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July 2022
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Service Delivery Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
High level protection, scales well, but more customer feedback updates needed
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of Microsoft Azure DevOps are high-level protection. The protection is very important to the customers to prevent eavesdropping. eavesdropping is when a hacker tries to get into the solution. With this solution is it difficult for them to do it."
  • "Testing is very important. Microsoft Azure DevOps tests very well. However, DevOps teams need to be aware of what they are impacting when someone updates anything on the system."

What is our primary use case?

I work for a telecommunication company that offered television via IPTV. 

IPTV is an internet protocol television, such as AT&T U-verse or Fios from Verizon.

All of the IPTV systems are proprietary, meaning that's not open to the customer, only to the infrastructure. Before Microsoft Azure DevOps, customers only use what are called set-top boxes. When you are deploying Microsoft Azure DevOps, you don't need the set-top box anymore. You only need a client that can go in, but you have to deploy it. You have to understand what the customer has and what they needed to have in place for on-premise, hybrid, or in production.

Microsoft Azure DevOps does not use the set-top boxes. You have something else that is called OTT or over the top. What that means is the deployment that you're going to do depends on the client the customer is going to use. The deployment has to be tested, and that's why we have the different deployments available, on-premise, cloud, and hybrid.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Microsoft Azure DevOps are high-level protection. The protection is very important to the customers to prevent eavesdropping. eavesdropping is when a hacker tries to get into the solution. With this solution is it difficult for them to do it.

In the hybrid deployment, you can test everything. The customer was perfectly happy that developed the code, and when they put it in the hybrid Microsoft Azure DevOps and tested it as if it were in real production. That's the part that I've really enjoyed the most, is seeing how a product that was developed by the customer was tested perfectly. If something is wrong, we come back to Microsoft Azure DevOps for whatever they need to do. If they need to go deeper, they can use TFS which is part of DevOps and show it to the program manager or developer.

What needs improvement?

Microsoft Azure DevOps needs to be updated in my time. In the application that I was managing myself in the deployment and support, it was updated every six weeks. The customer had new features or new batches. Batching is an update of the software. Unfortunately, some of the DevOps or some of the people that were working on that part, do not have the final experience from what customers have. This is something that I did with several teams in Microsoft. We told the product unit manager if you want to understand what is happening from a customer standpoint you need to start from the beginning. Having customers find a problem can not be the only way to find issues to resolve them. 

Testing is very important. Microsoft Azure DevOps tests very well. However,  DevOps teams need to be aware of what they are impacting when someone updates anything on the system.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure DevOps for approximately 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's important to know what kind of DevOps you are going to have. If they're going to work with Microsoft Azure DevOps, they need to understand the solution very well. They cannot just start doing things because they wanted to try and do them.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure DevOps is scalable if you have everything in place, such as the service map and processes. Before you do anything, you have to understand what the impact will be on the customer.

We had over 10 million people using this solution worldwide. I have worked in many countries, such as the Americas, Canada, and Chile. Many of our product groups were in China, India, France, and Israel.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used Amazon AWS previously.

When I compare when Microsoft Azure with Amazon AWS. The two of them offer the same features. You have the storage, performance, connectivity, et cetera. However, on the hybrid, Microsoft Azure DevOps is a lot better than Amazon AWS because you can emulate it perfectly. The hop counts matter, which is how many times one communication connects on its travels from one device to another.

How was the initial setup?

There are three ways to deploy Microsoft Azure DevOps. To set up all three deployments is very similar but different. The on-premise deployment is where the customer owns the code. What Microsoft Azure DevOps does lets you develop your code, and when you have finished your code, you have to put it in the cloud for the hybrid. Then you can test it in an environment that is similar to production. I was in charge of making sure that everything was set up correctly.

I was involved from the beginning of the implementation. I'm a project manager myself too. I don't have certification, but I've been doing project management all my life. One important element when doing the implementation is the voice of the customer. No matter what you're configuring or setting up, if the voice of the customer is not there, but the voice of the business and the employees is, that is only two-thirds of what you have to do.

For example, I want my customers to run this application even if they are in the jungle. If they have access to WiFi, cellular signal, or hotspots, they can have access to anything that Microsoft Azure DevOps can give to them. Except they need a client, and that's the other part. You need to understand what clients the customers are going to need. The clients depend on three things. You need to know the infrastructure of the customers, their immediate needs, and the needs of their customers. We're developing something for the customer who has customers. Unfortunately is not only DevOps, it's everything. DevOps is only one part.

DevOps has one issue. There are components that are produced and supported by other teams somewhere else. Service maps are very important to develop with DevOps teams. When we develop the service map, they know what to do. However, some DevOps do not like to have service maps, because they say that they know what to do. That's what the problem is, they need to understand that they're not alone.

What about the implementation team?

I have worked with integrators, vendors, resellers, consultants, and in-house teams.  

You have to be a very good project, delivery, and program manager, in order to understand how to work with vendors.

For example, you need to know how to work with people who, are going to cable a house, building, or something similar. You need to understand specifically what are the requirements that they have as a company. Additionally, you need to understand the company to know the requirements of the customers. If you are not familiar with any one of those, the deployment is going to be a total fiasco. You have to know what is going on. 

You have to know the vendor. The vendor can tell you a lot. For example, when the materials are available, if there is a problem with the supply chain, what do in this circumstance. The vendor knows about the RMS or the return of the devices. You have to know everything from the deployment, such as RMS to return back, refunds, purchase orders, and goods received.

What was our ROI?

The return on investment from Microsoft Azure DevOps depends on how many customers you have and how fast are you going to be able to have something ready for your customers.

I have a customer who wanted to start quickly on the cloud. They have about three million customers working in one area, and only when 100,000 started did they receive a return on investment. It was not immediate but in approximately a year or a year and a half, they had a return on investment with every single customer.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The reason that customers are going to the cloud is that it provides the ability to reduce the license cost. For example, when purchasing Office 365 it is bundled with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and many other applications. In the past, purchasing a license was approximately $600. Today it's only $35 or $45 per customer, per client, or per user, plus the storage. It's less expensive for companies today, to use something, such as Microsoft Azure DevOps, and provide the software to all the employees needing a license. It's better to go with the cloud than just to buy the licenses by themselves.

There are some additional costs. You pay for how much space you are using. If you don't use too much space, then the price will be very little. If you use a lot of space, you have to pay for it. Additionally, they offer readiness training. It is not included directly in what is called a statement of work when you are doing business with customers. This is when things can be a little more difficult because it can be expensive for customers if they want to change deployments from on-premises to cloud or hybrid.

What other advice do I have?

The voice of the customer is very important. Develop the software based on the voice of the customer.

I rate Microsoft Azure DevOps a seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Release Automation
July 2022
Get our free report covering Amazon, Microsoft, Amazon, and other competitors of AWS CodeDeploy. Updated: July 2022.
621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.