Monthly Archives: July 2013

Performance Tuning and IT Optimization – Getting Results
Carl Thomas | July 24, 2013

I spend a lot of time talking to clients and prospective clients about performance tuning and IT optimization, and the dramatic impact those services can have on cost and efficiency within organizations. But sometimes the best way to talk about the benefits of a particular service is to look at real results.

We recently helped a large client in the healthcare industry on the cusp of implementing a $60 million dollar software program, affecting nearly $3 billion dollars of their business. Suffice it to say, this client wanted to ensure the project was implemented smoothly and was fully optimized to make the biggest impact on their company.

IT optimizationThis project recently completed, and I thought it was a great example of how some of our services at 5Wyre get results for clients. Here’s a basic rundown of the project and its results to help demonstrate why we’re so passionate about performance tuning and IT optimization.

Our work for this client was broken down into three distinct and sequential steps:

  1. Assessment. 5Wyre completed a thorough readiness assessment that included risk curves based on conversations with the client, evaluating how well the application suite was tested, how well the system would be monitored once in went into production and how the software was written. The assessment also looked at the infrastructure from a monitoring perspective and a back-up resource perspective as well as the client’s in-house application knowledge.
  2. Remediation. After reflecting on the significant risks identified in the report, the project launch was postponed. To remediate the issues determined in the readiness assessment, manage the application/operations monitoring and test the remediation project plan, 5Wyre deployed a six-person team comprised of experienced application, data and infrastructure architects to work with the client team. The 5Wyre team worked directly with the project lead to manage the remediation effort, lead the application and operations monitoring track of the remediation project plan and coordinate the testing track, which included the definition and completion of true regression, performance and parallel testing of the project.
  3. Performance Tuning/IT Optimization. While working in remediation, 5Wyre architects were assigned specifically to performance tuning, ensuring that the software was performing to its maximum potential. Our performance tuning efforts encompassed three main areas:
          • Software testing – Using our unique “black box” approach, we fully analyzed the software to determine what areas were causing lags in performance.
          • Hardware environment change – 5Wyre testing determined that software performance could be dramatically improved with different hardware. Before we could make any changes to the software, an overhaul of their hardware was implemented.
          • Analysis and tweaking of software – Once the hardware overhaul was completed, 5Wyre architects moved forward with comprehensive testing of the software to determine what additional steps could be taken for enhanced performance.

The Results
Prior to working with us on the project, the client wasn’t accomplishing their desired tasks during nightly batch processing. After 5Wyre’s team conducted performance tuning and IT optimization, the software completes every task and report needed and expected during the evening…in 5 hours. Every time. Consistently.

Our clients constantly tell us that they want consistency and reliability. That’s what we were able to deliver here – with a significant cost savings and increase in productivity for the client.

Through performance tuning and IT optimization, we were also able to reduce the duration of contract jobs that had been running 21 days. Following 5Wyre’s services? They were reduced to three days. A reduction of 86%!

While these results are specific to this client and project, our team here at 5Wyre has the robust skill set and experience to assess and devise a plan for any company and industry. We design our solutions to help you maximize your IT investment. Plus, we truly enjoy getting such incredible results for our clients.

Do you have an IT optimization success story? We’d love to hear it – feel free to share it in the comments section below.

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Why You Should Consider Automated Regression Testing For Your Business (And How to Get Started)
Carl Thomas | July 3, 2013

Do you know how your organization performs its regression testing? With so many elements to IT, it can be overwhelming to think about every aspect of your IT department. But when it comes to regression testing, there is significant opportunity for improvement – and that can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Manually executing testing scripts is the common method for regression testing, and it is immensely prone to error, creates long cycle times and relies heavily on human resources. Manual testing can also make it difficult to capture the necessary data, application and network characteristics required to create a repeatable process.

What does this mean for you?

It means that manually executing testing scripts offers significant opportunity for lost time, resources and cost. It is costing your business money and results…and yet it is entirely preventable.

Automated regression testing leads to improved results.

Here’s a basic look at the automated regression testing process:
Automated Regression Testing Process

You might notice that our automated testing diagram focuses on a “capture” methodology to drive data insights. This is opposed to the manual testing used by some companies, where rather than an automated capture of data, a programmer would instead manually type test cases into a manual testing tool.

An automated testing life cycle offers less risk and reduced cost, while providing frequently improved results. Our automated testing approach here at 5Wyre has led to typical results in test automation percentages of 70 to 80%, or higher. Plus, it has resulted in:

  • Reduced labor and cost
  • Improved quality
  • Improved accuracy
  • Improved employee morale
  • Cycle time improvements and deployments

Perhaps the biggest benefit of automated regression testing is agility. With faster data, your QA team can focus more on analysis than on the actual testing and collection of data. They can do their jobs more effectively, so that you can be more agile and make changes quickly to keep your project or initiative on track.

With that increased speed and agility also comes an opportunity for performance tuning throughout the process. Using an automated testing process and the tools that help facilitate that process, you can get a better look at opportunities for performance enhancement within your software, and it can help you see a bit into the future to understand what could impact your performance down the road.

How to get started.

Making the switch to an automated regression testing environment, first and foremost, requires a commitment from the leadership in your organization. Understanding the benefits of automated testing means that you are ready to make the switch for better results, increased agility and reduced cost. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Be sure you have the right tools. Making a commitment to change is the first step, but to implement automated regression testing you’ll need the right tools and technology. Work with an expert (we can help!) to assess your current tools and suggest which tools and technology you’ll need to implement automated testing.
  • Work with an expert. As we mentioned above, working with an expert can help ensure you have the right tools to get started. But most importantly, they can guide you through the process and make sure you are well equipped to not only get started, but to maximize automated regression testing within your organization.
  • Understand how you use the system. It is extremely important for your IT leaders to understand how you are using the testing system on a day-to-day basis. You will want to capture that workflow to understand what happens at certain times. Understanding the system itself and how you use it is key to maximizing your investment.
  • Get the right people in place to manage change. Any type of change requires effective change management. Make sure your team is on board with the switch, and have the right people on board to manage the change in process. Education is important here as well – ensuring everyone fully understands why the switch is being made, and how their role may evolve to take advantage of it. As I mentioned above, the primary benefit of this switch is agility – ineffective management and preparation of your people can get in the way of this agility, and have a negative impact on your results.

Automated regression testing can make a big impact on your organization. Here at 5Wyre, we work with organizations across the globe to help them leverage their technology investment. We can help make your transition to an automated testing environment easier – give us a call to find out more.