Updated: Jun 8
Specifics have been omitted purposefully. A little mystery never hurt anyone.
There is always a certain electricity in the air when a go-live comes around, some may think I'm nuts but they are one of my favorite parts of working in IT. I liken it to when actors and actresses have spent months rehearsing, researching their characters and remembering their lines, then finally opening night is here and it's finally time to show off your hard work. Anyone who works in IT knows that go-lives don't always go well, but when you do your due diligence and choose the right products they can be nothing but a great learning experience.
My current work specializes in bringing innovative enterprise solutions to government agency's contact centers, it's a mouthful but I can say that I am pretty proud of all of the hard work my team does. Most recently we had a migration from an on-premise Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution to a cloud IVR. All the boxes on our deployment check list had been checked, the number ResPorg had occurred, the business was excited and completed all of their testing and training and we were ready to go!
We were all huddled together in our conference, no, war room, that sounds way cooler! It was after hours, and we were all waiting as the Implementation lead verified the code was pushed. As soon as we got the go-ahead, we made our test calls from all the carriers of cell phones, Avaya, and Cisco phones – all calls went through successfully, were picked up by our traces, and showing in the reports.
We turned it over to the business to go through their go-live scripts, and everything went smoothly....a little too smoothly. As someone with a programming background, I know that when something complies correctly and seems to work flawlessly, there is just an issue that has not been exposed yet. Nothing just works right, right away, right? Suspicious.
After exploring some descrepancies in our logs, it occurred to us that the IVR message isn't in the new cloud system – this message is our old On-Prem Genesys system. So we worked with our architect and he front-loaded a message onto our old IVR, making it clear which system had been called.
That one simple change helped us identify other issues with our networks firewalls because of how our environments were encapsulated in different levels of security. Which then allowed for us to engage the proper parties to allow traffic through, and therefore moved us towards a successful go live. You may be thinking, wow, that escalated quickly. However, this is just one example of how convuluted and wonky systems can be. Especially in older and larger institutions.
This one seemingly minor message allowed us to identify and correct a firewall issue that simply could not have been duplicated in the test environment we had available. The overall go-live experience was a success. It reminded our team of the importance of thorough testing and attention to detail during deployments. It's these moments that keep us on our toes and push us to continually improve and refine our processes . Also the importance of testing, and testing environments, development environments, staging environments, testing plans etc. Am I making is clear how important testing is?
Working in IT is like being part of a grand production, where technology takes center stage. And just like actors and actresses, we may encounter unexpected challenges and surprises along the way. But it's through these experiences that we grow, learn, and ultimately deliver exceptional solutions to our clients.
So, here's to the excitement of go-lives, the thrill of solving unexpected issues, and the satisfaction of seeing our hard work come to life. In the ever-evolving world of IT, there's never a dull moment – and that's what keeps us going!