Giving the solution provider responsibility for testing minimizes risk and ensures a seamless upgrade experience.
Upgrading investment management software has historically been an arduous task for clients, often spanning many months from release to live status.
The process of testing can be both a costly and time-consuming process for customers.
With Continuous Testing Service, SimCorp has crafted an offering that significantly alters both the timeline and the workload from a client’s perspective.
That means an easier upgrading process, faster access to the newest capabilities on the platform, and a transfer of risk from clients to SimCorp.
As a service provider SimCorp is able to identify breaking changes much earlier, and fixes are delivered within ongoing development sprints.
It also brings efficiency within the incident management process by tightening the feedback loop between testers and developers, all helping to minimize the risk in the updating process.
The service resonates with client needs. So far 2023 has seen great momentum with 14 new SimCorp clients signing up for Continuous Testing Service in 2023.
CNP Assurances, France’s leading private insurer, has been using the solution since 2021.
This has led to a significant reduction in the time required for upgrades, allowing CNP Assurances to increase from one to two upgrades per year.
Today, when we upgrade to a new version, it works from day one and there is no need to install additional patches, which represents important gains in terms of costs, time to value and quality.
IT Manager for Engineering & Wealth Management Business Unit/IT for Risk & Audit domains, CNP Assurances
“Today, when we upgrade to a new version, it works from day one and there is no need to install additional patches, which represents important gains in terms of costs, time to value and quality,” says Mourad Dridi, IT Manager for Engineering & Wealth Management Business Unit/IT for Risk & Audit domains, CNP Assurances.
As a consequence of the switch to Continuous Testing Service, CNP Assurances has moved from one to two upgrades per year, resulting in faster access to new features and functions on the SimCorp platform.
Enhanced efficiency and reduced risk
The solution moves the testing phase prior to the version release. By the time the latest version of the solution is released to clients, testing for breaking changes has been completed, and potential issues have been corrected.
This imparts several advantages:
- A significantly shortened timeline and a smoother upgrade process for customers. Typically, Continuous Testing saves three months per upgrade.
- Essentially Continuous Testing reduces the need for patches because the problems will be caught pre-release of the software.
- Accelerated time to market for new features and functions.
- Increased agility, less of a big bang approach.
- Less risk for clients when it comes to upgrading.
Continuous Testing Service transforms client’s deployment and testing process. It makes it quicker to test and validate business demands.
“The solution means customers are not having to manage software upgrades and testing of configuration updates. SimCorp built the platform, and we are in a unique position to test it pre-release. The service is risk transfer from clients to us,” explains Wade Saadi, SimCorp Senior Sales Manager, SaaS.
Instead of upgrading once a year and running a process that can last upwards of nine months, clients can take advantage of more frequent releases. That means upgrading up to four times per year.
As a result, clients are operating with the most updated version of their SimCorp solutions.
From post-release to pre-release
Continuous Testing Service is based on a so-called shift left approach. That means the testing runs earlier in the software development cycle.
The regression testing is moved from post-release to pre-release. As a result, the go live is moved up drastically, because the client’s data, workflows and configurations are being tested pre-release.
For clients, the regression testing on their configuration and data occurs in parallel to development and generic quality assurance testing. Consequently, it’s completed by the time of the release of the latest version.
Continuous Testing Service is fully hosted on Azure. A vital component in the development is automated test executions and incident management.
We elevate testing closer to the development. This provides a shorter feedback loop to the software development and makes the process much more efficient.
VP, Head of Testing and Application Services, SimCorp
"We elevate testing closer to the development. This provides a shorter feedback loop to the software development and makes the process much more efficient,” says Andreas Ravnkilde Nørgaard, VP, Head of Testing and Application Services, SimCorp.
“At the current time, we release new versions of our software four times a year. This is a step towards what is referred to as Continuous Deployment, where release and deployment occurs on an ongoing and seamless, automated basis.”
Steppingstone to cloud
Although the solution is hosted in Azure, it doesn’t only apply to clients who have already migrated to Software as a Service (SaaS).
Even for on-premise clients it is possible to host a continuous testing cycle in SimCorp’s Microsoft Azure Data Center. That eliminates the need for them to provide installation access for SimCorp to test upgrades. It's all hosted by SimCorp.
"Even if a customer has not transitioned to the cloud, we can still obtain a copy of their database, and then we test against it. We can also refresh that database if they implement a new configuration. Everything takes place on Azure, and in this way, the solution can also serve as a steppingstone to the cloud,” says Andreas Ravnkilde Nørgaard.
Again, that means a risk transfer from clients to SimCorp. Together with increased agility around configuration releases and the accelerated time to market for new features and functionalities it simplifies the operations for clients.
“From a customer perspective, you can simplify testing on an ongoing basis. That means less of a big bang approach, and now you can take multiple releases per year that have been regressed by our teams,” concludes Wade Saadi.