Adapting to changing consumer requirements is a primary goal for any organization to sell better and progress in managing their business from the sales point of view. When a business fails to recognize the customer’s choice and preferences, catering to the relevant market becomes more and more of a stressful scenario.
With digitization, most companies sought to solve this problem by building custom CRM applications that served customer curiosity. They were the digital source for service portfolios and attractive deals, as well as product and price information. But these apps took up a lot of investment in terms of development and testing before a market release. The apps were by no means simple to set up or easy to navigate.
A modern car listings company that decided to upgrade their sales through a digital platform and CRM software soon recognized this problem in making their own CRM system. Building their own sales solution would cost them millions of dollars, and such an undertaking would take months and months to complete. More importantly, the current solution had restrictions on its ability to scale further.
The organization faced some major challenges with custom builds and traditional application testing which motivated them to look for a better solution through Innominds.
- Custom-built apps should be able to support the complex infrastructure required for a large car listings company such as the client’s. The number of vehicles that were on the list for sale needed to be updated daily and therefore, the chance for error was huge.
- Multiple defects could not be traced back due to the lack of a streamlined development process. The development and QE were maintained as two separate silos that never met.
Consequently, changes to the app and any defect in the build would take days on end to get fixed.
- Inability to scale was yet another problem with a product that is not deployed on the cloud. The business was left with very few options to expand its services.
- High cost of building the app from scratch. CRM solutions could support the same functionalities at the fraction of the cost.
- The lengthy installation process involved in making and distributing a custom application deterred customer adoption of the solution. Clients could not easily find the solution through the internet.
Charging the sales solution development with DevOps
The current and ever-changing development environment is causing all parts of development, including quality engineering or QE, to join hands from the beginning of a software development process. The client understood that the old practices of a segmented workforce could affect the product quality if DevOps were not implemented.
According to IDC’s survey titled ‘People Still Matter’, “Through 2023, half of enterprises' hybrid workforce and business automation efforts will be delayed or will fail outright due to underinvestment in building IT/Sec/DevOps teams with the right tools/skills”.
With the vast array of DevOps tools and expertise that Innominds holds, we were able to direct the client to the ideal setup with which they could manage their SDLC (software development life cycle).
Starting with the CRM solution of choice, Innominds undertook its software development testing and framework implementation. By analyzing the implementation maturity using the DevOps Maturity Model, our engineers determined the progress stages.
The necessary DevOps tools integration and training would enable the client to solve recurring product quality issues. Primarily, as a result, they were able to achieve a faster testing cycle time during product releases.
Weekly and monthly test status reports provided a comprehensive list of items to focus on. The reports also enabled the team to look for further areas that needed testing. The detailed ‘Defects Metrics’ was a great place to start in tackling all the errors that were previously cumbersome to solve.
Overall, the agile methodology helped in delivering incremental features to the solution with each release. The DevOps methodology serves to achieve such success in product development through careful implementation.
Accelerated product delivery through automation
Enabling rapid testing for accelerated product delivery was a core challenge that the solution needed to resolve for the client. Automating the testing pipeline can achieve this and reduce the development complexity for each iteration and new feature releases in the future.
The client also wanted to provide their customers with automotive research and purchase capabilities to assist the users in comparing local listings for new and old cars. They also provided seller contact info and billing facilities for a seamless sales and purchase interaction for all their customers. We built an automation framework for QE testing for the client to make this happen.
Innominds developed a test automation framework from scratch and leveraged the built-in libraries from our one-of-a-kind platform iHarmonyTM to accelerate the test automation framework development. The solution thus built had automation capabilities to sustain any feature that the customer demanded from the client:
- Automation testing was introduced to reduce testing cycle time during releases.
- Built a comprehensive regression testing suite with more than 800 test cases for comprehensive testing of the product modules
- Greater defect traceability to avoid backtracking on errors
The solution used ML algorithms that would analyze and compare prices and features in cars for sale. Users were able to search for specific cars in their local area and compare listings according to the price, features, and dealership reputation.
How Innominds helped customers choose the client’s services above those of their competitors
The right application to manage sales such as CRM software makes matters easy for businesses in this regard by properly managing their sales cycles, analytics, customer accounts, and products catalogue. To stand apart from its competitors, businesses such as the client sought to change the earlier model of business.
The existing business model could not support a few essential features that the client deemed necessary to boost their services:
- Customers were not able to find whether they had a good deal among the multitude of listings.
- Scarcely available information or misinformation about the best deals in the locality
- Inability to compare all the choices in one or two sittings
- Customers shy away from asking for a better deal, for lack of ready information.
Building a new application framework from the scratch meant spending thousands of dollars and months for an MVP. Perfecting the application for seamless use will incur the business millions of dollars and will take more than a year.
The best option for the car dealer was to go the SaaS route and choose a CRM solution and streamline it to suit their service. Since Innominds had proven expertise in catering to businesses in focus, the client chose to work with our QE team to implement the DevOps and testing pipelines into the project from the start. The subsequent automation helped the client in achieving the following results:
- Product releases achieved with 100% expected features as per release roadmap
- Comprehensive testing leading to zero-defect leakage to the production environment
- All test cycle execution results across various applications were maintained
- A communication channel was established between Innominds and the client to ensure reporting, SLAs, and tracking KPIs.
All the above implementations resulted in building a complete test management tool for future traceability of known issues and working scenarios. This will lead the client to plan tests for future releases based on defect density across various modules for the application under test.