We’ve been called Platform Services for about 3 years now - I've lost track of time with last year to be honest - but we've always been responsible for the underlying infrastructure of ‘EE shop’ and ‘My EE Web’ and various other things as well, since about 2013 when we moved from on-premise hardware, into Amazon Cloud.
The first original lift and shift of what was going on, on our on-prem stuff - which was very, very expensive to maintain – took everything into Amazon Cloud. Then in about 2015, it wasn’t working quite as expected, so we tried to break things out. The first attempt was to break out the EE shop from the new Cloud, into another cloud and that went well, but again, there was a few little things that weren't quite right with that. So, then we formed this new team called ‘Platform Services’ that was a ground-up rebuild effectively. It had all the latest and greatest technologies and we went live in 2019 with the ‘EE Coverage Checker’, which was the first live service in production that we had on our brand-new architecture and infrastructure.
Then around 14 months ago we said ‘Right. Now is the time to break out all the big guns (i.e. My EE Web and EE Shop), which are our real money spinners, and get those into the new platform services architecture, because the architecture and systems that they were on were very, very expensive and not very flexible. We’re now trying to empower squads and tribes themselves to just be able to log onto the site and basically spin up their own environment. If they want to test something, they can now do it within minutes. I think it's 20 minutes they can spin up the entire EE Shop, for example, under their own name. It doesn't impact production; it doesn't impact anybody else. They've got their own play area to play with if they want to develop something.
We're giving people the empowerment to actually use their own environments and be responsible for them as well, so we can bill accordingly, so we can bill whatever tribe for whatever they're using. So yeah, we’ve broken it out a lot more. The systems they’re running on now are far faster, far more flexible and ultimately cheaper as well. So, all in all, we're using the latest and greatest technologies, giving people the ability to do this for themselves rather than relying on - if you like – ‘infra geeks’ to almost do it for them.
We’ve been giving this to people now for a few months and what we’ve been hearing from the My EE Web team is: “this is just what we've been after for so many years!” and that's why we did it 14 months ago for this particular project. It’s why we designed it the way it is. Because over the course of the eight years since we went from on premise to cloud, there’s been a load of lessons learned and we knew what we really had to build to please the majority. So, we’re very pleased with the way it's gone. I think one of the biggest compliments we could get was from the leadership team, who didn't notice that we’d put this whole thing in because there's been no outages, there's been nothing since we went live last Sunday morning so it was a big relief to get in last week!