Tricentis and SAP: automation in software testing
Software testing company Tricentis has recently been chosen by SAP for a strategic partnership in the space, as Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Wolfgang Platz explains: “This partnership goes beyond anything that SAP has previously gone for with a vendor, because it is not just about reselling or sharing products. It is also about sharing development.” SAP’s choice was informed by Tricentis’ reputation in the field. “We are viewed as the global leader in software testing, with about 2000 enterprise customers,” says Platz. “The who’s who of big industries such as insurance, financial services, banks, etcetera are with us, so there’s a large overlap of customers between SAP and Tricentis.”
Alongside its proven reputation, another factor that Platz emphasises is Tricentis’ position as a trusted technology innovator in fields such as artificial intelligence and cloud deployment, which bring concrete results. “What we bring to the table is a significant improvement in software testing, with customers achieving up to a 10 times faster release cycle. That’s important for SAP, since they want to increase the pace of innovation in their intelligent suite, while reducing costs in software testing.”
Tricentis has been at the forefront of changing the software testing industry via automation. “It has changed because of us,” says Platz. “What we have brought to the table is the opportunity to achieve new levels of automation. In former days, software test automation always required programming skills. You needed to be a developer. But we have changed this completely by evolving that process into a business discipline.” No longer constrained by the need for programming syntax, Platz says simply “Our software understands business talk. We've changed the paradigm of automation.”
Tricentis is continuing to innovate, adding new levels of automation by applying artificial intelligence and democratising access to testing. “It opens up a completely new category of testers to become productive, because you don't need to know anything about the technology in the background,” he says. One way that’s achieved is using AI to create an automated sequence from a video of a user interacting with an application.
Such innovations are lessening the burden of software testing - especially important for frequently updated software such as SAP’s offering. “People dislike upgrading because they need to test everything, so what they try to do is stay on an old version for as long as possible - one customer didn’t update anything for eight years!” says Platz. “What we can do with our software is find out what the bare minimum of testing should be, so that you don’t face a risky go-live. Through that, we can reduce testing efforts by up to 85%, bringing huge benefits. This is what we bring to the market. This is what SAP found particularly exciting about us. And that is why we are now shaking hands.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”