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How To Protect Your Oracle ERP Investment With a Test Automation Strategy
Protect-money

One thing is certain – The Enterprise Solutions tech space is constantly evolving.

Software providers like Oracle are continually investing in their products and adding new functionality to help make business processes more efficient and improve the user experience.

Although it can be a challenge for implementation and support teams to keep up with these constant updates it’s important to acknowledge that the updates themselves are a good thing as they help keep the software current and protect the company’s (often significant) investment in the Enterprise software application.

So why do we care about Test Automation?

We all know that Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are critical for managing your business and the biggest concern for any ERP support manager is the potential for disruption caused by bugs not caught during testing prior to pushing the update live.

You’ve likely invested a lot of time and money to get an integrated system that suits your business’ needs and you’re going to want to protect that investment.

With frequent upgrades happening to those systems at varying times throughout the year (outside of your control), it becomes vital to streamline a process around testing ahead of those upgrades. You likely have a testing strategy in place, but are challenged with ensuring full test scenario coverage due to a lack of time and resources. If you’re executing your testing manually, you can find yourself running out of time to work through all the necessary tests and leaving yourself open to potential costly errors or downtime in your systems.

The reality is that a well thought out Testing Strategy helps smooth the upgrade process and adding an automation element helps make testing more efficient, reducing risk and saving costs!

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Leveraging the benefits of Oracle Cloud

We understand that many companies continue to run their Oracle enterprise systems using on-premise applications like E-business suite.  No doubt it was a relief when Oracle announced that they will continue to provide Premier Support for E-Business Suite until at least 2032.

That been said, there are many compelling arguments for migrating these applications to the cloud. The single most compelling talking point is about lowering the total cost of ownership.  Migrating to the cloud means that the most obvious maintenance tasks, such as applying security and technical patches as well as maintaining the operating system and applying updates, are all performed by Oracle. This reduces overhead costs across IT resources, including hardware and services provided by system administrators.

However it’s not all about the IT infrastructure savings. It’s also about the opportunity to modernise your business by leveraging the productivity gains that come with these new cloud applications and protecting your investment by staying current with software, security, and technology.

In the past with Oracle legacy implementations, the software was often already out of date by the time the new system went live.  The new cloud based SAAS model means that companies are always on the latest version and able to take advantage of new software features that can improve productivity.

The reality is that SAAS solutions have changed the expectations for enterprise software. It is commonly accepted that infrequent updates are a barrier to the software’s ability to contribute value to the organization. The nature of cloud applications ensures that the software doesn’t become obsolete and organizations can reduce their reliance on tailor-made customizations.

So why are some companies deferring the decision to move to the cloud?

For some, there is the worry about keeping their business running smoothly as applications, data, and business processes are migrated to the Oracle Cloud.  This is especially the case if there are a significant number of customisations to the legacy system.  There is a need for a mind-set change to view Oracle cloud applications as “configurable” rather than “customisable” It is this approach that enables the software vendor to deploy regular system updates, ensuring users have access to new features and technologies.

For other companies they worry about the ongoing support requirements if they buy into the cloud concept.  They’re aware of the mandatory quarterly updates and are concerned about how to best manage this new way of doing things.

We spoke earlier about the importance of a robust testing strategy and for companies considering a move to the cloud, this is often the missing piece to the jigsaw that can make the difference between success and failure.

A lot of ERP professionals will have heard some testing horror stories such the Hershey’s example where they lost $100 million in sales due to insufficient ERP post implementation testing.

Oracle themselves stress how important it is to monitor new features that are released and planned for each quarterly update. When deploying updates, they also recommend a solid testing strategy to ensure business processes run properly after the update is applied.

The role of Test Automation in protecting your ERP investment

Whether you are still leveraging Oracle on-premise applications, preparing for an Oracle Cloud migration, or already managing your enterprise system in the Oracle Cloud, there is an opportunity to capitalize on your investment by incorporating Test Automation into your Test Strategy.

One of the big challenges with manual testing is getting it to scale as your company grows, especially as you unlock new functionality within the system and expand into new geographies. This is further compounded with the condensed testing periods typically imposed with staying current with the quarterly updates.  Incorporating test automation expedites testing times and helps eliminate quality issues.

Continuous testing improves software performance by testing it at every stage of development and deployment. That is, before it’s deployed into production, after each change has been made, at periodic checkpoints during development, and finally, when the software is ready for deployment.

It allows the management team to identify areas where improvements need to be made before they become critical problems that require costly fixes down the road, or even worse, stoppages in the service they provide!

Incorporating this type of testing into your strategy ensures that problems are caught early rather than later in the process and fixed before they become costly problems impacting customers or business processes.  According to the IBM System Science Institute, bugs are 15 times more costly to fix during testing than during the design phase.

One of the biggest challenges ERP Programme Managers or Enterprise System Directors face is that it takes too much time and effort to constantly test everything efficiently when doing it manually, which takes up their valuable resources. When using an automated testing solution, companies should be able to automate the tests to save time and resources.

It is likely that the number of scripts in your current strategy doesn’t adequately cover all the testing scenarios for your business processes. As a result, this can delay the project’s go-live, which can be costly for companies in the long run.

An already complicated process can becomes even more complex when a company needs to consider new country roll-outs because it’s practically impossible to test each market scenario in an already incomplete test run. This means that your current solution likely has limited capabilities and could be missing important errors leading to potential downtime.

An automated testing strategy lets you create more test scripts faster, with less effort, and resources than manual testing would require. This would also enable your team to perform more comprehensive testing of all aspects of our business processes without any manual intervention.

Protect Your ERP Investment

An ERP system is a significant investment for the senior management teams in any company. It’s, therefore, incredibly important to have an automated test strategy in place. This will ensure that the system functions properly and that any changes or updates do not break critical functionality.

At Winfo we have experienced these issues first hand and built WinfoTest, our test automation software platform to help take the pain out of Oracle upgrades.  It is a “Zero-code” cloud application, enabling business users to input tests at the click of a button using an easy-to-use interface.

This test automation software was built specifically FOR Oracle BY Oracle experts and builds efficiency into the ERP testing process, lightening the load on internal teams.

In summary this helps your company protect its ERP Investment by:

  • Supporting the migration to Oracle Cloud.
  • Providing peace-of-mind that existing day-to-day ERP activities will continue to function.
  • Leveraging a no-code, “test everything,” solution enabling you to test an almost endless number of potential scenarios.
  • Coming pre-loaded with more than 1,000 test scripts, which are continuously updated by our team to support the most current update.
  • Lowering risk by 90%, expediting test execution and significantly reducing manual effort resulting in an overall cost savings of approximately 65%.
  • Detecting bugs early and preventing expensive system issues from occurring.

Are you interested in learning more about WinfoTest?  To see if it’s a fit for your company, complete our quick online ROI calculator and help build a business case for your management team.

You can then sit back and watch our explainer video or even take it for a test drive by signing up for our free trial.

Kristine McMahon