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Five things we learned at Accelerate Vienna 2019

Accelerate Vienna 2019 was a whirlwind event, with two days packed full of keynote speeches, breakout sessions, workshops (and even a little song and dance, thanks to the onsite entertainment). Europe’s largest testing and automation conference featured talks from industry leaders from Accenture, Wipro, Forrester and more; success stories and best practices shared by Tricentis customers and predictions of changes to testing and enterprise automation we can expect in the year ahead. Here is a breakdown of five of our top takeaways from Accelerate 2019: 

1.Testing is critical to digital transformation

Accelerating digital transformation is a Tricentis priority — as well as a key predictor of survival for enterprises. Tricentis CEO Sandeep Johri shared what happens to businesses with no plan in place to evolve — including the textbook example of a leading American retailer with a 150-year history, which has now been reduced to 100 struggling stores. He then shared stories of Tricentis customers in retail and other industries who have built successful digital business models (and, as you might guess, become best practices examples of how modernizing testing can accelerate this shift). 

In his keynote, “Tackling Digital Transformation Today,” former SunTrust CIO Anil Cheriyan detailed how to set in motion a digital overhaul, as well as three common challenges that can stall change. Cheriyan is known for leading SunTrust’s digital transformation, which included implementing an agile way of working, a DevOps mindset and new technologies like automation, AI and the cloud. As parting advice for the testing and automation experts in the audience, he offered three simple mantras: be bold, be the agent of change, and listen and learn.

2. Testers are stewards of the client experience and “the human element of technology”

A key driver for digital transformation at the enterprise level is the potential to significantly extend and improve the customer experience. Thanks to the rapid development of consumer-facing technologies, customer expectations have changed more significantly in the last decade than nearly any other time in history. In his keynote, “Smart Quality,” Wipro’s Hiral Chanandra touched on the humanness of technology, and, more specifically, defining quality from the customer’s perspective. Chandara outlined on strategies for success including democratizing quality engineering, modernizing through smart platforms, accelerating through smart processes, and allowing for greater experience through smart interactions.

3. AI and machine learning can drive significant business outcomes

One of the most insightful moments in Tricentis founder and Chief Product Officer Wolfgang Platz’s keynote, “Automation @ at the Speed of Change,” was his perspective on the significant advancement of automation. Tricentis has been the first to succeed with a new AI platform for testing, Platz said. This technology is faster than the human eye, capable of taking 40 pictures per second with more than 95% accuracy. Watch Platz’s session to see the capabilities of this new software and to see Platz testing it live during his keynote. 

As Wipro’s Hiral Chandara echoed in his keynote, AI will be an essential element of any enterprise’s “Smart Quality” strategy, in a future in which successful business outcomes and value streams are fed by an adaptive cloud native architecture infused with AI. This does not mean that AI or machine learning should only be implemented in solutions; they must also be incorporated in to development and testing workstreams. 

4. Digital innovation is accelerating, even in “traditional” industries

What makes Accelerate a unique conference experience is that it serves as a platform for testing and automation leaders to build each other up through their own stories of success. Guardian Life Insurance’s Robina Laughlin detailed how three guiding principles –people count, doing the right thing, and holding the company to high standards –shaped the 158-year-old company’s digitization. In her session, “Why (and How) Guardian Replaced HP ALM,” Laughlin explained that the testing team needed a tool that could sustain their ongoing IT and SS renovations, maintain an active portfolio and transform testing processes. 

Laughlin said Tricentis qTest was the clear solution because of its ease of installation with their current Atlassian suite and its demonstrable ROI. It’s also a solution that matches Guardian’s mission, she explained. qTest’s functionality, integration with the Atlassian suite and robust API library were beneficial for testers’ productivity, by improving collaboration; for their careers, by exposing them to a diverse and modern toolset; and more simply for improving their day-to-day — benefits that support the avowal that people count. qTest was the right fit because it allowed Guardian’s various enterprise agility teams the flexibility to adapt the tool to their workflows. qTest has enabled these teams to set their standards high and dream big, Laughlin said, helping them map out their transformation for the year to come and beyond.

5. Many paths lead to agile 

Barbara Vlahos, a key member of the Global Quality Engineering Organization at IHG, shared the story of how the company implemented qTest as its enterprise test management tool. IHG needed a tool that would integrate testing into agile workflows, without causing team members to revolt. Vlahos explained, saying that as well as transforming testing, IHG was changing their testing center of excellence (TCoE) to into more of a Global Quality Engineering (GQE) role while transitioning suppliers—the entire delivery landscape was morphing. qTest provided IHG with native integrations to Rally, their current agile planning tool, and the team has since successfully centralized test management, optimized testing through sharing and reuse and highlighted areas for continuous growth through improved reporting.