Top-tier P&C insurance company drives quality transformation to Guidewire

Case Study

“Celsior has been able to provide significant cost and time-to-market reduction, not only through use of lower-cost, off-shore Celsior personnel, but more importantly through testing automation and avoidance of post-release rework.”

Requirements

A top-tier, American property & casualty (P&C) insurance company was running its business on out-of-date proprietary software which was difficult to maintain—particularly due to the retirement of skilled internal personnel. Viewing modernization and agility as critical to its business, the company decided to embark on a huge, multi-year digital transformation project to move to the cloud-based Guidewire platform.

To lead them in this transformation, the company selected one of the world’s premiere professional services firms. The work done by the firm was top quality— albeit quite expensive. Thus, over time the insurance company looked for portions of the project that could be offloaded to less expensive, high quality service providers who could work hand-in-hand with the insurance company and the professional services firm.

The insurance company’s CIO had previous experience in working with Celsior Technologies and knew both the quality delivery and collaborative approach that Celsior brought to its projects. On this basis, he reached out to Celsior about starting to take over QE testing functions in support of the Guidewire transformation.

 

Solution

The transition of Guidewire QE testing functions to Celsior started small with several personnel testing applications that would integrate with Guidewire. Based on Celsior’s good work, they decided to move forward with transitioning actual Guidewire testing to the Celsior QE team. This team, which grew over time to 50 personnel, is distributed with a U.S.-based leader and with most of the rest of the team located in India. Celsior was able to quickly bring experienced Guidewire personnel onto the project so the learning curve was minimal.

Testing automation of the Guidewire platform and associated applications was based initially on ReadyAPI and the insurance company’s Selenium-based framework. Where the company’s Selenium-based framework was inadequate, Celsior integrated additional capabilities from our own Celsior Selenium framework. Two high-importance areas where this was key have been AI-based self-healing scripts and data validation.

One of the limitations of much testing automation is that manual work is required to correct the automation scripts when, for example, the application’s user interface changes. Celsior has integrated and trained an open-source AI engine so that if the automation scripts cannot find an object, it looks for a similar object in a listbox or elsewhere. Through this use of AI, in many cases the automation scripts can self-heal, rather than requiring manual updates. Based on experience and strong training of the AI engine, Celsior has been able to achieve high confidence in the self-healing results.

Another key area in which Celsior has added value is in data validation. The insurance company previously had no automation of data validation, so Celsior was able to provide this through our testing framework. Close to a third of our team now supports automated and manual data validation for ETL, general database, etc. We also added Snowflake support to our Selenium framework given the insurance company’s wide-usage of cloud-based Snowflake data warehouses.

Other areas in which Celsior added value were through implementation of testing solutions on AWS-Lambda and other AWS cloud services and through use of an autobatch tool for automation of WCAG testing.

Throughout the project, Celsior has developed and delivered a comprehensive set of daily and weekly QE reports to keep all stakeholders well informed.

A key element of project success has been that the Guidewire transformation project is managed as a single team encompassing the insurance company’s internal personnel, the professional services firm’s personnel, and the Celsior personnel. Unlike projects where different points of view and motivations result in conflicts and disfunction, the project succeeds through its collaborative, single-team spirit.

 

Result

The overall Guidewire transformation project is now approximately halfway through its multi-year process and continues to be very successful.

Celsior has been able to provide significant cost and time-to-market reduction, not only through use of lower-cost, off-shore Celsior personnel, but more importantly through testing automation and avoidance of post-release rework. We have provided end-to-end automation of over 1,000 test scripts for various Guidewire modules. Specifically in data validation, Celsior QE automation has been able to provide 80 to 90 percent time savings.

Due to the strong Quality Engineering, Celsior has lowered the risk of the Guidewire transformation project and helped to ensure its ultimate success.

Overall, the insurance company has been very pleased with Celsior’s contributions and really loves working with Celsior.

Based on the continued success of the project, the firm has now engaged Celsior for additional work such as the help desk for specific Guidewire modules.

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