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How Service Virtualization Helped Vodafone NZ 'Shift Left'

Learn how they accelerated releases while reducing risk

How Service Virtualization Helped Vodafone NZ "Shift Left" & Automate Continuous Testing

Increased competition in the telecom market required Vodafone to accelerate their release cadence-at the same time that growing system complexity was making it harder to test. Learn how service virtualization is helping them deliver top-quality applications faster by enabling earlier and more automated defect detection.

Vodafone New Zealand, a subsidiary of the world's third-largest telecommunications company, is the country's leading mobile phone operator. Increasing competition in the NZ telecommunications market means that Vodafone NZ's IT staff are expected to deliver more innovative software faster than ever. However, at the same time as market pressures began increasing, so did the complexity of their systems-making it harder than ever to efficiently deliver reliable software. Service virtualization is now enabling them to accelerate delivery without increasing risk exposure or software development and testing costs.

As Vodafone's applications morphed from business process enablers to the company's primary interface with their customers, systems such as their customer portal grew considerably more feature-rich and complex. Moreover, recent acquisitions meant that even more systems and dependencies were added to the already-complex, highly-distributed system.

When system updates are rolled out, the teams need to ensure that the new functionality operates properly in these complex environments and, even more crucially, that they don't damage any of the existing functionality that customers rely upon.  To deliver with confidence, development teams need to test their work in complete and realistic test environments.  However, given the complexity of the systems and the time and cost of reliably reproducing complete test environments, this rarely happened. Teams had to test the application as best they could in a single integrated environment, and this often led to delays. Defect root cause analysis was complicated by the complexity of the environment and environment defects slowed down delivery.

Using Parasoft Service Virtualization, Vodafone now tests application updates in a complete and realistic environment as soon as development is completed.  This promotes earlier detection of defects, which dramatically reduces the time, cost, and effort required to fix each defect found.

Additionally, service virtualization's simulated test environments now make it feasible to establish automated quality gates that validate whether each release candidate satisfies the business's expectations before it is promoted to the next phase of the release cycle. If the "green light" quality gates are satisfied, then the application is expedited along the software delivery pipeline. If not, the team is immediately notified about the risks that must be addressed before the candidate can progress.

In summary, even in the early stages of their adoption, Vodafone has already recognized how service virtualization helps them:

  • Start testing as soon as development is completed
  • Establish quality gates that stop high-risk release candidates from progressing along the software delivery pipeline
  • Deliver product changes faster, more efficiently, and at lower cost

New voke Research Report on Service Virtualization

voke_sv_market_mover_2016.gifAs Vodadone and many other leading organizations have found, service virtualization is essential for enabling the extreme automation required for initiatives such as Agile, DevOps, and anything positioned as "continuous." The latest report from voke research, one of the world's leading Service Virtualization experts, confirms this.

voke's just-published "Market Mover Array Report: Lifecycle Virtualization" report highlights the need to bring service virtualization technology and other lifecycle virtualization technologies to the pre-production portion of the software lifecycle to provide developers and testers with production-like environments on-demand. The report highlights how such solutions:

  • Remove the constraint of wait times for developers and testers in the pre-production portion of the software lifecycle
  • Provide developers and testers with labs, services, data, and networks as close to production as possible
  • Help software teams deliver higher quality software in less time

Access a complimentary copy of voke's new service virtualization research

The voke Market Mover Array also identifies notable vendors in this market. After analyzing 10 vendors versus 14 categories, the results were charted and placed into one of four bands (shown below). According to voke, a "transformational" vendor is changing the tone and direction of the market, and is typically challenging the pivotal vendors to innovate either in terms of technology or marketing acumen.

VokeResearch_Innovator.png

More Stories By Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia Dunlop, Lead Content Strategist/Writer at Tricentis, writes about software testing and the SDLC—specializing in continuous testing, functional/API testing, DevOps, Agile, and service virtualization. She has written articles for publications including SD Times, Stickyminds, InfoQ, ComputerWorld, IEEE Computer, and Dr. Dobb's Journal. She also co-authored and ghostwritten several books on software development and testing for Wiley and Wiley-IEEE Press. Dunlop holds a BA from UCLA and an MA from Washington State University.