Recently, iRely gave Patrick and me a detailed briefing on its testing program, which in itself was unusual, as mainly, we get shown software demonstrations. In this instance, Deanna Palm, Chief Quality Officer at iRely, took us through a look at something that iRely sees as a bit of a differentiator – the UAP Program. This program comprises of tailored testing with actual data and using automation so that upgrades and go live installs go smoother with fewer errors and user disruption, among other benefits, she told us. “i21 is a comprehensive piece of software, and there are millions of ways to test it,” she told us. “We have over 6,000 regression test cases and growing, so that common business processes are tested but, each customer uses the system differently, many have custom features, and custom business processes or configurations that push them outside of the general testing pattern. UAP is focused testing of a Customer’s workflow and tests precisely how the users are using the software.”
Deanna paints a picture familiar to anyone in the CTRM or CM software industry. Highly configurable software designed to cater to many different business processes that is challenging to test before issuing an upgrade to all customers. Each of those customers configured the software differently, use it differently, and may have custom interfaces or even functionality as well. It makes it very tedious to manage and test properly. Before the UAP Program, Deanna told us that iRely often did not know specifically how the customer used the solution so as to devise their testing programs.
However, for iRely users, the UAP program brings them that extra layer of Quality specific to their business. “It all starts during implementation,” she told us. “The team identifies how the users use i21 and document by recording workflows that outlining the steps, data requirements, and transactions. This information is then provided to the quality team who writes detailed test cases used to code the automation scripts.” The customer can use the detailed test cases for user training, she told us. “The majority of the effort is on iRely and the quality team.” The automation is driven by data in Excel, which means the data can be changed for testing purposes. The result, says Deanna, are smoother upgrades and improved quality.
The testing results can be shown visually, and even system performance or that of critical transactions can be logged using additional tests. The use of automation provides a level of security and saves the customer time knowing that iRely is testing their business processes, she told us. It is an interesting approach that iRely provides and strongly believes to be a valuable benefit of their approach. Certainly, ComTech has not seen such a comprehensive program before yet for this class of software, it seems that it would indeed offer a series of benefits to end users.