Case History

Video Network Quality and Delivery

Assessed root causes of very spotty supplier delivery track record and recommended actions (some jointly owned by the Supplier and the Operator) to improve the quality of deliverables.

Challenge: A Tier 1 Service Provider was frustrated by issues with their primary Video-on-Demand equipment supplier. These frustrations included late deliveries, frequent outages, and operational difficulties and “surprises”. In addition, the vendor was preparing to roll out a next-generation video back-office platform, and both companies wished to ensure that lessons learned from the legacy products could be applied to avoid similar issues on the next generation.

Action: The Service Provider and Vendor came together to jointly engage SkeensMcDonell to conduct an assessment of the video integration, delivery, and deployment interfaces between the two companies. This assessment included the vendor’s Engineering and QA teams, as well as their Sales, Services, and Support teams, and covered the Service Provider’s Planning, Operations, and Engineering functions.

Findings: SkeensMcDonell found a lack of requirements ownership and control within the Service Provider, and a poorly managed requirements interface between the two companies, especially in the area of performance and scalability. The Vendor had outsourced much of their Engineering and QA off-shore, resulting in a crucial loss of product expertise. SkeensMcDonell also identified some disturbing red flags on the quality of testing of the next-generation product, and recommended a deeper-dive into that project.

Results: The Service Provider and Vendor established an action register of actions to address the planning, testing, and operations issues raised during the assessment. Unfortunately, the “deep-dive” into the next-gen back-office was not done, and this product ended up being over a year late in deployment.

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