PostNL is a publicly listed postal company operating in the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg. PostNL employs a total of over 56,000 people. In 2014 the turnover of the postal company amounted to almost 4.3 billion Euros.
PostNL has the largest network in the Benelux for sending letters, parcels and e-commerce. By combining smart grids with digital applications, PostNL offers its customers valuable solutions to connect receiver and sender. Digital applications and intelligent technology play an increasingly important role in handling the increasing number of online purchases and related shipments.
The postal and parcel delivery sector is fiercely competitive. Cost therefore is always a hot item. PostNL launched a special cost reduction program a few years ago, allowing the postal service to save significantly on ICT.
Automated application testing provided a solution. It leads to better, faster and reusable testing and test methods – with the eventual cost savings, reliability and quality as a result. PostNL also wanted to minimize worry about automating test processes so they opted for a standardized testing solution.
PostNL enabled Sogeti to automate regression testing for a variety of applications, ranging from applications for personnel to the planning of international transport. Improving the automated testing at PostNL is a continuous process because the working processes and applications continue to change.
PostNL chose Sogeti for three reasons:
First, PostNL already has experience with testing and Sogeti offered a testing approach that matched PostNL’s test level maturity.
Second, Sogeti provides PostNL control over the testing costs. Each test service is available as-a-service, at a fixed price, including the cost of testing tools. Then PostNL can choose which test services it wants to use. All the Sogeti Testing Services (STS) services offered PostNL can be found in a specially made service catalog available online. It is also an established testing service, with a proven ETA on how long it takes to order, implement, and execute the service.
Third, PostNL and Sogeti have a similar organizational cultures and have worked together in the past.
How to approach automating regression testing
To automate the regression testing, Sogeti starts be creating a Quick Scan of an application in the ICT environment. Then Sogeti identifies the technical and organizational issues which could thwart the automated testing process. Once these are identified, they create automated test scripts using Tricentis Tosca for the relevant application. Sogeti then implements the scripts. After that, it is possible to request services to run the automated test scripts, maintain, or extend the new test scripts due to functional changes in the application. All the tests take place in the test environment PostNL, in both traditional and Agile environments.
Benefits of test automation
Automated regression testing as-a-service delivers several advantages to PostNL. The test quality has increased so that the applications in the end itself also contain less errors. The lead time of de regression test runs 60 percent faster than before, meaning key users are available for specialized activities. In addition, the automated tests are reusable. PostNL also benefits from the fact that test costs are predictable and tuned to the available budget.
Future-proof through the cloud
To remain flexible in the future, PostNL has a complete infrastructure housed in the cloud. Sogeti was able to seamlessly execute their automated testing service to run from the cloud. Furthermore PostNL can in future easily extend its current testing services with other services to support the testing process across the board.
“By automated regression testing we have shortened the lead time and increase test coverage. Sogeti has helped us to optimize our process and it is a success.” Maaike de Kool – Manager Test Management Business IT PostNL
“It was a great challenge to further automate the testing process with PostNL. But we succeeded: the cooperation is excellent and the process is already 60 percent faster.” Bruus Antonides – Delivery Executive Sogeti Testing & Quality Control