"We compared testing tools from IBM and HP with Micro Focus Silk Test. We conducted a structured tools evaluation of the technical compatibility of each product with Oracle CC&B. Based on our investigation, we determined that Silk Test would be the most favorable product against our client's selection criteria."
PinnacleQM is a specialist providing full lifecycle delivery management solutions, independent QA and testing services, along with Cloud enabled tools and environment management services. PinnacleQM is an Australia-based company, servicing the APAC market with a proven track record in delivering complex international programs and services.
PinnacleQM was working with an Australian state government-owned corporation responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the electricity network for over 900,000 residential customers and 94,000 businesses.
Regulatory changes to the wholesale electricity market meant the utilities customer had to upgrade to the latest version of its Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing (Oracle CC&B) application. The upgrade involved executing 2,000 billing tests with no automated testing facilities in place. Because the production environment updates the test environment regularly with new data, such as account details, meter readings, and service orders, test results were different in each cycle and business users would need to make time to recalculate all 2,000 bill results manually. Multiple projects and maintenance activities all contribute to changes in the test environment, resulting in unexpected results. Each false-negative outcome requires additional verification by business users.
PinnacleQM extended its proven test automation platform, Enginuity, with a solution designed and developed for Oracle CC&B, as Ian Charlton, Director at PinnacleQM, explains: “We look at each customer’s individual environment and work with the best testing tools in the market place for that particular customer. In this case, we compared testing tools from IBM and HP with Micro Focus Silk Test. We conducted a structured tools evaluation of the technical compatibility of each product with Oracle CC&B. Based on our investigation, we determined that Silk Test would be the most favorable product against our client’s selection criteria. We were looking at CC&B object recognition, resilience against both versions of CC&B, tool license costs and anticipated ongoing maintenance effort for the solution."
The Enginuity automation platform, including scalable Silk Test licenses to deliver on demand test execution, was enabled for the utilities customer. Test cases which were previously executed manually, were converted to the Enginuity format and executed across multiple cycles. Thanks to on-demand test execution, the customer is able to make frequent updates to its Oracle CC&B application and run full regression tests. The solution also tests new features and provides a performance baseline for future enhancements.
The rapid deployment enabled the customer to verify the viability of this new approach in just two weeks. Having attempted test automation several times previously without success, the customer was understandably sceptical, so to see a result so soon was just fantastic.
All Oracle CC&B testing cycles were reduced from several weeks to a single business day, by dynamically calculating the expected results based on current test data. Charlton explains the benefits the customer has experienced: “The PinnacleQM Enginuity solution, using Micro Focus Silk Test, realized a testing effort saving of 56%, while testing cycles were reduced by 82%. Business users now only need to be involved for verification purposes against a UAT model, which means that approximately 25 weeks of testing effort per cycle was reduced to less than one week. In addition, the customer also made an overall project budget saving of 28% by closing the project early and reducing the duration and effort incurred in getting the project change into production.”
Charlton concludes: “Partnering with Micro Focus has enabled PinnacleQM to deliver scalable Oracle CC&B automated testing solutions through the integration of Silk Test with our Cloud-enabled test services platform and our Enginuity test automation service solution."