Integra Telecom Improves Efficiency and Forecasting with Helix TCM
Helix Test Case Management (TCM) ease of use and ability to track passing and failing tests made it the clear choice for Integra Telecom, Inc., who needed to better organize its testing effort to support the company's fast growth.
How efficiency was improved with Helix TCM
Ability to track passing and failing tests
Increased productivity and reduced costs
Reduced development time to market
In spite of the volume of data, it's easier to determine the status of our testing effort than it ever was in the old system."
While Integra improved its testing processes with each acquisition, the need for a test case management system surfaced in each postmortem.
Integra already had a solid set of back office applications, but test case management was the missing piece. As Integra faced its fourth acquisition, which would double its client base and revenue, the management team knew it was time to address their testing process.
A Challenging Test Environment
“The new acquisition involved 80 systems, 70,000 customers, and hundreds of business partners,” said Julie Rouzee, CIO, Integra Telecom. “Our old process would have been too time consuming and frustrating for testers to successfully achieve the conversion.”
Another issue for Integra was its lack of a set of existing test cases. Even with three acquisitions under its belt, Integra did not have a suite of repeatable tests. With each new project, testers created tests from scratch. Integra not only needed a test case management system, they also needed to capitalize on the time and effort spent writing the test cases.
After two months of research, Integra selected Helix TCM as its test case management system. Helix TCM’s ease of use and ability to track passing and failing tests made it the clear choice. Perforce’s attention to Integra’s unique licensing needs was also instrumental in the decision.
Increased Productivity, Reduced Costs
Helix TCM’s ease of use really came into play after the sale. In a few days, Integra’s IT department had the software installed and felt confident enough to walk the entire testing team through the new system.
Implementing Helix TCM resulted in increased productivity, reduced costs, and reduced time to market for Integra.
“During the first end-to-end test,” said Rouzee, “we had 200 testers create over 4,000 tests. In spite of the volume of data, it is easier to determine the status of our testing effort using Helix TCM than it ever was in the old system. In addition, Helix has helped us to be more thorough when creating test cases. We are now able to perform complete product testing that covers areas that would be easy to overlook otherwise.”
For previous conversions, different sales regions and business partners maintained their own tests and results. They sent the data to corporate headquarters periodically, and the IT staff would have to cull through the data to produce the necessary reports. Now, because all the tests and results are in a single location, up-to-date testing status is just a click away.
“Helix TCM makes it easy to not only see the status of each test,” said Rouzee, “but also to quickly determine which region or business partner is responsible for a given set of tests.”
With Helix TCM, it is also easy to reuse the same test case for multiple systems, reducing the overall number of separate test cases. This has produced significant savings for Integra.
“One team spent approximately 250 hours creating test cases,” said Rouzee. “However, because we can reuse those test cases, we are now saving 150 hours per test we run. Based on four scheduled end-to-end tests, we estimate we will save approximately 600 hours from just that one team’s testing effort.”
Now the data is automatically organized. Developers can determine if a defect was the result of an IT issue or a business rule. They can also easily review similar issues to get a true understanding of the extent of a problem.
While reporting was essential to the success of the acquisition, centralizing the test cases will have an ongoing impact. “We now have a set of reusable test cases that we can use not only for acquisitions but for each new update to our systems. We don’t have to recreate tests repeatedly. Helix TCM has not only improved our efficiency, it has also improved our ability to forecast our testing effort. For the next upgrade or acquisition, we will be able to accurately determine what resources we need to allocate. Helix TCM has been a real complement to the other back office systems Integra has in place.”
Rouzee expects savings to continue. “Helix TCM has allowed us to refine our testing process quickly and easily, and has saved Integra Telecom thousands of dollars. As we use Helix TCM to support scheduled releases and new enhancements in addition to our acquisition testing, we expect our savings to increase exponentially.”