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Billing Specialists probably has more experience of upgrading Netcracker's Geneva/RBM software than any other independent consultancy.

RBM Upgrades

Whilst working for the British company, Geneva Technology Ltd., Billing Specialists' founder upgraded the first-ever live Geneva operator (Scottish Telecom) from Geneva 2.1 to Geneva 3.0 back in August 1999. As a result of that tortuous experience he devised and developed a new tool for upgrading Geneva, which has been used by Netcracker ever since.

Our consultants have upgraded several Geneva/RBM operators using both 'out of the box' and custom 'point-to-point' migration solutions.

Here's an example of how Geneva, now RBM, has evolved, and upgrades we have performed (shown in orange) for a West European operator:

The operator has been on eight versions (the original and seven upgrades) over the last 19 years. We have perfomed four of their seven upgrades, with the last to RBM 9.0 going live in May 2020.

In early 2012 we successfully completed work for this operator on their upgrade from RBM 3.0 up to RBM 5.1. We analysed the software in-depth, planned the entire process and developed the solution that went live in spring 2012 (after we had left). The client was very pleased that there was no impact to their business, and the upgrade was so seamless that few users were aware that any changes had taken place.

In October 2014 we won the business to upgrade that client from RBM 5.1 to RBM 7.0 which went live in summer 2015, on time and on budget. In fact our preparation and process were so robust that it ran non-stop to the end without incurring a single error. We started on the project in December 2014 and used our own proven mechanism (including script optimisation, automated regression testing and performance analysis). Our client considered this much better value than paying Netcracker to customise its 'point-to-point' process for them.

For this project we also cleaned up some historic data to improve performance and identified (at a high level) some new RBM features that they might wish to investigate further.

We produced a shrink-wrapped 'click-and-go' upgrade process that they deployed into production themselves after we left the project, although we were available (on-site or remotely) if they required assistance. Our approach is to use the Netcracker-supplied scripts, wherever possible, but fix anything that causes clients a problem (such as configuration tables being overwritten) and we provided pre- and post-upgrade scripts to change the environment and restore it afterwards.

Our client required us to upgrade a development server for them, and to 'hold their hands' while one or their team performed an upgrade of another server using the release we built for them and the walk-through document, which included a troubleshooting guide.

On all such upgrade projects our clients undertake the user acceptance testing, and they usually take responsibility for their customised code, which usually involves some initial testing to try to see what breaks and also anything that takes considerably longer to run. We the do functional regression tests to compare the results of the rating and billing processes at the source and target RBM versions on the same data for the same accounts.

The client will raise defects with Netcracker and managing their resolution, although we provide any evidence needed.

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