ISB AG Accelerates Software Development with Helix IM

With Helix ALM, ISB AG, an innovative IT service provider for more than 30 years, can now start on projects sooner, finish them faster, and deliver greater quality to their customers. 

Why ISB Standardized on Helix ALM

Reduced setup times for new projects


More control during test and rollout stages

Reduced defect liabilities from 5% to below 3%

Helix ALM emerged as a 'best practice' and became a standard.

Our customers use Helix ALM via the web interface and there is little need for training. 


Until recently, ISB used nearly a dozen bug tracking applications to develop and implement complex database-driven information systems. As a vendor-independent solution partner, ISB had to define and implement a bug tracking solution for each new project. The process slowed project setup time to a crawl.

“We had massive setup times for new projects,” said Oliver Reiniger, Quality Manager, ISB.

This was especially painful on small projects where setup time frequently took nearly half of the development time, delaying delivery and hurting project profitability by adding overhead that really had no value for the customer.

Over time, one bug tracking application rose above the others: Helix Issue Management (IM). It was not a choice so much as an evolution.


Survival of the Fittest

“We did not actively decide to use Helix IM,” Reiniger said. “Helix IM was one of about ten bug tracking applications in use by projects. But it emerged as a ‘best practice’ and became a standard.” 

ISB developers first started using Helix IM in 2004. By 2007, it was used for the majority of projects, and by 2010, ISB began using the rest of the Helix ALM suite for requirements management and test case management as well.

“In 2011, we had the first Helix ALM project that involved implementing ITIL-based event-, incident-, problem-, and change-management processes, including procurement requests in Helix,” Reiniger said.

Helix ALM’s ease of use was one reason it became a standard. ISB has a team of two people managing more than 100 Helix ALM projects for about 150 internal users and 400 customers.

“Most of Helix ALM’s functionality is self-explanatory,” Reiniger said. “Our customers use Helix ALM via the web interface and there is little need for training.”

Currently, 90 percent of ISB projects use Helix IM for issue tracking— especially projects facing regulatory requirements. Helix is also ISB’s internal help desk application.


Immediate Benefits

With Helix ALM, ISB’s management has much more control over projects during the test and rollout phase, providing an immediate benefit to the company.

“The first reports on test results, fix rates, and pending customer tests improved our negotiating position a lot during acceptance,” said Reiniger.

Helix ALM has delivered substantial time savings beyond project setup, and has increased productivity.

“Helix ALM, together with other measures like software development methodology definitions, reduced defect liabilities from five percent to below three percent of our business volume,” Reiniger said. “Setup time for new software development projects was reduced from more than two weeks to less than two days. And training for defect tracking tools within the projects was reduced from about two person-days to almost zero.”

Reiniger was particularly happy about the way Helix ALM fit with their work in regulated environments. “When I used Helix ALM for the first time in a validated environment, I was very pleased that Helix ALM met all the requirements in the context of computer system validation (CSV).”

With Helix ALM, ISB can now start on projects sooner, finish them faster, and deliver greater quality to their customers.

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