Keeping complex systems behind the scenes
Allowing Skinny customers to enjoy a simple user experience online required a number of complex system integrations behind the scenes. The Skinny website interacts with many external systems to provide the control a user needs to manage their account, get support, and purchase phones/SIMs/add-ons/combos. The primary interaction of the website is with the Skinny Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) software that manages mobile accounts and usage. Everything from topping up your account to linking a child’s account to yours involves multiple interactions with the MVNO. SilverStripe took care of the ‘heavy lifting’ involved with integrating key existing systems including: Mobile Virtual Network Operator Platform, Oracle RightNow, Ingram Micro logistics and Amazon S3.
Furthermore, the SilverStripe CMS and Framework is integrated with and relies heavily on Skinny’s payment gateway provider, a forum and support system, and the order fulfilment system. Each have their own APIs and are tightly integrated with the website’s core function. The vast number of complex interactions and dependencies meant SilverStripe used automated testing throughout project development to ensure failures and anomalies were caught before releasing to the live site.
The end result is greater functionality for Skinny customers without making using the site complicated or difficult to use. The new site marries complex systems to create a smoother purchasing experience. For example, previously customers needed to purchase a SIM first and then register and purchase their Combo plan after it had arrived. Skinny customers are now able to create an account and purchase a SIM provisioned with a Combo at the same time.