The use of test automation to drive efficiency, reduce manual effort, and decrease risk in enterprise organizations has shifted from a luxury to a necessity within the last decade. The speed of change continues to increase, and at a certain point, business users need to utilize some form of automation to keep pace.
At a recent Oracle conference, Carrier Senior Manager of Automation, Judy Zeman, shared their organization’s automation journey, including the benefits and advantages they enjoyed, the tools they utilized and continue to use, and how they selected them. With a diverse workforce of over 52,000 spread across the world and over 20 billion in annual sales, the company utilizes over 120 ERPs. They needed an automation partner they could trust to help smooth testing and reduce risk.
In this blog, we’ll explore how teams like the one at Carrier employ intelligent automation to ensure business continuity across applications. Carrier Global Corporation is a leading provider of building controls for HVAC, as well as cold-chain solutions like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and even refrigerated vehicles.
Large Volume of Shared Instances Drives Inefficiency
The complexity of Carrier's environment with over 120 ERP instances supporting over 75 brands across various business functions presented unique difficulties when it came to continuous testing too, especially with the new strategy to spin off and consolidate brands and business units.
Many ERP instances documented processes were shared by both business units that were being retained as well as those being spun off. This meant extensive regression testing was needed to ensure critical business processes and functionality still worked properly after changes were made to separate out the spun-off business data and processes.
Doing this manual testing across so many ERP instances and integrated systems was enormously time and resource intensive. For example, during their annual disaster recovery testing process steps where they shut down and restart systems, it was documented process that took six long weeks to complete 765 manually executed tests after a cloud migration.
Judy Zeman, one of the directors of quality assurance and automated software testing over at Carrier, knew there had to be a better way than manual testing to have software testers handle the testing needs resulting from the company's shift in strategy.
Carrier ultimately selected Worksoft's automation testing platform for its advanced capabilities in automated test creation software testing and execution, as well as its process discovery technology that could accelerate understanding of their complex business processes across platforms.
The ability to rapidly automate automated testing, and discover processes provided the test efficiency and coverage Carrier needed in order to successfully move complex processes, separate out business units and reduce complexity in systems - saving significant time and resources while ensuring high quality. Worksoft's solutions provided the test assurance Carrier required to move forward confidently with their strategic transformation initiatives.
The Need for Robust, Reusable Test Automation
As the company continues to spin off businesses to streamline its organization, it'll need to continue to ensure it can remove business units without affecting other retained business units. Like everyone else, Carrier continues to move towards the cloud, a process that has already begun but will only increase in speed and scope in the future. Once the teams have lift-and-shifted, they'll be moving to the cloud, which will require a full range of regression testing to ensure functionality and a lack of disruption.
The above emphasis on continued cloud migration is just one of many reasons the team wants to automate testing. The most obvious benefit, automation reduces the number of people it requires to perform testing. Carrier found that in the initial testing phase alone, they could reduce the required manpower by 70-80% and perform testing in about 20% of the time it would manually take.
Reusability and Visibility with Testing and Process Documentation
With such a high volume of industries, business units, and instances, the ability to reuse tests already performed was a huge advantage of the Worksoft testing suite for Carrier. Whether testing for an ERP implementation, moving from one software to a new one, or simply performing an upgrade, the tests are reusable and can be used in a variety of circumstances. “That's a big advantage. Accuracy; you don't have user error, you don't have fat finger mistakes, anything like that.”
Coupled with automation, reusability drives cost and time reduction. Rather than having to start all over for each instance and business unit, tests can be reused and repurposed with minimal maintenance for the company's Oracle ERP and beyond. In addition, Worksoft automated testing provides documentation of each test, showing what was done and offering teams the ability to add screenshots to reports to showcase your progress, including everything a user puts into field selections.
Engage More Users with No-Code Testing
When Carrier first asked themselves what they were looking for in an automation tool, they looked for a few key capabilities, including a no-code, self-healing option. “The automation tools on the market today, some of them require that you have some pretty good programming skills. We were looking for ones that were straightforward, easy to learn, easy to use.”
Codeless, modular design allows the team to create a module and utilize it for multiple purposes. In Carrier's case, for example, they could create a module that works for a sales order, then add that module to over 50 scripts throughout their HVAC enterprise. If and when a change occurs, they can easily change the single module which changes within every test script rather than changing it in all 50 cases. Teams can run tests in parallel, schedule them, and run as many as they need to ensure maximum functionality.
“You don't want any maintenance if we can avoid it on these scripts, but you may need to change material numbers, customer numbers, vendor numbers; that's penalized data that's very easy to update and change. You can test data and don't have to change the script or anything.”
Process Documentation Integrates Seamlessly with Test Automation
The ability to optimize efficiency through simple troubleshooting is one of the biggest factors when choosing an automation tool. Worksoft's platform seamlessly aligns user interface with the Oracle workspace, ensuring a smooth integration and process improvement. Recognizing the diverse objects on the screen is crucial, and Worksoft Certify is tailored to handle this. This not only simplifies troubleshooting but also enhances the overall user experience within the Oracle environment.
A key feature in the Worksoft toolbox is the process capture capabilities, a game-changer in process documentation and process intelligence. Whether installed on a desktop or employed for on-the-job recording, process capture allows for the meticulous, precise documentation of business processes. This functionality extends beyond simple recording; it is the foundation for creating robust and reliable automation tests.
While many test automation solutions offer robust, powerful testing, Carrier was intrigued by the ability to combine process documentation with Worksoft's premiere test automation solution. With the Worksoft platform, the Carrier team was able to capture their entire business process lifecycle then use them during the intricate process of test creation, ensuring stability and reusability in the future.
Schedule Tests to Maximize Efficiency and Reduce Manual Effort
With a global organization like Carrier, the ability to run tests remotely and on a set schedule is integral. Worksoft empowered the various team members to schedule an array of tests, be it during off-peak hours or over the weekend. Once scheduled, the tests run autonomously, allowing users to review results at their convenience. This flexibility not only optimizes automated testing tools and processes but also contributes to a more streamlined and efficient workflow.
Carrier expects a 70-80% reduction in test timing this year thanks to Worksoft's capabilities, meaning testers can be freed up to focus on regression testing and then eventually DR testing, smoke testing, other regression testing, and testing the remaining business units.
Worksoft Test Automation for Oracle and Beyond
In the broader scope of test management, Worksoft integrates seamlessly with various tools, and document processes, providing users with a versatile and comprehensive approach to managing their testing processes. As organizations navigate the intricate landscape of automation software development and testing, the reliability and support offered by Worksoft become essential pillars for success.
If you're ready to learn how the Worksoft platform can maximize efficiency and reduce risk within your business, schedule a demo today. Our experts are excited to discuss your needs and opportunities for growth.