Heineken relies on Tosca to become world’s best-connected brewer

Company overview

One hundred fifty years ago, Gerard Heineken brewed his first signature Heineken beer. Today millions of Heineken beers are served each day across 180+ countries. Heineken NV owns over 165 breweries in more than 70 countries. Its annual beer production of 256 mhl makes it the number-one brewer in Europe and the second-largest brewer by volume in the world.

Heineken has set itself lofty ambitions when it comes to increasing customer-centricity, environmental and social responsibility, and productivity. The EverGreen initiative is designed to keep the company growing as it adapts and renews itself in response to changes in the beverage industry and the world at large. One of its goals in the EverGreen initiative is to make Heineken the world’s ‘Best-connected Brewer’. All Heineken divisions contribute to that mission, and so does IT.

Heineken beers need to be available to as many consumers as possible, but its data too needs to be easy to consume by the entire supply chain. “To enable this strategy, we require the highest quality of our applications,” says Maikel Hoogervorst, Product Owner SDLC and ERP Toolchain at Heineken. “Some of our applications are used in bars, so they have a direct impact on anyone who orders a beer. If we want to add new features to these applications, we need to do that in the most responsible way, taking away any risks.”

Heineken has been using test automation since 2013, but at the end of the last decade, the team noticed that the two automation solutions they were using were becoming not only quite expensive but also difficult to maintain. “The quality of the scripts we were using was not up to the standards we set, and we were also looking for efficiency improvements,” said Hoogervorst. So, Heineken set out on its quest for a new solution.


  • Heineken needed a tool that was tightly integrated with SAP
  • Heineken wanted the solution to offer ease of maintenance and reusability
  • Complex application landscape based on different technologies

Tight integration with SAP

High on the list of requirements was support for a broad range of technologies, ease of maintenance and reusability, and availability of professionals trained in the specific solution. SAP is a core platform in the application stack at Heineken, but the company also uses other ERP systems and applications such as ServiceNow, Salesforce, and internally developed applications using Outsystems and Power Platform.

“The strong relationship between Tricentis and SAP was very important to us when deciding to use Tosca,” said Hoogervorst, “even if Tricentis was not yet part of SAP’s Solution Extension (SolEx) program when we first chose Tricentis. But it was key that Tosca was tightly integrated with SAP.”

Other factors that influenced the decision towards Tricentis were the acclaim by analysts such as Forrester, IDC, and Gartner, plus the low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Migrating 600 test scripts

The implementation of Tosca started with the migration of the existing scope from the previous test automation tool – in all Heineken had around 600 scripts for a specific SAP application that needed to be rebuilt in Tosca right away. This migration was performed by the pre-existing IBM team that Heineken had been working with already. This required some retraining towards Tosca for most of the team, using the Tricentis Academy and getting the necessary certifications for Tosca. The full scope was migrated, and three years later, these tests are still running.

After that migration, Heineken started changing its operating model for testing. “We no longer take all scripts in, automate, and run them. Instead, we are now offering Tosca as a platform to other teams in the company. When a product team tells us they want to automate their tests, we set up the platform for them, perform an intake, and train their teams on how to use Tosca, again by taking courses through the Tricentis Academy,” says Hoogervorst. “We help them automate and run their tests until they can work completely independent from us. This allows us to scale use of the testing platform and keep the QA expertise in the application teams where also the functional knowledge resides.”

“Ease of use and the fact that Tosca is codeless are key aspects when offering a testing platform to product teams,” adds Katarzyna Niemiec-Murzyn, Chapter Lead Technology Specialist QA at Heineken. “As a Test Automation and Platform (TAP) team, we are now primarily responsible for the set-up and maintenance of all infrastructure around that tool, instead of being responsible for the test cases itself. We want to make sure that teams are mature enough to use Tosca in a proper way, by sharing our best practices and initial templates. Proper focus on this allows us to move from a full-service model to federated usage.”

By working in the above way, Tosca is slowly spreading throughout the Heineken organization and is being used both by Heineken’s own staff and service partners, mainly for non-SAP applications, as the SAP landscape is centralized. Both the ECC and S/4HANA instances of SAP are being tested using Tosca. While testing for ECC is mainly GUI testing, Heineken is also looking into API testing for S/4HANA.

“Last year, we started building a community around the tool and, as of now, we have over 350 people from different teams within Heineken who’ve had or have any connection with our services and platform,” said Niemiec-Murzyn. “We are now collaborating with 32 project teams about test automation within Heineken.”

For regression tests, testing is adjusted to the release cycle, which is usually every three weeks. For new projects, the TAP team adapts to the needs of the product teams. “As Heineken applies Agile to accelerate time to market, we are engaged even on sprint level,” said Niemiec-Murzyn. “This allows us to cover test automation functional flows for quality acceptance purposes. We ensure that test scripts are carried out at certain times and at the right frequency.”

To take automation one step further, Heineken is running Tosca Distributed Execution (DEX) in an ‘attended automation’ model, with the aim of running them in fully automated mode as soon as possible. This further reduces execution times.

Full overview of tests with Tricentis qTest

With the high number of tests that Heineken is currently running, the need grew to start using a solution that could provide a complete overview of all test cases. The quest for such a solution led to Tricentis qTest. qTest delivers a full overview of both the tests automated through Tosca and all manual test scripts that are being run throughout Heineken. Previously, the manual tests were not stored centrally, making it difficult to know the status of all the testing going on. qTest is fully integrated into Heineken’s Jira management tool, so bugs can be sent to the right team immediately to have them resolved. The users find qTest very intuitive to use: after a one-hour walk through of the application, they were able to gear up in proficiency.

When Heineken started with Tosca, it had built a business case to justify the investment. Hoogervorst commented, “After some time, we experienced a steady decline in costs, and we met the numbers that we had projected in the business cases. The business case was built on the basis of the 600 scripts that needed to be migrated, but as the scope has broadened significantly, savings are even bigger. We use a lot less time in both building and maintaining our test cases thanks to Tosca. People still have the choice to use an older automation solution that is still available, but a large majority of our stakeholders consistently ask for Tosca.”

One of the ambitions of Heineken is to save 1,000,000 hours of manual work by the end of 2025. Tosca and qTest are contributing to that ambition.


  • Thanks to the ease of use, Heineken can offer test automation as a platform to project teams
  • Tosca is used by Heineken’s own staff and service partners for both SAP and other technologies
  • qTest is fully integrated into Heineken’s Jira management tools and users find qTest very intuitive to use