Software consolidation saves big bucks

Reducing the number of installations for its test management tool from 20 to one has saved the ANZ Bank an estimated half a million dollars in management costs alone, according to the bank’s manager of development environments and configuration management, Geoff McCamley.

He said ANZ began expressing interest in test tools and test management practices in the 90s and standardised on Mercury Interactive’s TestDirector as the tool of choice for test management purposes.

“Like most large organizations we went down the client/server path and as projects sprung up that required test solutions and management, local copies of TestDirector were installed on development layers that were operating in a client/server environment,” McCamley said.

“It got to the point where in late 2002 to 2003 we calculated that we had more than 20 separate client/server implementations of TestDirector across the bank. Around those implementations we had some 350 seat licences and by virtue of the way we purchased TestDirector – at an ad hoc point in time and need – we had different versions operating within ANZ, different back-end databases supporting TestDirector, and we also had a wide variety of different test practices.”

To rectify the situation, the bank embarked on a rationalization project that would see a centralized implementation of TestDirector which could be accessed through the client Web browsers.

“About $500,000 in net benefit over the life of the project of several years,” he said. “With this rationalization of the licences from 20 implementations to a single one, we are trying to create a lot more focus and discipline around testing and testing practices in the organizations so it was more than just a rationalization of licensing.”

Speaking at Mercury Interactive’s 2004 Australian user conference, McCamley said the bank has around 25,000 people in total of which about 2000 people are involved in IT, including project managers, testers, developers and support people.

To achieve the consolidation, a Windows 2000 server was configured with TestDirector 7.6 and 300 concurrent licences. A replica system was also established for disaster recovery and nightly backups of TestDirector are taken.

“The first [benefit] is the obvious one. The client/server world was a great one in the 90s but issues around licensing controls and what was on the servers and desktops became something of a nightmare for most organizations and the larger the organization the bigger the nightmare,” McCamley said. “At ANZ it was a nightmare managing the licences we had installed across the organization. Overall, we’ve saved money since centralizing because it's prevented an ad hoc approach to buying licences for tools like TestDirector.”

McCamley said another bonus of the project is that “there’s now no excuse for any project not to be using TestDirector as a test management tool”.

“With the consolidation project completed ANZ then begin to view TestDirector as a production system and not just a developer’s tool,” he said.

Rodney Gedda travelled to Melbourne as a guest of Mercury Interactive

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