Micro Focus ALM Review

the modules provide the fundamental processes to record scope, capture test cases, and track execution for each phase of testing.


Valuable Features

Test Planning and Test Lab modules are the most valuable to capture test cases and track execution. Defect module for tracking defects in testing and to capture production incidents.

Improvements to My Organization

The primary HP QC modules, requirements, test plan, test lab, and defect management have become, over time, foundation stones in our project teams development methodology. In each area, the modules provide the fundamental processes to record scope, capture test cases, track execution for each phase of testing (functional unit, string/business process, integration, user acceptance, etc.) and our project management team are all HP QC "savvy" from a standpoint of using the tools to manage the project team, the component releases and change requests, that flow through our team.

Room for Improvement

The product continues to evolve and improve and we are now on v12.01. The defect module, while fundamental and more or less consistent over numerous versions, is an area we would like to see improved regarding how response time is measured in the standard application. Reporting is another area that could stand improvement - many times the data is simply exported out to Excel for analysis.

Use of Solution

We have used HP ALM/Quality Center going back to its days as a Mercury Software product, 2006-2007 and have evolved up thru 12.01 at present.

Deployment Issues

At Verizon we are 'clients' on a supported application base. Application project teams are supported with domains and projects within a central installation. We didn't deploy the application, per se.

Stability Issues

As a client, no, we have not have any major issues with stability. The application is pretty much available during business hours with the exception of routinely scheduled maintenance windows.

Scalability Issues

No issues to date. We're just a client (one of many project teams supported thru a central HP ALM/QC test tools support team) but the number of project teams that are supported via our central team would seem to imply that the application can scale to support large organizations split amongst multiple project teams.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

As a customer/client of a central VZ QA/ALM installation, the few times we have needed to be in direct contact with HP, they have been responsive. We had a better relationship, overall, with Mercury Software before their acquisition by HP, but that was several years ago now.

Technical Support:

Most of our technical support questions are fielded by our own in-house QC ALM support team. I can't directly speak as to their relationship with HP regarding direct technical support questions. Where we've had issues with specific installations, etc., they have been quickly resolved, so the assumption, always dangerous, would be that technical support is responsive with the primary vendor.

Previous Solutions

We have used this application for a number of years now. There have been explorations of a variety of open source, "DevOps-inspired" applications, as a potential replacement. To date, there has been no determination to move away from this application as our standard.

Initial Setup

From a project team standpoint, the setup was very straightforward. All the tools are accessible and installable via browser.

Implementation Team

We have an in-house one team who are supporting several portfolios within our IT organization. I would say their level of expertise is good to excellent.

ROI

I hate to say we haven't taken an independent project level analysis of ROI -- at this point, it's more an integral part of our application support model and a focal point for project level activities. Overall, even if informally measured, it's very high, if by no other measure than how deeply ingrained it has become in our project methodology and project tracking metrics.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Licenses are a major factor -- they are not inexpensive but with concurrent licensing our global IT groups are able to share licenses around the clock.

Other Solutions Considered

At the time we first utilized Mercury Quality Center, they were pretty well established as the industry leader in this space. When HP acquired them (2009?) they were the 800-pound gorilla in the test tools field.

Other Advice

For most large companies/installations, you will need to establish a core testing tools support group. This group can handle the care and maintenance of the application itself, the plug-in tools, user management, and deployment to various project teams. I would think taking this one within an isolated project team would be asking for headaches. Many organizations have turbulent histories with centralized testing -- it seems to typically depend on what is business critical -- not only externally, but internally (HR Payroll, for instance -- most companies can't tolerate issues with defects around payroll..

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We actually have two different vendor relationships. One with HP as the primary vendor. Two, with SAP, as a licensed reseller of HP products related to testing ERP solutions. The relationship with both vendors is strategic partner level.
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