Monday, June 29, 2009

T-Mobile Ramps Up Quality-Based Business Rewards from Applications Testing Improvements

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast recorded at the Hewlett-Packard Software Universe 2009 Conference in Las Vegas during the week of June 15, 2009.

Listen to the podcast. Download the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard.

Dana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BriefingsDirect podcast series coming to you on location from the Hewlett-Packard Software Universe 2009 Conference in Las Vegas. We’re here in the week of June 15, 2009 to explore the major enterprise software and solutions trends and innovations that are making news across the global HP ecology of customers, partners and developers.

I'm Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and I'll be your host throughout this special series of HP Sponsored Software Universe live discussions.

This customer interview is with another HP Software and Solutions Excellence Award winner, T-Mobile USA. Please join me in welcoming Michael Cooper, director of enterprise quality management at T-Mobile. Welcome back, Michael.

Michael Cooper: Good afternoon, Dana.

Gardner: When you're serving over 33 million mobile customers, you have a lot of apps that are or would be things that those customers need. They become pretty mission critical. You also have a lot of internal apps. Your enterprise resource maintenance applications also, of course, are classified as mission critical.

In order to get apps, customized apps, and new apps out the door in good shape, so that you don’t have downtime, the testing and quality assurance process is pretty important. Tell us a little bit about how you wanted to improve that process and what were the problems that you needed to address?

Cooper: You’re absolutely right. The problem that we needed to address was that testing was expensive. It took a lot of time, and, because we were doing it manually, the tests were not always consistent and repeatable. What we wanted to get to was an automated framework and we decided to focus on the business process that was important to our customers.

Gardner: We often hear that people, process, and product are what all come together to make these things repeatable, more efficient, and effective. Of course, being more efficient these days is top of mind. Tell me little bit more about the test methodologies. When you looked for solutions, what were your requirements or criteria?

Cooper: We were looking for something that was easy to use and that was an industry standard. We were looking for something that would give us good traceability. And, we were looking for something that would allow us to automate and be reusable. So we chose the Business Process Testing (BPT) framework.

Gardner: Tell me more about how that works?

Automating business processes

Cooper: We thought about what our real business processes are -- for example, ordering a phone, activating a phone, sending out bills. We organized components that describe these business processes. We extended those by automating them and used them for our regression testing primarily.

Gardner: So, in order to accomplish that, what actual products did you put in place?

Cooper: The actual products we have put in place were BPT, both for manual and automated testing, quality center and it’s all the modules of quality center. We extended that to leverage those scripts for monitoring with Business Availability Center (BAC). In some cases where we had service-orientated architecture (SOA), we actually used Service Tester, and for our performance testing we used Performance Center and LoadRunner.

Gardner: What were some of the results? Did you have any metrics of success that stick out in your mind as worthy of mentioning?

Cooper: The success metrics were really around time savings.

I would focus on defect prevention rather than defect detection. I would automate your test for reusability and consistency. And, I would like to say that HP has been a great partner in this journey.


We saved about 50 percent of each regression cycle each month. We cut the testing time in half. The second thing, and this is probably the most important one, we reduced the post-production defects by 75 percent. The benefit of that is that it reduced our cost of fixing those plus our operations cost.

Gardner: And that also translates into a lot of more satisfied customers, less churn, and that’s the name of the game, right?

Cooper: Exactly.

Gardner: What advice would you offer to others who are also looking to move from manual and siloed, or at least inconsistent approaches, to app testing and who are looking for a more holistic complete, repeatable methodologically consistent approach?

Cooper: I would focus on defect prevention rather than defect detection. I would automate your test for reusability and consistency. And, I would like to say that HP has been a great partner in this journey.

Gardner: You mentioned SOA. One of the tenets of that is repeatability and reuse. Did you find that using scripts across this more consistent environment saved you money, because those scripts could be used again and again and perhaps across multiple application-development activities?

Cooper: You’re absolutely right. Not only did we use them with each release, it allowed us to use it for monitoring as well.

Gardner: Great. We've been talking about moving to more efficient development test, and therefore, better post-production quality applications. We've been discussing that with the winner at the Awards of Excellence competition here, the HP Software and Solutions Awards, and the winner is T-Mobile, USA. Thanks very much. We've been joined by Michael Cooper, director of enterprise quality management. Thanks, Michael.

Cooper: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: Thanks for joining us for this special BriefingsDirect podcast, coming to you on location from the Hewlett-Packard Software Universe 2009 Conference in Las Vegas.

I'm Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this series of HP-sponsored Software Universe Live Discussions. Thanks for listening and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Download the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Sponsor: Hewlett-Packard.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast recorded at the Hewlett-Packard Software Universe 2009 Conference in Las Vegas during the week of June 15, 2009. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2009. All rights reserved.