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In order to remain competitive and meet rising customer demands for fully digital services, Digicel embarked on an effort to launch a fully digital mobile network for its French West Indies region. As a result, Christophe Demoire, software engineering manager for Digicel French West Indies, was tasked with planning and executing a strategy to adopt microservices architecture to support this transformation. Demoire’s team sits within the digital business unit of Digicel’s French West Indies region and is responsible for piloting all development efforts and ensuring their alignment with broader Digicel digital strategy.
Digicel’s existing technology stack relied on a VPN network and ESB to expose services and faced issues with connectivity and functionality in microservices use cases. “We started looking for an API gateway that would support our domain-driven design approach and work well with our architecture,” said Demoire.
Demoire’s team began evaluating solutions and came across Kong. Compared to other solutions, Kong offered a simpler architecture and lightweight deployment for achieving the team’s vision of transitioning their monolithic architecture to microservices. “Our POC with as it is quite simple, reliable, fast and not very greedy on hardware resources,” Demoire said.
Kong also worked well with the team’s plan to introduce their API gateway as an on-premise solution initially, unlike legacy solutions who lacked clear support for on premise use cases.
With Kong, Demoire’s team supported the launch by decoupling the Digicel French West Indies group’s business domain with one microservice. This incremental adoption of a microservice allowed a successful launch on an ambitious timeline for the project. With Kong as a single point for proxying and routing traffic across all its API endpoints, Digicel was able to centralize authentication and other key enterprise functionalities. For developers, this eliminated redundant code writing, saving several hours of work, and addressed the connectivity issues encountered with the previous VPN solution.
With Kong acting as the API gateway between wireless customers and Digicel French West Indies’ digital services, Demoire’s team made use of Kong’s plug-in architecture to meet their business requirements. The solution needed to be secure, so Kong’s authentication plug-ins were included. The team needed to observe and monitor the environment, so plug-ins for logging and metrics were included. Finally, integration to existing systems was streamlined with Kong’s correlation and transformation plug-ins.
Digicel French West Indies successfully launched a fully digital mobile service, using Kong as an API gateway. This initial launch’s success gave the team the confidence to subsequently put Kong at the center of broader digital transformation efforts. Several other web services were launched with Kong acting as API gateway, and Digicel is also in progress migrating from a CRM and ESB approach to a microservices architecture with Kong acting as an API gateway. Kong’s authentication layer in particular drove faster time to market for Digicel’s digital services. “As a result of adopting Kong, Digicel has reduced latency, improved stability and significantly decreased our time to market for digital services,” Demoire said.
“We see that Kong keeps innovating, and we are excited for the future,” said Demoire. “We have plans to POC Docker and Kubernetes, using Kong Studio for API design.” With Kong as a core aspect of its technolo-gy stack, Digicel is well-positioned to continue innovat-ing in the telecommunications market and delivering the best network to its customers.
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