AT&TAT&T and Accenture have announced a multiyear project that will replace legacy AT&T business applications with microservices. AT&T microservices are said to offer a faster and cheaper way to order the carrier’s products and services — from security services to fiber offerings.

“Our collaboration with Accenture allows us to quickly deliver the products and services our customers need to stay competitive in today’s technology-based economy,” said Pam Parisian, the president of Technology Development for AT&T in a press release. “Soon, they will be able to access a whole new level of scalability and functionality as we shift legacy business functions into flexible, software-centric capabilities.”

AT&T Microservices
Accenture is the second company to join AT&T’s Microservices Supplier Program. The carrier also is working with IBM to design, develop and deploy microservices aimed at transforming backend processes. Last year, AT&T deployed more than 300 microservices, which surpassed company goals by 22%. Hundreds more are expected to be deployed this year.

Microservices break legacy applications into discreet elements that can be changed out incrementally. Thus, services can be launched or changed far more quickly than in older scenarios in which any change required the entire application or service to be replaced. Microserves are created using scaled and agile DevOps processes which speed development by collapsing traditional processes into a continuing development and refinement loop.

In a blog associated with the announcement, Parisian offered an example of how AT&T is using microservices. She wrote that a set of microservices have been joined to create a single “solution” that creates, manages and tracks contracts across the company’s business products. This replaces “the many long and difficult processes that were previously used for this task,” she wrote. Microservices are saving millions of dollars annually across AT&T Technical Operations, according to Parisian.The carrier has experienced a speed to market improvement of about 30% on projects that started in 2017. It expects that improvement to accelerate this year.