Successful delivery of a complex Dynamics ERP system integration project

The client: A nationwide retail company
Industry: Retail
Technologies: Dynamics AX
Ten10 services: Test strategy, functional testing and agile testing


Summary

An ability to react quickly to rapidly changing situations was key to Ten10’s success in helping the client deliver a complex systems integration project.

The client

A nationwide retail company with a turnover of $34.9m was acquired as part of a group by another, larger retailer. It trades both through a small number of London stores and over the web.

The project

Complex systems integration case study - Microsoft Dynamics AXThe client is now part of a group that has
been acquired by a much larger organisation and, as with most such acquisitions, a process of integration was required to bring the bought-in organisation’s back-end systems into line with those of the parent company. In particular, the client had to move away from its legacy SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to a Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP system.

The emphasis for the project was on bringing the acquired company’s existing retail landscape into the Dynamics AX ERP application. This required the integration of web applications, including postcode lookup (PCA Predict), payment landscape (DataCash, Bottomline and Barclays) and their Magento and Fluiid4 e-commerce platform. It also required the integration of its warehouse operations, including the DHL and Yodel shipping applications, amongst others.

Complex systems integration case study - Logos

Ten10’s role was the systems integration-level tests of these applications prior to formal validation by the business teams.

Goals

This project required an intense period of solution up-skilling, scripting and execution, as well as ensuring best practices were followed with regards to defect, release and change management. We recommended the development teams split build delivery into iterative releases, to allow functionality to be delivered earlier and move away from the waterfall style of code delivery they had been employing.

Complex systems integration case study - Base process graph

It was recognised that the project’s success would depend on our ability to get up-to-speed with solution designs, discover the most important areas of complexity from a testing point of view, and to help the development team implement improved project management in order to structure build processes and delivery.

Challenges

The main challenges were the limited time available, and that development was performed by an external company rather than the retailer’s own IT resource. The external company was also challenged with respect to planning and delivery of builds for testing which often resulted in the testing team not receiving what was expected. This led to our plans having to be dynamic, and the teams often needing to split and change focus to ensure productive QA against available builds.

Complex systems integration case study - Overall Execution Plan vs Actual

Success story

In a short time, Ten10’s team of one consultant and one analyst were able to up-skill on the solution and create effective scenarios to ensure validation covered the required functionality. This was achieved through continuous communication with the client’s development team.

We embedded into the client a defined reporting and quality assurance structure for execution progress and defect reporting. This utilised daily pass, fail, progress against plan and key blocking defects, to provide a graphical representative status summary. This continues to be utilised by the client.

Complex systems integration case study - Issue Analysis

This project demonstrates Ten10’s ability to think quickly and react swiftly in challenging conditions, to be creative in imagining and delivering solutions, and to provide help and support above and beyond the contract’s terms and conditions.

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For further information and media enquiries please contact Chloë Garrett, Head of Marketing at Ten10
on 0203 697 1444 or chloe.garrett@ten10.com