CONA Services LLC, based in Atlanta, GA, is a shared IT services organization owned and governed by Coca-Cola bottlers. Its CONA (Coke One North America) Solution platform supports end-to-end bottler processes in customer, operations, finance, human resources, and reporting business domains. CONA Services employs 115 people, enabling over 500 bottling sites to generate $21 billion in annual revenue.
As a part of the 21st Century Beverage Partnership Model in North America, CONA Services has been chosen to migrate Coca-Cola bottlers from their legacy systems to a modern IT platform. During the largest solution deployment phases, CONA Services was adding thousands of users and hundreds of locations to their systems. The CONA teams needed to ensure the platform could handle the increasing number of concurrent users and locations without service interruptions. The organization sought a means to find and correct defects prior to adding new load and users to the platform.
CONA Services chose Micro Focus Performance Center SaaS for its robust functionality, as-needed scalability, and operational expense model.
“Performance Center SaaS works well for us because of its flexibility,” says Andrei Semenov, CONA Services Senior Manager of PMO and Enablement. “We could start with a limited number of users and expand as needed. There is no big capital expense upfront with the SaaS model, and the cost could be shared among our bottling partners.”
CONA Services uses Performance Center SaaS to test scalability of internal applications before deploying them into production. These are primarily SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) and SAP Web applications, but also include some third-party software solution. SAP HANA is used to store and retrieve data. The CONA organization uses a hybrid of Waterfall and Agile development with transition to DevOps approaches planned for selected applications.
“We have formal Quality Assurance cycles that include formal functional and performance testing, with clear change processes from collecting requirements to gathering feedback from business and product owners,” Semenov says. “The SAP GUI protocol of Performance Center is not commonly used in the performance testing community at the scale we used.” Micro Focus Professional Services assisted CONA Services to connect the SaaS cloud with on-premise and private cloud load generators.
“Because of the significant volume of concurrent SAP users involved in testing, we customized the configuration of Performance Center,” Semenov says. “We worked closely with our Customer Success Manager (CSM) to coordinate efforts among different groups including Micro Focus R&D, Network, SaaS, and Support teams—leveraging their expertise to architect and build a tool environment that includes controllers in SaaS and SAP load generators in the private cloud, as well as on-premise injectors.” In 2018, CONA executed a recordsetting SAP GUI System Performance Test. Other Micro Focus customers’ tests on SAP systems had run a maximum of one hour and capped out at 1,500 users. CONA’s test ran 18 hours with 15,000 concurrent users.
CONA Services and the Coca-Cola System successfully completed its refranchising effort in 2017. Today the CONA Solution provides participating Coca-Cola bottlers with a common, cost-effective platform delivering the sophisticated business applications they need to run their operations efficiently, manage procurement and supply chains, grow revenue through market segmentation, collaborate electronically, and take advantage of evolving digital technologies such as advanced analytics to monitor and improve operations. The platform supports 80,000 users, including 15,000 concurrent users, across 500 locations generating approximately 90 transactions per second.
Micro Focus Performance Center SaaS works well for us because of its flexibility. We could start with a limited number of users and expand as needed. There is no big capital expense upfront with the SaaS model, and the cost could be shared among our bottling partners.
Direct access to our Micro Focus Customer Success Manager (CSM) enabled CONA to successfully use non-standard testing tools architecture to setup North America Coca-Cola bottlers on a stable IT platform for years to come.