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Quality assurance and testing provider of the year & functional testing provider of the year — Tricentis

14 July 2017
Riding high on the automation wave: Automation is the dominant theme in software quality assurance. Every financial firm wants to make that transition, and Tricentis -- the winner of QA Financial’s top award -- has become established as the market-leading scriptless automation technology with its core Tosca product.

Automation is the dominant theme in software quality assurance. Every financial firm wants to make that transition, and Tricentis -- the winner of QA Financial’s top award -- has become established as the market-leading scriptless automation technology with its core Tosca product. We interviewed leading customer firms Julius Baer, Deutsche Börse and Vantiv, along with Tricentis founder Wolfgang Platz.

Tricentis began 2017 with the announcement that it had secured a $165m investment from Insight Venture Partners, a New York investor. Industry analysts expect a major new marketing push by Tricentis in the US, where it already counts names such as Vantiv, the card and payments company, among its clients.

While Tricentis is often described as strongest in its home European markets, US customers already account for more than half of its revenues, according to Wolfgang Platz, the former Capgemini and EY executive who founded the company in Vienna in 2007.

As with all fast-growth companies, the challenge will be to ensure that the support infrastructure keeps pace with sales. However, Tricentis has maintained a reputation for customer service and innovation in its core product since the company was launched in 2007.

Denise Rigoni, the head of Bank Julius Baer's competence center for testing, has been a customer of Tricentis since 2010, when the Swiss private bank first started its transition to automated testing.

"Of course there have been a lot of changes to Tosca over the past seven years but I've been impressed by the investments and improvements that have been made," said Rigoni. "I don't believe there is a better test automation tool on the market. Of course, many developers still prefer to script their tests themselves, and that's the big decision to make choosing Tricentis."

Among the recent improvements Tricentis has introduced, Rigoni singled out the exploratory testing tool launched earlier this year which allows testers to collect data from business line users of software in development. "It's good for connecting the front office to the testing process," she said.

Securing customers such Julius Baer in its local German-speaking markets swiftly established Tricentis as an alternative to what had been the pre-eminent automation technology -- HPE’s Unified Functional Tester -- and to the leading open-source tools -- Selenium and Appium -- which require coding skills.

Tricentis markets Tosca as an easy-to-learn option, perfect for the conversion of manual testing teams to automation specialists. The company's journey over the past decade has tracked the wholescale shift in software development to Agile and DevOps methodologies. And yet many of the largest financial firms in the world, with the largest IT budgets, have only just begun that transformation. There is plenty of potential growth left for automation specialists.

Tricentis counts Swiss Re, Allianz and, more recently, HSBC among its financial services clients. Another is Deutsche Börse. Dirk Richter, who heads application and portal management, organisational effectiveness and controls, at the Frankfurt-based exchange, said the choice of Tosca has been instrumental in its move to test automation.

“We are changing our Waterfall approach to a DevOps process model,” said Richter. “That in turn leads to a test-driven approach. The object model approach of Tosca means it is very easy to scan and re-scan user interfaces. And in addition other features like exploratory testing, recording and orchestration of services support the Agile approach.”

Deutsche Börse first used Tosca to manage testing for a a stock management application that Deutsche offers its customers, and which was being tested by a team of 20 manual testers. “We started hands on with some Test Cases to automate by trial and error and recognized that this framework is very powerful,” recalled Richter. “After foundation training we started a proof of concept for test automation from scratch -- and that was a success.” Deutsche Börse is now engaging a pilot of Tosca’s API testing and service virtualisation for future quality assurance improvement projects.

Strategic partnerships

An important part of the Tricentis strategy has been the forging of strategic partnerships with leading consulting firms and system integrators, notably Wipro and Tata Consulting Services. And in July 2016 Tricentis announced an alliance with Accenture, under which Accenture integrates the Tosca Testsuite into its application testing services. “When I travelled to India in 2013 to meet executives of companies like TCS and Wipro they heard our message, but they did not believe the company was ready,” said Platz.

“Now their perception has changed completely. Every single one of our customers wants DevOps, and to get DevOps you need automated testing. That’s the macro trend. Our process makes manual testers capable of performing test automation. That is why we have a huge momentum in [training] certifications -- 35,000 certified users is where we are heading.”

Because Tosca is based on object-oriented technology rather than scripts, customers can re-use test cases rather than constantly update them for changes to the functionality of an app, so long as the business logic of the app remains consistent. The other key features are test data management and service virtualisation.

Raj Kanuparthi, head of enterprise quality assurance at Cincinnati-based Vantiv, says Tosca has been key to the firm’s increased rates of test automation. Previously Vantiv was dependent on manual testing, which was inadequate to the task of implementing large regression suites, said Kanuparthi. Even partial coverage took several weeks and testers were using inconsistent data because updates were too time-consuming.

Now Vantiv has fully automated 12,000 test cases and the firms 15 most important applications. “It’s been an amazing success story,” said Kanuparthi. “When we bought the product two years ago we did not have any automation. Now we have very advanced capabilities with continuous testing and delivery and working in a DevOps way.”

It was Tosca’s rich set of features, which include risk-based testing, test data management, service virtualisation and end-to-end testing, that made it so attractive, said Kanuparthi. Scriptless automation means that a programming language is not required. “The advantages are obvious -- we were able to roll it out to a team of 100 testers, and anyone can use it. Compare that to Selenium, where you have to learn the language, and then not everyone can maintain a test case,” said Kanuparthi.

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