Vipnet

Organization

VIPnet, which started its operations in 1999, is the first private mobile operator in Croatia. Upon its arrival, VIPnet introduced competition into mobile telephony in Croatia, which led to competitive prices and a rise in the quality of services for the country's telecommunications market. The penetration rate in Croatia when VIPnet entered the market represented just 4.6 percent, but by the end of 2011, it had reached 117.5 percent. VIPnet was highly successful against the existing mobile operator in Croatia and, as a result, is known for having the best market entrance of a second GSM operator in Europe ever.

In August 2011, VIPnet acquired B.net, the largest Croatian cable operator that offers fixed telephony, broadband Internet access and television services; by the end of the first quarter in 2012, VIPnet counted almost 2 million customers. VIPnet is part of the Telekom Austria Group and is a strategic partner of Vodafone, the leading global mobile operator.

Challenge

In 2008, VIPnet's portal system was a standalone, decentralized system with many uniquely working functions, high dependence on vendors, no possibility of reusing modules and many different ways of development and deployment.

VIPnet looked for a portal that could act as a container for all of its stand-alone applications. In addition, the mobile operator sought to move all of VIPnet's legacy applications to the new portal, to have continuous development and to standardize its portal solution within the group.

Resolution

During the selection process VIPnet had examined various vendors such as IBM, Liferay, Oracle, JBoss, and Exo, among others. The criteria included a fast and easy-to-handle portal that would facilitate user awareness, community building, blogging, the integration of new features, SEO, content editing and improved stability. After a thorough examination against the company's needs, VIPnet chose Liferay.

Key factors leading to the decision to use Liferay Portal were the open source portal's references, Java-based framework with JSR portlet standard support, flexibility with different operating systems, vendor independence, scalability, easy integration with Oracle DBs, and its use as a portlet container from which all the applications a user needed could run.

VIPnet plans to put all of its stand-alone applications on Liferay by 2014, develop mobile sites based on Liferay for the VIPnet and Tomato brand, and create a new web and mobile site for B.net, the company's new acquisition.

Business Value Added

With over 450,000 users, the new portal framework gives VIPnet better leverage in a fast-paced telecommunications market. Particularly valuable are Web 2.0 features such as user awareness, community development, blogs, widget based presentation, improved stability, availability and faster loading. This also gives VIPnet engineers better insight and control over the software architecture and implementation, web services implementation by multiple vendors, and in-house implementation of web services.

Case Study

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"The new VIPnet portal enables our customers and sales staff to find relevant and personalized information related to our solutions."

—Blaženka Čaušić, VAS Development Manager, CSN&IT Department

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