We frequently discuss companies that have eliminated manual testing and made the switch to automation. Although the benefits of automation speak for themselves – for many enterprise companies, a complete test strategy overhaul can seem like a challenge. So why are so many industry leading companies like Siemens adopting test automation? What critical factors push large organizations to embark on the automation journey?
Let’s take a closer look at Siemens. They have eight business divisions, more than 370,000 employees, and nearly 300 worldwide major production and services sites. Their complex IT landscape also contains more than 60 SAP systems worldwide — including many that require continuous upgrades and enhancements to keep pace with process changes. With such a vast landscape, manual testing just couldn’t keep up with the constant updates and changes. Eventually, they conducted a central IT consolidation to help reduce complexity and simplify their environment. But, how did they get there?
Siemens relied primarily on manual testing before the IT consolidation. With such a complex landscape, the release of new features, updates and support packs corresponded with a huge strain on individual business units and overall IT resources. Each change in functionality, however small, required a massive, time consuming testing effort. As a result, there was strong executive pressure to adopt a more strategic QA approach to help shorten project timelines.
Another critical factor in making the switch to automation was the company’s shift to Agile development. While methodologies like Agile, Activate, ASAP and DevOps speed up the cycle of innovation, they also require more testing than their traditional counterparts. This, combined with the vast amount of time needed to test complex SAP systems lead them to IT consolidation and the switch to automation.
Siemens adopted Worksoft Certify in 2013. To gain early support for automation adoption, they started the journey with a single project upgrade. This allowed the team to build a business case for expanding test automation – quantifying the savings and ROI provided through end-to-end automated testing of standardized business processes. Siemens found the platform’s speed, ease of use, and support for SAP S/4HANA upgrades to be key differentiators from other solutions on the market.
“After that first project where we saw promising initial results, we moved to the next SAP system, which entailed a much larger consolidation project involving the integration of a separate SAP system into a core divisional system,” says Jens Neuhaus, Director of Test Automation Service at Siemens. “This project was a good candidate for test automation because of its multiple test cycles, and we achieved 60% coverage of the core functionality in the SAP system that was automated using Worksoft Certify tests.” – Jens Neuhaus, Director of Test Automation at Siemens
Since 2013, Siemens has integrated Worksoft Certify with their SAP systems, including SAP ERP and SAP Solution Manager, to automate end-to-end business process testing. The platform has helped optimize reporting and documentation, and detect potential production issues much earlier in the test cycle. Automation makes it possible to detect and prevent both big and small glitches throughout the process of system development, integration and maintenance. Other automation benefits at Siemens include:
- Optimized testing of short-cycle releases
- Enhanced automated audit reports and process documentation
- Reduced production issues during system go-live
- Faster project and maintenance releases with earlier, more frequent test cycles
You can read more about Siemens’ automation journey in this profile by SAPInsider.