The Post Office decided to outsource their technical testing. The demand for these services was intermittent and there was not the critical mass to create a career path in this area and retain and grow staff. Acutest were selected because of their proven ability in providing non-functional testing services and their virtual team solution.
Acutest set up the testing service to cover four key areas:
- Test strategy and implementation
- Performance testing and monitoring,
- Security testing and security reviews
- Business continuity and disaster recovery testing.
Acutest provide a managed service within a controlled budget. For each project with a requirement for business driven testing, the Acutest service manager works closely with the client side project team to devise the most cost effective testing solution. Acutest then provide skilled resources to deliver the solution, sometimes on individual assignments but more typically in mixed teams of Acutest staff, Post Office staff and staff from third party suppliers of the system under test.The approach, processes and techniques used in this outsourced testing service were built from a combination of Post Office existing practices and best practice introduced by Acutest. These processes have continued to evolve as the Post Office’s business operations have changed. For example, Acutest have helped bring testing forward into the earlier stages of the lifecycle, with a beneficial impact on costs and timescales.
By combining continuity of approach and understanding with a flexible resourcing levels, Acutest has been able to meet the Post Office’s testing needs and help assure the successful introduction of new applications and business processes.
Acutest have supported the Post Office in delivering 8 major releases based around its Horizon system. These activities included:
- Network Banking - on-line cash withdrawals, balance enquiries and cash deposits
- Debit Cards
- Smart Post - intuitive postal application that embeds business rules
- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) automation
- E top-ups
- National Savings & Investment product re-engineering
- Bureau on Horizon
- DVLA additions
- IMPACT programme first release including improved cash management
- PAF (Postcode Address File)
- AP-ADC (a generic application that gives time to market measured in weeks for in –payment products)
- EMV (Europay, MasterCard and VISA) Chip & Pin
- Replacement of Network Banking Engine
- IMPACT programme full launch including new SAP based system for back end branch and product accounting, new Branch Trading and new MI
All the above were delivered on cost and on time.