About Global Consumer Electronics Company
This global firm is one of the world’s leading consumer technology and entertainment companies.
Managing Complex, Strategically Critical Software Projects
The company uses SAP software to manage many key business functions, from budgeting and cost control to human resources and supply chain. Historically, each region had its own SAP instance, and the company had successfully migrated all these separate environments to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. The next stage was to consolidate to a single instance of SAP, as part of a strategic project to harmonize business processes and reporting across the regions.
Managing this complex, multi-year project presented significant challenges. The company has a dedicated development and testing team for SAP software based in India but responsible for instances of SAP hosted in different AWS regions (and previously in different company owned data centers). This team wanted to be able to work effectively with business transformation teams to understand the requirements and set up the appropriate automated testing landscapes to ensure a smooth, low-risk transition to the new single instance of SAP.
A spokesperson for the consumer electronics company says: “For all SAP projects we execute, it’s vital to be able to audit our activity and report to multiple different audiences. We also value reusability, because typically the work that we do for one region or set of users can be reapplied elsewhere, enabling greater efficiency and speed.”
With Micro Focus ALM/Quality Center (ALM/ QC) as its strategic tool for application lifecycle management, together with UFT One for software test automation, the Indian branch of the company is helping the global business to build and roll out the new single SAP environment. This major, multi-year project has reached the implementation phase, with the first rollout due in the US, to be followed by rollouts in Europe and then the Asia-Pacific region.
A Single-Source Solution Covering All Development and Test Requirements
Having selected the solution almost ten years ago, the consumer electronics company continues to use an on-premises deployment of Micro Focus ALM/QC for managing projects in the SAP domain, even now that SAP has been migrated to the cloud.
The spokesperson comments:
The company’s global project management office has access to intuitive dashboards and reports from ALM/QC. And because the company has integrated ALM/QC with Jira via Micro Focus Connect, Jira user stories automatically flow through into ALM/QC, and Jira bug reports are stored in an auditable way in ALM/QC. This makes it easy for project managers to see the full picture of the development and testing of the new consolidated SAP environment.
The ongoing development of the SAP environment uses mostly waterfall methodologies; each phase in testing has an entry and exit point with a defined percentage of success to determine whether the phase has been passed. The success percentage is determined through a risk-based approach based on business criticality—for example, the percentage required for a highly critical function is much higher than for a relatively unimportant function. Given the size of the SAP environment, the large number of testing stages, the matrix of different criticalities and the large number of people involved in the project, the combination of ALM/QC and UFT One is a vital success factor in delivering the rationalized SAP environment.
“We have 150 people working just in the SAP testing team,” says the spokesperson. “Adding in the business users, the process owners, the infrastructure team, the interface team and so on, there are at least 400 people involved in the current SAP rationalization project.”
Bringing the Benefits of Process Standardization to a Global User Base
Using Micro Focus tools for application lifecycle management and test automation is helping the consumer electronics company guide its global SAP rationalization project to a successful outcome. When the project is complete, the global business will be empowered to work in more consistent and efficient ways, using standardized processes on a high-quality software platform.
“As we move ahead with the implementation stages of this multi-year project, we continue to be highly satisfied with our Micro Focus solutions,” says the spokesperson. “The flexibility we have in customizing the solutions has been key to our success. We have been able to create separate forms and designs for different types of users, with workflows adapted to the tasks they want to accomplish. In this way, we capture all the information we need without overwhelming the users.”
UFT One has enabled the company to accelerate the creation of test scripts: the team often starts with a basic script created by recording a set of interface steps, then sends it to a subject-matter expert for fleshing out into a complete final version. The spokesperson says: “The Business Process Testing framework provided with UFT One is very clearly structured and enabled us to avoid creating our own automation framework from scratch.”
The consumer electronics company is currently planning the next steps on its ongoing journey with Micro Focus ALM/QC: the team is planning to upgrade from version 15.5 to version 17, in part so that it can use the new Web Runner feature. The spokesperson says: “Web Runner will enable us to extend the usage of ALM/QC to other teams without requiring them to download a local client. The more people we have using ALM/QC, the more accurate our reporting becomes, helping us to meet the expectations of business users. The Micro Focus tools continue to make our lives easier, and we look forward to further benefits as we push on with the rollout of the new rationalized SAP environment.”