Micro Focus ALM Quality Center Review

The camera makes it easier to capture evidence as a user tests. It's not intuitive to use, which is a problem with business users.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable user feature that we use right now is the camera. It allows us to take the test evidence, and it makes it easier for the user, especially the business user, to capture evidence as they test.

How has it helped my organization?

For a test management department, and we are highly audited, by the way, it allows us to have a single repository for all our projects where we do tests, as one go-to place for our test evidence. It has a go-to place for us to generate reporting, retain results, and be able to share it.

What needs improvement?

I have to say I'm not a huge fan of ALM. I think it's the best out of some of the not-so wonderful tools out there. The example that I usually give people is, if you're an IT person and you use a tool, you know that right click always does similar things. You know that there's functions that from one application to another mean the same thing or has the same features and functionalities. ALM doesn't work that way. I don't think it's a difficult tool to use, but it does need someone to be first trained on it, and then you have to use it a few times before it kind of sticks.

If you use it once, but then you go away and you come back, let's say a few months later, you have to get a refresher course. So it's like a computer application, there are certain functions which are: F1 is Help. Control is something else, and so on.

It's not intuitive in that way, which has always been a problem, especially with business users.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had a few unplanned downtimes. There's been situations where we're not able to access the tools.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability, again going back, we're limited by the number of licenses that we have. If we want to have more projects, from our understanding, we just have to purchase additional licenses or purchase additional access for projects.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have definitely used tech support, and the skill level varies (this is before the Micro Focus integration). When we were trying to figure if QC SaaS can work with Windows 10, it took us three weeks before tech support finally realized that they missed a patch on their end, and it cost us three weeks of wasted time. The IT support even said, "We're waiting for you guys to get synced up on your side," before we could do anything.

Tech support has the knowledge and skill, but it's not consistent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I previously had used QC at a different company. I know I need a test management tool. When I joined the company, we already had this one, but I wanted to move to SaaS, because I needed something that was not on-premise based.

How was the initial setup?

I was involved in moving us from the client to the SaaS and it was painful. We were on QC 10, and we had to move to QC SaaS. Because we're a bank, we have a ridiculous amount of firewalls.

So, we could not install QC SaaS and our tech support team didn't understand how to get it installed. Therefore, one of my team members had to figure out all of the nuts and bolts, then the HPE tech support was also slow in helping us. It actually took us many months to finally go from QC 10 to QC SaaS. I'm actually close to the end of my three-year license, and I'm seriously like, "Do I stay? Do I move?"

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did look at other solutions, and I didn't accept those only because the camera feature was very important to us. The other solutions that I looked at really didn't have the camera feature yet.

It was Zephyr, SmartBear, and ALM. I have some business users who are also very conservative, and for me to move them away from something they're very familiar with, I have to have some very compelling additions and functionalities to give them in order to say it was worth the effort to retrain them on something else.

What other advice do I have?

I had a demo recently that was actually for Octane, but in that demo, I found out about a couple of tools that I actually have access to now that I didn't know about before. One of them was a JIRA integration and the other was a way to create manual task steps, actually just stepping through the application, which could be automated.

I was like, "Wait, I'm near the end of my three-year license, and I'm just now about this?" I was like, "I could have been using this?"

So, those are the new tools I'm looking at, and it actually came up because, as I said, we're renewing our license, and when my rep was talking to me to find out what was my interest, part of it is, "Well, I need your integration." He's like, "Oh, we think we have that." I was like, "Really?"

For anyone looking at this product, I would definitely have them look at other tools, too, and make some comparisons. I would say to them, "Hey, here's how we had to deal with it, and here's what works for us and what doesn't." For the other tools, since we don't have firsthand experience, I could only suggest that they actually do some research.

Most important criteria when selecting a vendor: response and customer service. Support is very important. Then obviously, still getting a good value for what I'm spending. The product at least needs to be comparable to the other tools that are available on the market.

I have to say that I definitely was looking to move away from HPE initially when I took over the department, because we were getting no support from HPE at all. However, HPE, because we're small in comparison to their other customers, shunted us off to a third party, their reseller, which may ultimately have been a good thing for HPE (now Micro Focus) as well as for us, because we finally got some attention.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarSales at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees

Hello, you might have a look at codeBeamer ALM