Offshore Team Provides Insurance Company with Application Documentation and QA Process

The Client

An Illinois-based auto, home, life, and health insurance firm with over 1,200 agencies across the United States.

The Challenge

The client was experiencing major business changes, such as expanding into new markets and launching new product lines, in order to help accelerate top and bottom line growth.  These changes resulted in the need for enhancements and changes to its wide array of complex systems and applications. These systems included, but were not limited to:

  • Policy administration systems
  • Claims systems
  • Commission systems
  • Financial systems
  • Rating systems
  • Document printing systems

These systems were a mix of Mainframe Cobol applications and .NET. Like many regional insurance companies, the client had no formal QA processes in place, and most was done by their programmers or business users. This lack of standard QA processes and dedicated resources caused concern for a number of reasons:

  • Risk of lowered quality
  • Risk associated with incomplete regression testing
  • Risk of compliance headaches
  • Risk of serious bottlenecks that could jeopardize time to market of new systems in supporting new business initiatives

Furthermore, the internal IT staff was being stretched thin, unable to accomplish new projects with all of the break/fix and other QA work that needed to be completed. The client turned to Interactive Business Systems for an offshore solution to their QA problem.

The Solution

IBS provided a team of 12 QA resources - 10 offshore testers in Hyderabad, India and 2 test leads that worked onsite.

The first step was to create a completely new QA and release process where there previously was none, and create new QA and development environments. After these new processes were developed, the team was responsible for helping with the client’s new projects, as well as addressing the backlog of break/fix work that needed to be completed. The testing was done manually with the onshore and offshore staff analyzing requirements, creating test scripts, executing test scripts, and documenting defect tracking.

Phase two of the solution was to identify systems and applications that were good candidates for automated regression testing.

The Results

The client’s internal programming resources were able to focus their energy on new projects that support the future growth strategy of the company. Over a span of three months, IBS improved documentation and created thousands of test scripts for the client’s complex suite of insurance applications.

The client now has detailed documentation on all of its systems and applications, detailed test scripts, and a standardized QA process. Test scripts created by the offshore QA team can be used with a repeatable, formalized process, thus improving the quality of the software, improving user acceptance and reducing the risk of compliance issues in the long term.

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Technologies used:

  • Cobol
  • DB2
  • C# .NET
  • SQL Server
  • SSIS
  • IBM Rational Quality Manager

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