Australian electricity distributors CitiPower and Powercor Australia have rapidly expanded use of HP Quality Centre for testing business applications used to deliver energy supplies to customers across Victoria, according to the companies’ CSA assurance team leader, Fiona Hocking.
“When I started using the product 10 years ago we only had five licenses” with only about five to ten people using it, she said. “As the company has gotten bigger and as more projects have come on board, we’ve increased those licenses to close to 40 and we’ve now got more than 1,500 users using Quality Centre.”
The Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart metre rollout spurred use of QC because it was “a massive project” that “involved a lot more extra resources, Hocking said.
The power companies use QC “as a testing tool in our day-to-day operations as well as any projects that we have,” Hocking said. “If we get new patches from our vendors, we have to test all our applications.” The product prevents the companies from “putting bugs out there in the real world,” she said.
QC “lets you do everything in one place,” she said. “It allows you to enter your requirements into Quality Centre, link those to the test scripts you actually document, run your test and record your results against that.” The platform records any defects or bugs.
“We only have to run a test once and can repeat it again and again and again,” she added.
The product “automates a whole lot of processes,” Hocking said. That saves a lot of money “compared to manual [processes] and trying to find everything on a network drive, she said.
Plugins let the energy companies use Microsoft Excel and Word and send data to QC, Hocking said. QC can display results in high-level graphs, pie charts and other formats that are perfect to show management, she said.
“We have planned outages, but really Quality Centre doesn’t go down,” she said. Takedowns have occurred when the company has needed to increase disk space and during two upgrades, “but no, we don’t lose connectivity much at all.”
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