Qualitest Verifies Network Upgrade Impacting Tariffs across 6 Countries within Go-Live Deadline
10 million users at risk, with software almost 5 years out-of-date and a tight go-live timeframe. Doable?
The client is a telecommunications company that provides pre-paid mobile SIM cards which include a focus on international calling needs.
Business Needs and Objectives
The client needed to upgrade its original Network Charging component to the latest version. The software had evaded version upgrades for the previous 4 ½ years due to the complexity of the task and the potential impact to their over 10 million members. For the billing platform migration, this included testing all of the plans’ tariff interactions across countries for each business area, data plans, flexi bundles, roaming, international bolt-ons and proprietary video streaming integration. The project had a 7-month deadline to successfully implement all of the subscriber testing needed for the Core charging engine. The UAT team did not exist and was a late arrival to a project that had started 12-18 months prior to our involvement.
Testing needed to include all of the plans’ tariff interactions across countries for each business area. Without a UAT team in place they required assistance in expanding the UAT testing into the 6 countries using existing resources from the Business to support UAT testing of localized products. Accessibility and usability of the desktop application and the required verification of the registration process by either online or via mobile was to be tested as this was functionality that varied differently across the many countries worldwide.
The Qualitest Solution
We already had a presence within the client with a number of projects, and had a good relationship with the development team manager. They trusted Qualitest to perform the role with the existing project constraints.
The User Acceptance testing for the 6 countries was supported by the country managers, 3rd parties and local client stakeholders. In addition, we used the Huawei PIT tests to support the UAT scenarios.
All existing business IN charging functions were tested where possible using as near to production versions. The Development IN system was used for the initial testing to ensure product integration with the existing systems. The full infrastructure was tested as part of the implementation with a set of smoke tests to ensure connectivity on readiness.
The following areas were identified for each country to access the infrastructure, prior to during and after testing: Registration, Basic services, Life cycle, Voice mail, Bundle –Opt in / Opt out, Data Pass, Preferred Passes, International calls, Top-ups and Promotions.
Common international tests were run from each environment into the test infrastructure; the functions and tariffs were set up for localization tests.
All communication to the countries was done on a daily basis as each country prepared and implemented the upgrades. Excel and Skype were used to pass information request for checks and results capturing.
UAT Test Desktops/ Devices per country
Each test participant was provided with a checklist to verify access to all required applications within the defined scope of testing. The tester logged in and validated the sign-on data generated the expected results for each function. Any applications identified as missing from the test workstation desktops were formally requested and installed prior to testing.
Devices for UAT testing were required for supporting the implementation where a device required additional configurations to the implementation and charging for both for local and roaming in the various zones.
UA Test Data
Access to test data was a vital component in conducting a comprehensive test of the system. All UAT participants required usage of test accounts and other pertinent test data which was provided by end user support upon request. Participants not currently utilizing test data received appropriate clearance and/or permissions to perform desired actions in the UAT environment. All user roles fully emulated production in the UAT path. Completion of an online access request was required in order to create test accounts.
All test cases were executed and results captured across the countries and the use of new and roaming SIMs were required to fulfill the registration and active migration of members into new domains and country tests.
All teams performed tests as part of the dry runs for migration and as part of the actual migration. As countries migrated, all previously migrated countries performed additional tests to ensure that the services were not impacted following the migrations. This meant that for each country they needed to ensure resources were available overnight for ALL subsequent migrations.
“This was the first project within [the client] that has met 100% of the planned tests being executed, 100% of executed tests being passed and 100% of migration tests executed and passed. Well done!”
Using a key member of staff who was both committed to the client’s success and prepared to go the extra mile for the client’s needs was a key component. The client request of not taking Leave and working extremely long hours across the time zones was met by the dedication of the team and others to achieve a successful migration.
- Our knowledge of how to manage external resources
- The use of non-technical people in the countries and the ability to share sufficient information to perform the required tasks
- Working closely with the 3rd party vendor in a very pressured timescale
- Overnight working to implement the solution without impacting members
- Identifying key stakeholders and obtaining the trust and buy-in to the testing
- A timely ability to acquire handsets, SIM cards and other resources from the various teams
- Working with business users, not testers, but still executing all the required tests per country
- Capturing all the test cases and results daily to ensure that progress and timescales could be met for each implementation
- The ability to test one country while preparing the next two countries for the ability to start pre-testing before implementation
- Starting dry runs for countries while having the implementation at full flight for another country
- The ability to respond to issues quickly and get results in a very demanding timescale