The Phoenix, an Insurance Giant, uses TestCraft to Automate Its Massive Manual Testing Operation (and improve quality along the way)
Lines of code
The ease of use of TestCraft caught my attention. I immediately realized that this is an automation solution we can implement without any major changes to our testing team. With the code-free nature of TestCraft we were able to quickly and efficiently train our entire testing team to create automated tests.
The Phoenix is a leading Israeli insurer with a diversified portfolio of long-term savings, health, life, and general insurance as well as investment and finance.
When The Phoenix decided they wanted to upgrade and automate its manual test operation to automation, they identified five specific needs:
- They wanted to continue working with their existing business testers, which are experts in the insurance business but work primarily manually due to lack of coding skills. The chosen solution has to be easily implemented and mastered.
- They didn’t want to build an automation framework from scratch, knowing all the complexities that it entails.
- They were looking for a SaaS solution for a faster implementation and response time.
- The chosen solution should be able to cover all their specific requirements and work processes that are typical for financial services businesses and specifically insurance.
- The chosen solution had to go through all their strict and comprehensive security requirements.
After checking all available solutions out there, and a thorough proof of concept, The Phoenix chose to work with TestCraft that answered all of their needs.
Making the Decision to Transition from Manual to Automated Testing
The Phoenix has a sprawling web presence, with multiple customer-facing websites. Its testing team consists of 45 manual business testers. The Phoenix reached a conclusion that it would make more sense for them to teach insurance-savvy professionals how to conduct quality assurance than to teach testers the highly complex insurance business.
As the company was transitioning to a more agile development model, it realized it needed to introduce automation to speed up its testing operation.The reasoning behind this is that it is impractical to teach code to insurance professionals so, The Phoenix needed to find an automation solution that their business testers could use, without learning how to code.
On top of that, due to The Phoenix’s quality managers’ previous experience, they were wary of setting up their own Selenium automation framework, with all the complexities it entails.
Why The Phoenix Were Wary of Building an Automation Framework From Scratch
The complexities involved in building an automation framework from scratch are immense, as are the costs. In addition to hiring automation experts to actually build the framework, there is a long integration process that follows, merging a new working environment into an existing one. A major overhaul of work process across the entire development operation is required.
Once the framework is set, tested, and ready, the real work begins. Each test needs to be written in code (most likely Selenium) and the burden of maintaining a Selenium automation framework is a heavy one – with every change or addition to the software, web application or website, all tests that touch upon that change or addition need to be modified, meaning, rewritten to reflect the change.
For a company like The Phoenix that has a dynamic web presence, code-based automation maintenance would have created a heavy workload, slowing down its entire development operation.
Transforming Manual Testers Into Automation Experts
All of The Phoenix’s testers had an insurance background, not a technical QA one. The thinking behind this unusual choice is due to the complex nature of the insurance business – it’s easier to teach testing to insurance professionals than explain the ins and outs of insurance to QA testers.
Implementing an automation solution that required coding skills was not a valid option then. The Phoenix needed automation that can be taught to its non-technical testers.
But, behind their decision were these additional important considerations:
- Like many other QA professionals, The Phoenix QA managers believed that knowledge and expertise of manual testers can never be achieved by an automated solution. The Phoenix was looking for speed and increased quality, but it was not willing to give up on the human factor of testing – assuring the quality from a user perspective, and not merely from a code perspective.
- They wanted to have the same operation for both exploratory (manual) & continuous testing (automated).
- They didn’t want to invest the time and resources for recruiting test engineers, which are difficult to hire and expensive to maintain.
- They were looking for fast implementation.
The Monitoring Use Case
In addition to the testing operation, The Phoenix realized they could leverage the TestCraft platform for monitoring purposes. They started to use a subset of the tests they created to monitor their production environment – The Phoneix’s webmaster runs daily “live” checkups on all their customer-facing sites – to ensure that their sites are fully functional.
Repurposing these flows proved to be simple and swift. The monitoring flows became operational almost instantly and are running every morning since.
We were, and still are, extremely pleased with the support we get from TestCraft. They are highly attentive and responsive, making an effort to provide a quick solution for every request. We see them more as a partner, than as a service provider.
Going to the Cloud Overcoming the Data Security Hurdle
One of the biggest challenges The Phoenix had to overcome in its effort to automate its testing operation and adopt a SaaS-based platform was compliance with financial services regulations and meeting strict data security protocols. Due to the sensitive nature of the data The Phoenix is holding and handling for its clients, the move of its testing to the cloud had first to be cleared with the regulator.
TestCraft was able to provide The Phoenix with the necessary assurances, including an ISO 27001 certification.
Thanks to these assurances, The Phoenix is the first Israeli financial organization to enjoy the benefits of the cloud. Gartner predicts that “by 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-Internet’ policy is today.”
TestCraft is proud to be a part of this breakthrough.
Easy Implementation, Very Short Learning Curve
TestCraft conducted a two-day training session for The Phoenix’s testing team. By the end of the training, The Phoenix’s testers were able to create, from scratch, automated tests and run them directly in TestCraft’s testing lab. No code was taught, nor written, during these two days.
The Phoenix’s testers were pleasantly surprised at how quickly, and easily, they were able to build elaborate test models using TestCraft’s drag-and-drop visual interface.
With no technical knowledge or skill, The Phoenix’s manual testers are now creating automated tests.
A Few Words of Praise for The Phoenix
By deciding to go with TestCraft as their testing automation solution The Phoenix has demonstrated a spirit of innovation in an industry that is normally conservative and bogged down by strict security regulations.
TestCraft’s solution allowed The Phoenix to not only keep its entire team of manual testers but to transform them to codeless Selenium automation specialists.
Additionally, The Phoenix became a pioneer in the financial industry too by moving their testing operation to the cloud.
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