBM Software Services for Rational and IBM Business Partner Prolifics to implement a collaborative lifecycle management (CLM) platform based on a suite of IBM software to support its transformation. The organization installed:
● IBM Rational Quality Manager software for test management
● IBM Rational Requirements Composer software for authoring user stories, use cases and associated artifacts
● IBM Rational Software Architect software to enable model-driven development
● IBM Rational Team Concert™ software to provide a collaborative platform, work item tracking capabilities and source control, and to enable automated continuous integration

The company has approximately 100 developers, working in four to six teams. The teams are composed of five to 10 members and include quality assurance (QA) staff, application architects and project managers. The company used the Rational tools to support its move to agile development methodologies and support agile methods, including agile at scale, with:
● Rational Requirements Composer software, which helps teams elicit and manage use cases
● Rational Software Architect software, which allows architecture teams to model the SOA architecture and then using model-driven development techniques, automate the realization of this architecture in code
● Rational Team Concert software for continuous integration of software configuration management and builds, online release and sprint planning, and electronic scrum task boards
● Rational Quality Manager software for online test plan management

The Software Services for Rational and Prolifics teams provided training and mentoring to help staff members get the most out of the products and to empower them to train others. “When we talk about using partners like Prolifics and IBM, it’s not just about us hiring people to come in and install things and put things together. There is a lot of enablement going on. This is a true mentoring,” says the senior director of quality assurance at the company.

The Software Services for Rational team helped the company exceed its expectations regarding its speed of adoption of the new CLM toolset. Using the new toolset and support services, two teams were able to complete two agile iterations in six weeks, which was much more quickly than the company originally anticipated.

Gaining transparency that leads to significant benefits

One of the greatest benefits of the new platform so far is transparency. “The visibility is the biggest benefit that I see,” says the senior director of quality assurance. “We’re able to keep everybody focused and moving forward, and we can see where problems are happening.” The platform also helps the company establish better relationships and break down the silos between groups. “There’s visibility from requirements to the test cases, backlogs and code. We’re seeing how all that relates together, and we’re able to communicate that through all the groups,” he continues. The director anticipates that as the solution matures, the company will be able to improve resource allocation and asset reuse and, ultimately, drive higher quality products to market faster.

The company also enabled a more responsive design environment using the agile and CLM solution, which supported the success of various initiatives. Teams can quickly build new features into applications on several platforms, including rapidly changing mobile devices, allowing for frequent, efficient improvement of the customer experience.

The solution implementation touches many parts of the company’s business, including the project management office, the business analyst team, the development team, the architecture team, the quality team and the core lines of business. These functional teams and executive management can use the solution to gain a near-real-time view of the work being performed and completed. “This real-time view across all teams and the natural collaborative nature of the solution allows everyone to know what they are going to do today,” concludes the director.

Using agile methods to improve multiplatform and mobile application development

Today, businesses must embrace multiplatform and mobile application development as a strategic initiative. At the same time, new devices and capabilities are being rapidly introduced. Development organizations face the twin challenges of meeting rapid time-to-market deadlines while delivering apps that delight users and meet business objectives.

The agile development approach addresses the special characteristics of the multiplatform and mobile application development lifecycle and its challenges, such as fragmentation, security and the importance of a great user experience. IBM software tools and services can help organizations implement agile methods, along with enhancements such as CLM, enabling organizations to take control of development processes and accelerate the delivery of high-quality, multiplatform and mobile applications.

IBM and CLM

Rational Requirements Composer and Rational Team Concert software are part of the Rational solution for CLM, along with Rational Quality Manager software. CLM is an easy-to-install and easy-to-use solution that can be optimized for agile or traditional teams to help accelerate innovation and speed to market. This solution is built on the IBM Jazz™ platform and allows organizations to unify teams and multiple platforms. CLM integrates with Rational Software Architect and IBM Rational Software Architect Design Manager software to involve stakeholders from across the organization and beyond in the design process.

For more information

To learn more about IBM Rational software, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/rational

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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Rational Team Concert, Rational Requirements Composer, Rational Quality Manager, Rational Software Architect

Service:
Software Services for Rational

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America June 2013 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Rational, and Rational Team Concert are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.