ERP evergreen & test automation

The process from IT advisory and ERP implementation to post-implementation ERP evergreen with test automation
Keeping your ERP system updated means maximising value from your investment and prolonging it’s life-span – ERP evergreen.

ERP-what?

In the traditional ERP industry frequent updates are common just as implementing a new ERP system every 6-8 years is. Both activities put a lot of constraints on your business in terms of human resources, lost revenue from disruptions, and high implementation and maintenance cost.

When we offer you ERP evergreen, what we are really offering is peace of mind. Peace of mind to focus on your business objectives and operations because we make sure your business system is current and updated and maximises your value from technological advancement.

An important part of ERP evergreen is our test automation. Here we validate the periodic upgrades against your business processes and ERP solution.

Compatibility tests between your ERP solution and updates are crusial

When your Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations business application is based on standard processes, updates are in general compatible with your system and pre-update tests most often uncomplicated.

However, when your application is customised with e.g. multiple ISVs, pre-update validation is extremely important. Tests will reveal potential errors, dangers, and mismatches which ultimately may lead to business disruption if not handled correctly.

You should always keep in mind that while a new update comes tested from the developer, it still needs thorough practical validation to become as mature as the version you have operated until now. Worst case, updating before adequate testing is done may result in business disruption. An example is if the code is no longer compatible with customisations, which might lead to broken processes just as data may be inaccessible due to changes in fields and links.

Example of why pre-update testing is important

Our customer has a critical need to show a certain invoice field. The field is not supported in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations and it is decided to use an existing ISV solution that provides a solution to the requirement.

Upon implementing the new ERP system, the complete solution, including the ISV integration is tested to ensure it runs smoothly and correctly. A few months later an update is released. Since our customer has a new system with a low level of customisation, he/she may consider not testing before updating.

Luckily, with the support of our test automation team, our customer’s ERP solution is tested thoroughly and we detect, that part of the update is incompatible with the ISV. We help our customer reconsider the process and need for the ISV, re-configure the solution, re-test and finally, upon no errors, complete the update.

Had the test not been conducted, the ISV solution would have become faulty, our customer would not be able to invoice and would suffer from poor cash flow and resources spent on subsequent error handling.

ERP evergreen as-a-service

We offer ERP evergreen and test automation together with our partner Sonata. Sonata Software is a leading global software solutions provider and a long-term Microsoft partner.

When you choose ERP evergreen you choose:

  1. Fast incompatibility detection, high accuracy, and fewer man-hours required through an optimal mix of computerised tests, developer checks and solutions
  2. High flexibility and reduced risk of business disruptions through the ability to schedule the tests and updates
  3. A business system which is always updated, making the most of current technology and staying ready for the future

Further to that, you ensure your subscription count is up-to-date so you only pay for the subscriptions you need – and that all your employees have the freedom to work in the system as required.

How ERP test automation works

Your ERP is tested through a strong combination of software which integrates the expertise of technical developers and functional users. SysTest’s task recorder is used for unit and component tests while the Regression Suite Automation Tool, RSAT, is used for Business Cycle and some integration tests.

Usually our process include these steps:

  1. Understand functional steps
  2. Develop test scripts
  3. Customise and configure scripts
  4. Execute scripts
  5. Report and manage results

In cases where the update includes standardised processes, which were previously managed by ISV solutions, we look at the cost/benefit of continuing with the ISV vs. moving to the standard solution.

Want to know more?

Read an ERP evergreen customer case and contact us to hear more about what we can do for you.