Friday Apr 12, 2013

Virgin Media goes underground with Oracle IDM - webcast wrap up

On Wednesday, we told you how Virgin Media used Oracle IDM to allow everyone riding the London Underground to use their free Wi-Fi service.

Perry Banton from Virgin Media and Ben Bulpett from aurionPro SENA delivered a great webcast where they discussed how the project was funded, the architecture they chose, and how they overcame the inevitable roadblocks to deliver world class Wi-Fi to the underground.

If you missed it, register here for the replay.

We had some good questions about the project, so I'm putting them and the responses below:

Who sponsored the project within Virgin Media?

Mobile and Broadband Marketing teams were the main sponsors. These teams wanted to offer a value-add to the business. Providing a new service offering was compelling to the business.

With such tight timeframes what project approach did you use?

The start of the Olympics was a hard deadline, and free wi-fi was promised by the start. Agile planning, sprints, and checks were used. Short segments were rolled out. Personal devices were used to test the service, testing was very much crowd sourced – all available platforms had to be tested.

Is the service device specific?

No – a range of platforms were supported and tested. The requirement was to be device independent.

Why did you not build another large directory consolidating the back end LDAPs, instead of Oracle Virtual Directory?

There were some data ownership concerns, and the various departments didn’t want to give up management of their customer data, also they didn’t want to setup another LDAP, so a decision was made to use virtual directory technology. Virtual directory also provided a better platform for building future services.

How is the system managed and what service levels are required?

Geographically dispersed data centers were used. Performance and availability were considered a gold service within Virgin Media – which means there would be brand impact if the service became unavailable. Virgin and SENA provided real time management, with an incident response SLA within minutes of problem detection. Oracle Enterprise Manager was used to view system performance and availability.

How much of the service were SENA actually involved in?

Virgin and SENA have been working on architecture and roadmap for a long time. SENA are a gold Oracle partner with extensive experience in IDM implementations, so Virgin engaged SENA for the implementation and support services.

I'm not clear on why entitlements came into play. Were this VM customers authenticating with their email addresses? Was this not open to the general public and if so, I'm guessing you "relied" on whatever email addresses they provided?

OES came into play when VM launched the fee paying service and only wanted certain customers to gain access based upon their subscription with VM.  For the Olympics only OVD was used as a way of aggregating email addresses across the back end platform as the service was “open” to anyone with an email address


Oracle Identity Management is a complete and integrated next-generation identity management platform that provides breakthrough scalability; enables organizations to achieve rapid compliance with regulatory mandates; secures sensitive applications and data regardless of whether they are hosted on-premise or in a cloud; and reduces operational costs. Oracle Identity Management enables secure user access to resources anytime on any device.


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