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Reed Professional Services provides business and IT consulting services to the top tier of UK industry and can point to the success of their IT consulting operation within a number of household names in finance, manufacturing and Government organizations. One of its clients is a UK-based financial services group, with a large international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia, engaged primarily in banking, investment banking and investment management. Operating in over sixty countries, it is one of the top ten largest banks in the world.
Case Study CaseStudy|Reed “ e were very impressed, not only with AppLabs’ expertise W andmethodology,butalsotheirwillingnesstoworkinpartnership towardsthemostsuccessfuloutcomepossible.” Kevin Knowles, Managing Consultant, Reed Professional Services Case Study The Company | Reed Professional Services provides business and IT consulting services to the top tier of UK industry and can point to the success of their IT consulting operation within a number of household names in finance, manufacturing and Government organizations. One of its clients is a UK-based financial services group, with a large international presence in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia, engaged primarily in banking, investment banking and investment management. Operating in over sixty countries, it is one of the top ten largest banks in the world. The Challenge | The bank wished to consolidate its entire London estate in a single new headquarters building whilst performing a complete platform and desktop migration and preserving Business As Usual (BAU). This was the first stage of a twophase program intended to roll out to the entire estate of over 46,000 desktops. Some of the most significant features of this major operational change included establishment of a single-IP network, deployment of a common, locked-down desktop environment built on Windows XP and migration to Microsoft Server 2003 and Active Directory 2003 from a variety of legacy systems. The heavy emphasis on avoiding disruption to BAU introduced a requirement for rigorous testing and risk assessment to ensure user applications functioned correctly in three modes of operation: the current production environment, the future environment and a transitional mode in which new and legacy systems must coexist for the duration of the program. The Solution | AppLabs provided a lead consultant who was quickly appointed Test Manager for the whole group and subsequently invited to join the senior design team of technical architects responsible for all technology change within the bank. Under his direction, a number of workstreams were established to deliver an end-to-end managed testing solution, delivering applications for deployment to an aggressive schedule defined by client needs. The AppLabs teams employed in these workstreams provided key services to ensure that the prime requirement of uninterrupted BAU was met whilst maintaining contract deadlines. Amongst these were: • Establishing and maintaining the configuration of all principal test environments • Performing Desktop Integration Testing on the basic operating system and all applications in the common operating environment, and testing security models, Active Directory interfaces, connectivity, disaster recovery and backup/restore processes • Performing detailed risk assessment and end-to-end testing and test management on additional applications including Hummingbird, SAP, Active Directory 2003 and Novell • Devising and testing coexistence solutions for applications with user groups split across new and old production environments • Providing a break/fix solution as part of a BAU testing service to deal with critical component failures in any program in the bank • Establishing live monitoring processes to continually improve the quality of testing • Creating a suite of automated regression tests to enable rapid re-testing of components potentially affected by numerous ‘in-flight’ changes to infrastructure and the desktop operating environment • Providing a mechanism for the discovery and migration of userdeveloped applications, many of which served wide user-bases and were key to bank operations • Designing, developing and implementing a virtual test environment to reduce costs in a subsequent testing phase During the course of the migration, new strategies and environments were developed to accommodate the vast number of ‘base build’ changes and fixes made by third-party suppliers to the common operating environment. By the end of the first phase of activities, the overall program scope had changed significantly, and the program had been substantially modified to meet new needs whilst preserving the deadline. In all areas of activity, AppLabs employed its proprietary testing method, which is based on and extends industry standards. The thorough planning and use of templates and guidelines for all processes that it requires, ensured consistent, repeatable and measurable testing with unambiguous acceptance criteria and early realization of defects. AppLabs’ flexibility in cooperating and maintaining close liaison with other suppliers and in-house teams working in all areas of the program was praised by Kevin Knowles, Managing Consultant for Reed Professional Services, who said: “The knowledge and expertise AppLabs brought to the project contributed significantly to the effective structuring of the entire program. “Their structured testing approach within a complex operating environment enabled high risk items to be identified and successfully mitigated. This provided our client with the assurance that the products they were receiving from third parties were of the requisite quality and could integrate seamlessly with their systems. “We were very impressed, not only with AppLabs’ expertise and methodology, but also their willingness to work in partnership towards the most successful outcome possible.” AppLabs.com Note: AppLabswaspreviouslyknownasISIntegrationintheUK
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