Discover Case Study: How IHG Has Deployed and Benefited from Increased App Testing
Discover Case Study: How IHG Has Deployed and Benefitedfrom Increased App TestingTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from the HP Discover conference on howInterContinental Hotels Group has reduced time and cost in app development.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Sponsor: HPDana Gardner: Hello, and welcome to a special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast series coming to youfrom the HP Discover 2011 conference in Las Vegas. Were here on the Discover show-ﬂoor, the week of June 6, to explore some major Enterprise IT solutions, trends, and innovations making news across HP’s eco-system of customers, partners, and developers. Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and Ill be your host throughout this series of HP-sponsored Discover live discussions. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]Our next use case study focuses on InterContinental Hotels Group. Were going to be looking atwhat they are doing around automation and uniﬁcation of applications, development anddeployment, speciﬁcally looking at software as a service (SaaS) as a beneﬁt, and how uniﬁcationhelps bring together performance, but also reduce complexity costs over time.To help guide us through this discussion, were here with Brooks Solomon. He is the Manager ofTest Automation at InterContinental. Welcome to BrieﬁngsDirect.Brooks Solomon: Thank you, Dana. Pleasure to be here.Gardner: As I understand it, youre going to be delivering your presentation here at Discover.Im curious about what the gist is. What’s your high-level takeaways?Solomon: We use HP’s testing software all the way from Quality Center (QC), through QuickTest Professional (QTP), through LoadRunner, up into the Business Availability Center (BAC)tool. Im going to talk about how we get to the process of BAC and then how BAC beneﬁts usfrom a global perspective.Gardner: Give me a little sense of the scope and size of your operations?Solomon: InterContinental Hotels Group is the largest hotel company by number of rooms. Wehave 645,000 rooms, 4,400 hotels, with seven different brands, and the largest and ﬁrst hotelloyalty program with 58 million members. The majority of the hotels, 3,500 or so, are in the USand the others are distributed around the world. Were going to be expanding to China more andmore over the next few years.
Gardner: How about in terms of numbers of applications and scope and size of your IToperations?Solomon: I couldn’t list the number of applications we have. The majority of the revenue comesfrom four major applications that are consumer-facing.Gardner: Let’s get into that a little bit. Obviously, reservations, rewards, customer-facing web,and self-service type of functionality are super-important to you. Give us a sense of what youredoing with those sorts of apps and how critical they really are for you?Solomon: The apps that we generate support the majority of IHG’s revenue and, if theyre not customer-facing, theyre a call-center application. If you call 1800 Holiday Inn, that kind of thing, youll get a reservation agent somewhere around the world wherever you are. Then, that agent will actually tap into another application that we developed to generate the reservation from there. Gardner: A lot of test and development organizations have been early adopters of SaaS and cloud functionality. What’s the breakdown with your use of products? Do you have an on-premise portion or percentage in SaaS? How does that break downfor you?SaaS monitorsSolomon: We use SaaS and we have a private use of SaaS. Going back to our call-centerapplications, there are local centers around the world, and weve installed SaaS monitors at thosefacilities. Not only do we get a sense of how the agent’s response time and availability is fromtheir centers, we also get a full global view from customers and how their experience is,wherever they maybe.Gardner: In terms of your developers, your testing, and your application life-cycle to whatdegree are the tools that youre using SaaS-based?Solomon: Right now the only SaaS-based tool we have is the BAC. The other HP tools that weuse are in-house.Gardner: When you move towards lifecycle beneﬁts, do you have any sense of what that’s donefor you, either at a cost and efﬁciency level within IT, or most importantly, at the customer levelin terms of satisfaction and trust?Solomon: Without the automated suite of tools that we have, we couldn’t deliver our products ina timely fashion and with quality. We have an aggressive release schedule every two weeks,distributing new products, new applications, or bug ﬁxes for things that have occurred. Withoutthe automated regression suite of tools that we have, we couldn’t get those out in time. Havingthose tools in place allows us approximately a 75 percent reduction in cost.
Gardner: Having gone through this process, to move into that level of efﬁciency, do you haveany 20/20 hindsight things that you may have done differently with that knowledge or that you might pass along as advice to our listeners? Solomon: I would say just to deﬁne the core functionality of your applications and automate those ﬁrst. Then, once new enhancements come along and there are business-critical type transactions, I would include those in your automated suite of tools and tests.Gardner: How about your thoughts for the future? Do you have any purchases or acquisitions ortools youre looking to adopt in the future? Do you have a roadmap?Solomon: Were coming off of a mainframe reservation system and we are converting that intoservice oriented architecture (SOA). So, we’ve recently purchased HP service tests. We hope thatacquisition would help us automate all of our services coming off the mainframe. Were going todo that on a gradual basis. So, were going to be automating those as they come online.Gardner: Very good. Weve been talking about application lifecycle management andproductivity. Our guest has been Brooks Solomon. He is the Manager of Test Automation atInterContinental Hotels Group, and I believe you are based in Atlanta, is that right?Solomon: That’s correct. Our America’s ofﬁce is at Atlanta.Gardner: And thanks to our audience for joining this special BrieﬁngsDirect podcast, coming toyou from the HP Discover 2011 Conference in Las Vegas.Im Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, your host for this series of userexperience discussions. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it oniTunes/iPod and Podcast.com. Sponsor: HPTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast from the HP Discover conference on howInterContinental Hotel Group has reduced time and cost in app development. CopyrightInterarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • HP delivers applications appliance solutions that leverage converged infrastructure for virtualization, data management • HP takes plunge on dual cloud bursting: public and-or private apps support comes of age • HP rolls out EcoPOD modular data center, provides high-density converged infrastructure with extreme energy efﬁciency • HP at Discover releases converged infrastructure products and services aimed at helping IT migrate rapidly to the future
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