4-page Case Study
Posted: 2/28/2011
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Movistar Colombia Leading Telecommunications Provider Boosts Innovation, Availability, and Speed

Tier-1, mobile telecommunications provider Movistar Colombia wanted to enhance customer satisfaction by delivering consistently fast system response times and new web-based offerings. To achieve this, Movistar needed to increase the flexibility and transparency of its mission-critical IT infrastructure—and simplify development. In 2009, the company engaged Microsoft Services and third party iT Synergy to help implement a service-oriented architecture built with Microsoft technologies including Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. As a result, Movistar has tripled the number of account refills it processes each day, which equates to U.S.$1.5 million in monthly revenue. The mission-critical solution also delivers 99.99 percent availability, enhances customer service, facilitates innovation, speeds time to market, and delivers the agility and global scalability needed to realize business goals.


Founded in 2004, Movistar Colombia is the second-largest mobile telecommunications provider in Colombia. Nearly 10 million people depend on the tier-1 provider for voice, data transmission, and wireless broadband services. Based in Bogotá, Movistar Colombia is one of many subsidiaries owned and operated by Grupo Telefónica, a Fortune Global 500 telecommunications company that earned U.S.$79 billion in revenue in 2009.

* By using technologies such as BizTalk Server 2009, our SOA is designed to handle any number of customers, components, and transactions—and still provide high availability and fast performance.  *

Olga Serrano Penagos
Customer-Facing Services Lead
Movistar Colombia

The majority of Movistar Colombia customers use prepaid mobile services. Before 2010, customers who wanted to add minutes to their accounts did so by phone. An automated system managed incoming calls and the refill process. Customers paid for refills with a prepaid card or a bank debit card. To complete the refill process, the automated phone system communicated with numerous internal and external system components. Internal systems included an Oracle database, customer relationship management software, and a web server running IBM WebSphere. External components included disparate third-party banking systems.

Because customers depend on the system to set up and refill their accounts, they expect prompt and reliable service around the clock. Any service interruptions or delays in system response times result in lost revenue and can jeopardize customers’ ability to use their phones.

In 2009, Movistar realized that it needed to update its IT technologies. Rapid growth had pushed the existing infrastructure to its limit. Each month, approximately 1.2 million customers refilled their accounts. On average, this process took five minutes. Because of the lengthy system response times, many people contacted customer service to verify that their account balance was updated. However, customer service representatives could not access real-time information about transactions, and so could not easily see if an account had recently been updated. This lack of transparency also hindered the efforts of IT personnel, who struggled to identify which components slowed performance.

The complexity of the IT infrastructure also restricted the ability of Movistar to launch competitive offerings. Any changes to products—such as support for another bank’s debit card—required IT personnel to modify the interfaces of numerous systems. This included changes to support communication between disparate programming languages, operating systems, communications standards, and updates to application logic and exception handling. As a result, changes to an existing offering typically took one month or more, and adding a new offering could take months or even a year.

To maintain its leading market position and overcome its challenges, Movistar wanted to implement a new IT platform that could facilitate innovation. For example, Movistar wanted to give customers the ability to refill their accounts through a web portal and pay with credit cards. Movistar also wanted to use its infrastructure to support offerings for other mobile providers.


After an extensive evaluation of available solutions, Movistar engaged Microsoft to help implement a service-oriented architecture (SOA). It uses Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009 and the BizTalk Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Toolkit 2.0 to automate mission-critical processes and streamline communication between new and existing IT components. In addition, unlike many competitive offerings, the SOA proposed by Microsoft includes best practices and standards from TM Forum, a nonprofit organization that helps service providers address unique challenges and long-term business strategies. For example, the SOA conforms to the TM Forum Frameworx Integrated Business Architecture for Service-Oriented Enterprises (formerly known by the acronym NGOSS). The solution also follows the guidelines provided by the Business Process Framework (eTOM), and uses the vocabulary described in the Information Framework (formerly known as the SID).

* We decided to implement a SOA on the Microsoft platform to increase system performance and flexibility—and to streamline the deployment of new and innovative services.  *

Olga Serrano Penagos
Customer-Facing Services Lead
Movistar Colombia

“We decided to implement a SOA on the Microsoft platform to increase system performance and flexibility—and to streamline the deployment of new and innovative services,” explains Olga Serrano Penagos, Customer-Facing Services Lead at Movistar Colombia. “A SOA would also make our IT more dynamic and easier to manage.” To help with the implementation of its new solution, Movistar engaged Microsoft Services and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner iT Synergy. “We have worked with Microsoft Services on numerous projects and have been very happy with the results,” says Penagos.

In May 2009, the team began the implementation. Engineers used the Managed Services Engine to create a service catalog that lists the nearly 80 disparate IT components used to support offerings. To connect services to BizTalk Server 2009, engineers either used Microsoft BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0—which provides out-of-the-box connectivity with some components such as Oracle database software—or they created a custom connection with the Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite development system, the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, and Windows Communication Foundation. The team also used Microsoft Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services 3.0 in BizTalk Server 2009 to expose some IT components as web services for use by third-party banking systems. To facilitate collaboration between team members, everyone used Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server.

Team members also configured the BizTalk ESB Toolkit 2.0 so that it is the centralized communication interface between all IT components. For example, it contains information such as process itineraries, exception-handling rules, and the transformation services needed to connect disparate technologies. In addition, IT personnel took advantage of the Business Rules Framework in BizTalk Server 2009 to provide a central location for the business logic used by all services.

Developers also used Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 to create a service portal on the company’s website that supports the pay-as-you-go process for Movistar customers—and customers of other telecommunications providers. In addition, the team created several orchestrations with BizTalk Server and Visual Studio. These orchestrations automate the refill processes initiated through the web portal or the automated phone system. The orchestrations also make it possible for consumers to refill accounts using a prepaid card, a debit card, or a credit card. Consumers can also request that the system send an email message that confirms the number of minutes that they added to their account.

To provide employees with insight into each process, the team configured the Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) component in BizTalk Server 2009. BAM collects data at specific points in an orchestration and validates when certain process steps are completed. This information can be shared with third parties such as banks, and authorized employees can also view this information through the BAM portal.

The team deployed Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition data management software to provide a database for SOA component information including the service catalog and business rules. The database runs on two clustered HP server computers supported by the Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise operating system. In addition, two virtual servers support BizTalk Server 2009 and the ESB; two additional virtual servers support Windows Communication Foundation and the Managed Services Engine. All four virtual servers use Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise.


Movistar Colombia released its new mission-critical SOA into production in July 2010. As a result, the company has improved customer service and facilitated the creation of innovative offerings. Movistar has also increased IT availability, performance, agility, flexibility, and scalability.

Improves Availability, Service, and Choice

Today, the company’s 10 million customers have more options to manage their mobile phones. They can refill their accounts through a portal on the Movistar website—and pay by credit card, debit card, or a prepaid phone card. Customers who use mobile pay-as-you-go plans through some other vendors in Colombia can also refill their accounts using the Movistar website.

* With BizTalk Server 2009, we can effectively reuse services and application logic to develop and deploy new offerings 50 to 75 percent faster.  *

Olga Serrano Penagos
Customer-Facing Services Lead
Movistar Colombia

The SOA based on the TM Forum Frameworx and Microsoft technologies also delivers real-time transaction processing by simplifying communication between components. As a result, the availability of mission-critical systems has increased to 99.99 percent and customers consistently realize faster system-response times, regardless of which channel they use to refill accounts. This, in turn, has reduced the number of customer service calls and lowered costs. If a customer does have a question about a transaction, or if a system issue arises, service representatives or IT personnel can access the BAM portal to view real-time information about the status of transactions, including any component that was unable to complete a step.

The simplified architecture and increased insight into transactions has also improved security and simplified the confirmation process for third parties such as banks. “The conceptualization of the solution allows us to improve and control our security requirements a lot better and faster than before,” notes Penagos.

More Than Doubles Monthly Sales Through Innovation

New performance capabilities and online refill and payment options have boosted the transaction capacity of the company’s infrastructure by 300 percent—and the company has seen an increase in daily traffic. For example, with its previous solution, Movistar could refill approximately 25,000 accounts per day; today, Movistar processes an average of 40,000 transactions per day. In turn, the company has increased the revenue realized through account refills to approximately $1.5 million each month.

Increases Agility, Flexibility, and Time-to-Market

With its flexible SOA, Movistar can modify offerings for less money and deploy new services in days or weeks. This is because IT employees no longer have to modify each component’s interface to support new point-to-point connections. Instead, an employee can update code such as business rules, exception handling, translation services, and even orchestrations in a central location. “By using the ESB in BizTalk Server 2009, we’ve improved the efficiency of IT employees,” explains Penagos. “We know how services relate to one another, and we can quickly see how changes will affect all components. Our services are a lot easier to manage.”

Movistar can also be more agile and quickly take advantage of new opportunities. “With BizTalk Server 2009, we can effectively reuse services and application logic to develop and deploy new offerings 50 to 75 percent faster,” says Penagos. “For example, we were able to reuse existing functionality to launch an offering that gives customers the ability to pay with credit cards in about six weeks.”

Facilitates Global Scalability

With its new solution, Movistar has the flexible infrastructure it needs to tackle its goals. Penagos notes, “Microsoft Services consultants helped Telefónica to define the vision, the scope, the phases—and the implementation of this project. Our SOA gives us the baseline and guidelines for the future standardization of services in Telefónica Movistar Colombia."

Movistar Colombia is currently working with other organizations within Grupo Telefónica to determine how to use the SOA to share components and services across the enterprise to support global customers. “By using technologies such as BizTalk Server 2009, our SOA is designed to handle any number of customers, components, and transactions—and still provide high availability and fast performance,” says Penagos. “As we continue to expand the SOA to realize the strategic goals of our enterprise, we can also continue to simplify system management and lower our operating costs.”

Microsoft Server Product Portfolio

For more information about the Microsoft server product portfolio, go to:

For More Information

For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at (800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the 50 United States and Canada, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access information using the World Wide Web, go to:


For more information about iT Synergy products and services, call +57 (1) 804-9627 or visit the website at:

For more information about Movistar Colombia products and services, call +57 (1) 705 0000 or visit the website at:

This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Solution Overview

Organization Size: 2000 employees

Organization Profile

Founded in 2004 by Fortune Global 500 company Grupo Telefónica, Movistar Colombia provides mobile phone services to nearly 10 million customers. Based in Bogotá, Colombia, Movistar employs 2,000 people.

Business Situation

The company needed to increase agility, improve customer service, and reduce the time needed to launch offerings.


Movistar deployed a service-oriented architecture and new offerings with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009. Microsoft Services and third-party iT Synergy helped with the design and implementation.


  • Improves availability, service, and choice
  • More than doubles monthly sales through innovation
  • Increases agility, flexibility, and time-to-market
  • Facilitates global scalability


HP server computers

Software and Services
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise
  • Microsoft Services
  • Microsoft Consulting Services
  • Microsoft Biztalk Server 2009
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008
  • BMC - Platform Modernization
  • Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • Windows Communication Foundation

Vertical Industries
Communications and Network Service Providers


Business Need
  • Cloud & Server Platform
  • Business Critical
  • Mission Critical
  • Data Management

IT Issue
  • Data Warehousing
  • High Availability


iT Synergy Microsoft Services