Aegon speeds releases and reduces costs with test automation from data to UIs

Company overview

At Aegon Asset Management, data is the lifeblood of the business (think investment models, cash flows, bank loans, balance sheets, client reporting, reconciliations, and much more). The applications that collect, analyze, and leverage this data must operate flawlessly—from the UIs that customers and employees interact with, down to the data that’s constantly being added, transformed, and analyzed.

“We’re using Tricentis to ensure data integrity because our business revolves around data. We have a lot of data flowing in and out of our core systems. Ensuring the accuracy of that data is essential for our investment models and FCC compliance.”

—Ryan Burlage, Global QA Manager of Aegon Asset Management


For years, these investment and accounting applications were updated quarterly or bi-annually and tested manually. However, a number of changes hit Aegon all at once: a high-level commitment to digital transformation, a shift to DevOps and SAFe, and a new quality leader who performed manual “stare and compare” testing once and vowed to never do it again.

To speed up releases while ensuring exceptional quality, it was time for their testing approach to change as well. They wanted to automatically test how application updates impacted their critical transactions and data—but first, they needed to establish an underlying culture of automation.

Previous attempts at Selenium test automation failed to scale (only 4% adoption), were difficult to maintain, and could not test their complex data landscape.

  • Arrow IconTransitioning from waterfall to DevOps and SAFe to accelerate delivery
  • Arrow IconNeeded to test in-house and packaged apps (thin and thick client) + data
  • Arrow IconLimited insight into the impacts of each update
  • Arrow IconDeep-seated (predominantly manual) testing processes and skillsets
  • Arrow IconSelenium automation delivered impressive results for early adopters, but did not scale
  • Arrow IconStrict reporting requirements for FCC regulatory compliance, and test plans and results scattered across systems made it hard to establish an audit trail for regulatory compliance

The Tricentis Solution: Tricentis Tosca + Data Integrity

Aegon’s Global QA Manager Ryan Burlage made the case for a new approach to test automation, and won executive support by proving how automation impacted KPIs related to cost, speed, and quality. They selected Tricentis to power their test automation initiative—with the industry’s top technology and extensive experience making innovative testing transformations a reality. Now, with executive support, test automation occurs in lockstep with development.

As their internal and third-party applications evolve, automated tests detect whether the UI and data continue to meet expectations. At the data level, automated source-to-target comparisons relieve the team of the mind-numbing “stare and compare” approach while enabling more thorough and accurate testing. Additionally, automated “vital checks” expose data quality issues, which often point back to underlying system issues that compromise data integrity. At the UI level, Tricentis’ Model-based Test Automation is proving to be much more accessible and stable than Selenium. Business analysts are getting up to speed in a matter of days, and the tests require minimal maintenance.

The focus on automation not only improves speed and quality; it also helps the bottom line. Test automation saved 6,000 hours in the last year alone—contributing to a 4X reduction in costs.

  • Arrow IconTest automation became an integral part of their culture and process
  • Arrow IconUpdates released faster and with increased confidence
  • Arrow IconComplete audit trail of what was tested, how, and with what outcome
  • Arrow IconAutomated data tests add the equivalent of 84.5 hours of testing per cycle
  • Arrow Icon100+ database tables with up to 40M records automatically compared upon each change
  • Arrow Icon90% in-sprint test automation and 12X greater adoption than Selenium (and growing)

“The focus on automation not only improves speed and quality; it also helps the bottom line. Test automation saved 6,000 hours in the last year alone—contributing to a 4X reduction in costs.“