robust approach to software quality helps Vermont Information Processing reduce
release bottlenecks and improve customer support forecasting
2010 – Vermont
Information Processing (VIP), IT solutions supplier to the beverage wholesale
industry, has utilized Original Software’s end-to-end testing solution to
increase its software quality. Even with an intensely accelerated development
schedule, VIP has improved its customer upgrade experience and reduced pressure
on its support team. This in turn has enabled the business to respond
effectively to the complex requirements of its customers during volatile market
A period of market consolidation had caused significant growing pains for VIP.
As its customers’ operations increased in complexity, the software that they
relied on to manage their business needed to be able to handle much more
complicated processes. VIP’s old development cycle just didn’t fit this new
development schedule. Putting out new releases became painful, not just for
customers and its development team, but the support team was also beginning to
feel the repercussions.
With the help of Original Software, VIP was able to develop a much more robust
approach to software quality. The company has completely turned around its QA
process and overcome its customers’ cautious attitudes to upgrades. VIP has now
transformed into a software testing center of excellence with happy customers
who are keen to upgrade to new releases.
Since implementation, VIP’s QA department has increased the scope of test
coverage, taking control its test environments, comprehensively unit testing
and running full regression tests on all system updates. Previously customers
went on average three years before updating systems, creating a bottleneck in
the upgrade process, now 97% are running a recent version of the software. The
team has also vastly reduced the strain on support. Fixing a single bug could
save support around 80 hours; it takes a lot less time to run the regression
suite now, which on average turns up 10-12 similar bugs. This equates to five
and a half months of support time per release!
VIP moved from having one major update release every three years to producing
major releases once a year, with numerous maintenance builds in-between. The
old eight month-long beta testing phase was too time consuming for the business
with its new rapid development schedule and it could no longer afford to do
this. With the crunching development cycle, quality was becoming an issue for
VIP. “Our customers were really frustrated with us,” explained Bobby Erwin,
Quality Control Analyst at VIP. “To get a new feature, they’d also get all
these other problems to boot. This would become a strain on the support team
too, as they’d spend hours on the phone going through problems.”
“Our main business drivers were to reduce the level of risk by increasing the
scope of test coverage. Original Software was the ideal choice” said Erwin.
VIP purchased the solutions from Original Software in May 2007 and once they’d
had the initial training it took two or three months to develop their first
regression capabilities. They’ve been developing and building on these tests
ever since. “Prior to this we conducted no regression testing at all – just a
month or so of acceptance testing by customer service and then the beta tests.
Now we have a battery of tests we perform every time we release,” imparted
“We are providing a much more robust and better product to the end users,” said
Bobby Erwin. “Our support and customer service teams are delighted. Our builds
are just so much better now, and we can also tell them exactly how risky a
release is, and predict the levels of support that might be needed.”
“The regression tests help us manage our exposure: improving experience for the
customer, decreasing support needs for a given update. Testing gives us a feel
for how stable the build is. It's a known entity. If the build looks good in
testing, we can install with greater confidence. If we find problems, we get a
better idea of the support resources needed,” confirmed Chris Boucher, Support
Manager at VIP.
To read the full customer case study, please visit: http://www.origsoft.com/customer-stories/vip
About Original Software: www.origsoft.com
With a world class record of innovation, Original Software offers a solution
focused completely on the goal of effective quality management. By embracing
the full spectrum of Application Quality Management across a wide range of
applications and environments, the company partners with customers and helps
make quality a business imperative. Solutions include a quality management
platform, manual testing, full test automation and test data management, all
delivered with the control of business risk, cost, time and resources in mind.
More than 400 organisations operating in over 30 countries use Original
Software solutions. Current users range from major multi-nationals to small
software development shops, encompassing a wide range of industries, sectors
and sizes. We are proud of our partnerships with the likes of Coca-Cola,
Cargill, HSBC, FedEx, Pfizer, DHL and many others.