C. Steinweg Group reduces complexity for smoother logistics
C. Steinweg Group increased test coverage by 5x in API testing and 3x in GUI testing with Tricentis Tosca and qTest – read more.
automation of GxP test cases
faster test cycle times
Boehringer Ingelheim has implemented an innovative approach to automated testing to deliver updates to mission-critical software with higher quality and greater speed. In an industry first, a cross-functional team enabled the delivery of updates to its CRM platform through a continuous delivery pipeline – which the organization relies on to engage customers across the world.
With more than 52,000 employees worldwide and sales of over 20 billion Euro in 2021, Boehringer Ingelheim is a leading research-driven biopharmaceutical company. The organization’s focus on innovation in technology plays no small part in that success.
Recently, the IT team embarked on an ambitious project to implement fully automated software delivery so that new features could be delivered to business users – and value could be delivered to customers – in record time. One of the greatest challenges would prove to be automating testing for Veeva CRM, a business-critical system used by 20,000 Boehringer Ingelheim employees. Few in the industry have attempted to automate testing for a GxP regulated application.
A cross-functional team was brought together to look for possible solutions – and quickly came to the conclusion that Tricentis Tosca would be their best bet. Tosca, which was already being used in other areas of the business, would enable the team to automate the complex, end-to-end test cases that the project required, without having to write a line of code.
There was just one small problem: No other Veeva customer had ever attempted to automate Veeva testing themselves.
To begin, Boehringer Ingelheim created a task force of external partners and a broad cross-functional group including business stakeholders, IT business support specialists, and IT testing experts. Together, they made it happen.
“If you do something that nobody has done before, you need courage,” Utschig-Utschig says. “When pushing the envelope, you need the conviction that you will ultimately create more value from innovations like this. We always had that,” he says.
Without that kind of conviction, the project might have never made it off the ground. What started as a “normal” project quickly became monumental when the team realized that the software lacked the accessibility required to automate testing.
After a number of calls to understand the initial issues, Veeva came up with a solution that would enable Boehringer Ingelheim to access the information they needed. Within weeks, Veeva conducted extensive performance testing to ensure no negative impacts to the software and exposed the accessibility IDs needed to make external automated testing possible. In addition to delivering this update quickly, Veeva also guided the project team through common use cases, which helped to ensure the test cases focused on what was most critical for end-users.
“As soon as Boehringer Ingelheim expressed their interest we jumped at the chance and paired BI directly with our engineering team to enable third-party automated testing,” says Veeva CRM General Manager Arno Sosna. “Now those third-party automation hooks are available for all Veeva customers who want to reduce their internal testing efforts and enable new Veeva CRM capabilities as quickly as possible.”
The Boehringer Ingelheim task force coordinated with a diverse team of specialists from various organizations, each of whom made a critical contribution to the project’s success. The Tricentis team helped ensure that Tosca test cases could be fully integrated into Boehringer Ingelheim’s global continuous delivery chain. Capgemini created 45 new automated test cases. Other critical contributions included:
Today, Boehringer Ingelheim has a software test environment that is unparalleled in the pharmaceutical industry. 45 CRM test cases run on it, covering the most complex GxP-relevant compliance requirements. These test cases are 100% automated and fully integrated into a global continuous delivery chain.
Testing that used to take eight people four days to complete can now be completed in five hours – an 84% time-savings – while still ensuring quality and compliance. Testing now offers consistent, high-quality data from tests that can be reproduced, as well as signature-ready reports that are automatically generated by the system for GxP compliance. And Boehringer Ingelheim can enjoy the fact that by automating testing of Veeva CRM, they have achieved an industry first that many others believed to be impossible.
According to Bhawna Paul, “The results not only boost our validation efforts; they raise our team’s confidence in the quality of our CRM solution.”
The next step for Boehringer Ingelheim will be to ensure the initial approach remains scalable, sustainable, and valuable long term. The task force will live on as a strong, cross-functional team, enabling Boehringer Ingelheim to continue on the path towards building an organizational culture of continuous delivery with high quality.
“This project was an important step for us,” Utschig-Utschig says. “The foundation for more value through innovation is laid. Now it is only up to us to continue this way in the future.”