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AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community: Social, Personalized, and Built for Scale on MongoDB


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  • Self-introduction
    AT&T is a Fortune 50 communications company with services in:
    Wireless voice and data
    Broadband internet
    Wireless network serves millions of customers across over 200 countries
    Manages the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network
    $120+ billion in revenue
  • For more than a century, we have consistently provided innovative, reliable, high-quality products and services and excellent customer care. Today, our mission is to connect people with their world, everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else. We're fulfilling this vision by creating new solutions for consumers and businesses and by driving innovation in the communications and entertainment industry.
  • Everyone knows that AT&T provides voice and data services, but what you many not know is that AT&T is also the inventors of many technologies and products that we take for granted today.
    Unix and C++ were both created by AT&T
    The Internet was also an AT&T Labs invention (no, it was not Al Gore),
    Laser technology, Communications Satellites and Satellite transmissions also attributed to AT&T
  • What were some of the driving forces behind the formation of the program?
    What are some of the program goals it wishes to accomplish?
    - How does the program fit into the overall company vision?
  • The AT&T Developer Program helps developers deliver the right application on the right device to 95+ million customers.  The program has existed for 18 years, well before smart phones even existed.  Our primary focus in 2014 is the exposure of API’s to developers around the world, allowing them to build applications with features unique to AT&T. 
  • Content is the core of what we provide to the community but it was taking too long and it was too cumbersome to deploy new content
    Limited resources to manage all content, long lead times required
    Give the high level metrics: Additional time required to make changes
  • AT&T marketing department is no different than other marketing departments, they felt they needed a lot more control over the content and user experience. We gave them as much freedom as possible for a variety of technical reasons it wasn’t possible to hand complete control over to them. So instead they had only limited flexibility and ability to make changes and had to rely on development staff to produce what they really wanted.
  • Outdated systems had not kept up with modern computing technology and yet typically were proprietary and expensive
  • And as a natural result of evolution over time, we had a lot of technical fragmentation in terms of technologies, vendors, hosting and levels of integration
  • In short, we needed a better platform. Our basic needs were being met but we found it difficult to respond as quickly as needed to in order to provide the kind of experience we want for our developers.
  • All of these factors brought us to the decision to build a new community and content environment
  • The developer program site currently provides a full compliment of static content, technical documentation and community based information along with integrated search capabilities intended to assist a developer with developing, marketing and launching applications. The long term objective is to enable the continued and expanded exposure of APIs which
    Future goals and vision of the site, and the strategic objectives it would take to get there
  • We had goals of a more efficient publishing process and an enhanced user experience, not only PC based, but also for smart phone and tablet users who represent an increasing percentage of our users base.
  • - Enable marketing to quickly and efficiently produce new and fresh content and distribute authoring capabilities to a wider audience while maintaining content control and governance.
  • We wanted a platform that we could innovate on, that was scalable technically and fiscally and cloud-ready
  • As a result embarked on a multi-phase project to achieve these results.
    Last summer we collected requirements from both IT and Marketing and reviewed various vendors. After vendor was selected we began our build out (in October) with our primary objective of being ready for the Developer Program Summit in early January. Subsequent phases were to create a community pilot and finally to integrate that pilot with existing infrastructure.
  • Lets discuss phase one, which is the core of project our web content management and delivery infrastructure. This isn’t the main focus of the talk, but it’s a foundational component of the solution we’re implementing so we’ll move through this aspect quickly
  • Secure, role-based content access
    Easier authoring, preview and publishing
    Faster “to market” content creation and delivery
    Mobile support
    Simple and light-weight solution, Reduced technology stack
    Cloud ready, pathway to cloud-hosted app
    Distributed authoring capability
    Ability to rapidly prototype, edit and enhance content models
    Increased usability for content authors
  • Vendor Evaluation criteria:
    Cloud-ready, Able to support rapid on demand expansion without licensing being an issue
    Open source
    Simple and lightweight
    other CMS vendors evaluated
    Adobe CQ5
  • Crafter fit all major criteria for both marketing and IT and we brought in Rivet Logic to help with the implementation
  • Logical mode of the crafter implementation
  • Talk about the complexity of running a DR site
  • Working with a tough timeline and needed the site to be ready in time for annual AT&T Developer Summit, AT&T Developer Program’s largest event of the year.
    We had literally hundreds of pages of content to produce and hundreds more to remove from legacy systems. A complete overhaul of the entire site.
    We had 3 months to do it all
  • Special developer focused event with valuable news and information about emerging technologies and opportunities to network with top industry professionals and experts. Features hackathon contents, keynotes, and session tracks, similar to what we are seeing at Mongo World.
    Because this is the single largest even of the year, there is always a goal to introduce new features and new functionality, in 2014, the goal was a new site with new content.
  • Enabled Marketing to complete new site while meet deadline requirements
    Rewriting of all content
    Clean up and removal of old content
    Rebuilding of all pages with new UI/templates
    Hundreds of pages built within a couple of months
    Integrated search
    Customizable through configurations to affect result sets
  • Enabled Marketing to complete new site while meet deadline requirements
    Rewriting of all content
    Clean up and removal of old content
    Rebuilding of all pages with new UI/templates
    Hundreds of pages built within a couple of months
    Integrated search
    Customizable through configurations to affect result sets
    Integration with current DR based infrastructure
  • The next phase was beginning implementation of a new vision for community
  • The existing community pages were typical blog/forum features which are common in many sites. Marketing wanted to keep these features but at the same time find a way to create MUCH more engagement and content reuse through out the community. We needed to understand what core content and user generated content was most valuable – normal site tracking tools simply did not give us everything we needed.
  • Standard features of our community were
    This is what most people think of when they think of community features
  • The challenges we faces lead us to re-think how we interacted with our community
  • We knew that traditional community features, while valuable, did not give us what we ultimately wanted.
  • We want to go beyond easy content authoring tools – which helps us keep the core content up to date – but make sure that users can really engage with the content for as long as it’s relevant. Content based articles tend to go stale because they aren’t top of mind – Having basic comments makes them sticky and keeps them alive much longer. We wanted a way to keep this conversation going as long as possible by making sure that community based discussions show up through out the site in various forms – not just under the article – and this could drive traffic back to the original article, helping to keep it alive
  • To do that we need to connect the content so that it is
    Socially & Organically linked
    And full of metadata
  • And then we want to use those connections to drive functionality on the site like targeted related articles, dynamic forums to provide as much opportunity to engage with the source content as possible.
  • With 50,000 active developers in our network we generate a lot of content
    We want to be able to understand that content and leverage it to help us improve collection of data, synthesis of metadata and data analysis, all of which give us the insight to quickly make and implement decisions to improve customer experiences
  • Finally we wanted the ability to adapt to new social use cases and update existing use cases, everyone knows that social media is changing extremely fast and is changing the world we live in - we must have the ability to adapt to those external forces.
  • So on top of the basic engagement we wanted to have a have a system
    In a single, consistent platforms that could handle all kinds of social content, even content that we haven’t thought of yet,
    We wanted to add the ability to connect the content through various types of associations and metadata
    And then apply analytics and content targeting to the content so that
    It’s easy to get to all of the content from different angles without hanging to rely on search alone
    So here is a basic example, a very simple use case that shows how this idea works
  • We take traditional core content that is created by our authors like Articles and FAQs
  • Which look something like this.
    User must go to another page to discuss – represents a disconnect in the UX.
  • And a completely different set of content like a forum
  • Which is modeled like this
  • These different platforms for each type of content results in silo for each of them, with very limited ability to tie this data together.
  • We have no single place to engage on a topic. Federated search across the silos is in theory a solution but with different technologies the user experience is weak
    No good way to relate content
  • So let’s get the content in a single store and connect it
  • And one example, an example that’s easy to understand is tagging. By tagging the content like the articles, the comments on the articles and the forum topics we can then find interesting relationships and then build functionality around those relationships
  • So to make this a bit more concrete, with our Articles, using our new CMS authors can tag articles with topics and when a user makes a comment, that comment is automatically tagged with the topics assigned by the author
  • And then we can do something very similar with forums were each topic is given tags that propagate to the comments in the threads of the topic
  • Now we can create interesting functionality like forums that include threads based on article comment streams in addition to the organic threads.
  • This makes the forums a one stop shop for all on-going conversations
  • New social use cases
    Or modifications to existing use cases can come up at any time
    We need to be able to adapt
  • The implementation NEEDS TO
    store a lot of data and metadata
    Provide search and strong query capability
    Provide the ability to do real time analytics for targeting
    be FAST
    Needs to fit in to our deployment architecture
    Fortunately, we did not have to build this from the ground up. Our WCM solution provides the basic infrastructure for this
  • Which is built on top of monoDB
  • Document oriented
  • Performance
    Data Volume
  • Aggregation Framework
  • Aggregation Framework
  • Performance
    Data Volume
  • Needs to able to store a lot of data
    Needs to be FAST
    Need to be able to attach a lot more metadata
    Needs to fit in to our deployment architecture
  • Enhanced user experience with ability to produce more fresh content
    Simplified and faster content publishing process
    XML based content
    Ability to move content quickly and easily without involving databases
    Faster page loading
    Less hardware usage
  • Improved usability for Marketing
    Improved efficiency and productivity
    Faster time to market
    Operationally stable
    Better site performance
  • Improved usability for Marketing
    Improved efficiency and productivity
    Faster time to market
    Operationally stable
    Better site performance
  • Improved usability for Marketing
    Improved efficiency and productivity
    Faster time to market
    Operationally stable
    Better site performance
    Before: Externally hosted – less flexibility and control over functionality
    After: Internally hosted – IT had full ownership and could update/modify functionality as desired
    Before: Rigid, out-dated solution
    After: Light-weight and cloud ready
    Before: Limited functionality
    After: Robust feature-set that satisfied most project requirements out-of-the-box
    Before: Complex, burdensome content publishing process that content authors struggled with
    After: Simplified process allows Marketing to quickly and easily publish fresh and new content
    Before: Costly to maintain and make changes
    After: Open source cost savings and operationally low maintenance after initial configuration
    Productivity and Efficiency
    Ability to rapidly assemble, test, alter and upgrade content models
    Ability to better meet the needs of clients more quickly
    Flexible in catering to changing business needs
    Moving to flexible solution to provide alternate avenues for content entry
    Open Source cost savings
  • Transcript

    • 1. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community: Social, Personalized, and Built for Scale on MongoDB MongoDB World June 24, 2014 Alaaeldin El-Nattar EVP of Client Services Rivet Logic Chris Bartsch Development Manager AT&T
    • 2. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Your World Delivered. 2
    • 3. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community3 Network of Possibilities
    • 4. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community4 Innovation
    • 5. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community5 AT&T Developer Program
    • 6. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Impact 6
    • 7. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community7 We Wanted to Improve Our Community
    • 8. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community8 1 Getting Site Updates Out Took Too Long
    • 9. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community9 2 Limited Control of Content and User Experience
    • 10. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community10 3 Older, Higher Cost Systems
    • 11. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community11 A Lot of Technical Fragmentation
    • 12. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community 5 12 Difficult to Adapt
    • 13. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Community Re-Platform 13
    • 14. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community14 Strategic Objectives
    • 15. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community15 Enhanced User Experience
    • 16. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community16 Empower Marketing / Content Authors
    • 17. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community17 Consolidate & Modernize Technology
    • 18. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community The Journey 18
    • 19. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community19 Modern Web Content Management
    • 20. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community20 WCM Business Requirements
    • 21. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Choosing the Right CMS 21
    • 22. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community22 Crafter CMS
    • 23. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community23 Authoring Editing and preview tools Content Authors / Managers Live Publish Visitors Web Alfresco Content Platform Crafter CMS
    • 24. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community24 Physical Deployment Architecture
    • 25. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community25 Hard Deadlines
    • 26. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community26 Developer Summit
    • 27. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community27 We Made It
    • 28. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community28 A New AT&T Developer Site!
    • 29. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community29 NEXT!
    • 30. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community30 Traditional Community
    • 31. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Basic Engagement
    • 32. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community32 Next Generation Community
    • 33. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community33 Rethink Forums, Comments, Blogs…
    • 34. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community34 Keep Content Fresh
    • 35. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community35 Connect the Content
    • 36. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community36 Increase the Opportunity to Engage!
    • 37. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community37 Gather and React to Insight
    • 38. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community38 Ability to Adapt to the Future
    • 39. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community #Vital Content
    • 40. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community40 Traditional FAQ or Article
    • 41. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community41 Traditional FAQ or Article
    • 42. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community42 Traditional Forums
    • 43. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community43 Traditional Forum or Article
    • 44. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community44 This Creates Silos
    • 45. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community45 Better Search Only Helps So Much
    • 46. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community46 Connect It.
    • 47. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community47 Tagging
    • 48. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community48 Tagged Articles
    • 49. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community49 Tagging Forum Topics
    • 50. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community50 Article Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Forum TOPIC A TOPIC B Metadata Tag:Galaxy Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Comment
    • 51. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community51 Dynamic Forum Topics Article Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Forum TOPIC A TOPIC B Metadata Tag:Galaxy Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Comment Article Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment Comment
    • 52. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community52 Leveraging Targeting to Surface Content Matters Forum TOPIC A TOPIC B Metadata Tag:Galaxy Comment Comment Comment Metadata Tag:iPHONE Comment Related Articles Article Article Article Suggested Articles Article Article Article Activity Write Comment
    • 53. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community53 Pilot!
    • 54. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community54 Connected Content: FAQ’s & Forums
    • 55. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community55 SCREEN SHOT Connected Content: FAQ’s & Forums
    • 56. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community56 SCREEN SHOT Connected Content: FAQ’s & Forums
    • 57. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community57 Crafter Social
    • 58. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community58 Technically Speaking
    • 59. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community59 Crafter Social Model
    • 60. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community60 Flexible!
    • 61. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community61 Scalable!
    • 62. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community62 Aggregation Framework
    • 63. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community63 Real-Time Analytics for Insight
    • 64. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community64 Fits Into Our DR Environment
    • 65. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community65 Logical Architecture Authoring Editing and preview tools Content Authors / Managers Live Social UI JS Client Application Publish Visitors Intranet Site
    • 66. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community66 Physical Deployment Architecture
    • 67. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community67 Results
    • 68. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community68 Improved User Experiences
    • 69. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community69 Authoring Has Control Over the UX
    • 70. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community70 Improved Content Production Times
    • 71. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community71 Keep the Perception of Traditional Engagement
    • 72. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community72 With Much More Engagement and Reuse
    • 73. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community73 Ability to Gather Insight on What Users Need
    • 74. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community74 Single, Modern, Open Technology Platform Authoring Editing and preview tools Content Authors / Managers Live Publish Visitors Web Alfresco Content Platform
    • 75. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community75 Questions and Answers
    • 76. AT&T’s Mobile Developer Community Contact 76 Alaaeldin El-Natar EVP of Client Services Rivet Logic Chris Bartsch Development Manager AT&T