Sampo Group was already using OmniFi to improve reporting capabilities and rapidly compile complex reports for business analysis and compliance purposes. But Sampo Group also wanted to build better processes for managing and testing upgrades to Wallstreet Suite and other IT infrastructure within its operations. When any of its infrastructure was upgraded – from databases to operating systems or patches and version upgrades – Sampo Group had previously tested views and reports manually to find potential problems. But this was slow and not comprehensive enough for its needs. With a number of upgrades planned for the short and medium term future, Sampo Group wanted a way to automate its testing where possible, and introduce standard processes and tools to make it faster and more effective. It also wanted to test a more comprehensive set of test transactions before completing the upgrade to reduce the chance of errors impacting its business.
Sampo Group first decided to use OmniFi based on SkySparc’s reputation for enhancing the reporting capabilities. But the group soon realized that OmniFi’s automated testing functionality could also help it streamline its upcoming upgrade from version 184.108.40.206 to version 220.127.116.11 – a move the group was making to bring itself up to date with the most recent 6.5 version.
Anders Eriksson, system and process manager at If, says he initially thought the ability to reconcile reports generated by the reference system and the upgrade test implementation would be the biggest benefit of using the versatile OmniFi. “But we soon found out that the transaction loading in OmniFi was the thing that would save us the most time,” he says. “We could have entered the transactions manually. But there are always errors when you do that, and discrepancy between entered data sets.”
OmniFi enables the creation of scenarios comprising model instruments, portfolios and trading actions that can be loaded simultaneously into the reference and the upgrade test databases. They can be replayed easily into Wallstreet Suite to check that existing functionality and fixes have worked. And they can also be modified and replayed on subsequent testing days or future upgrade projects. SkySparc’s consultants spent only a few days implementing the testing environment for Sampo Group. The project team were quickly able to learn OmniFi’s transaction loading and testing capabilities, get user feedback on what were the most critical views and reports, build the transaction library and scripts, and begin testing.
A simplified list of the comprehensive testing steps Sampo Group undertook includes:
With OmniFi we could do four times as much testing including a full range of instrument types and complex buy and sell transactions. And we did this in 25% of the time normally required.
Anders Eriksson, System and process development manager, IF Insurance
“We thought it would be a really good idea to use OmniFi for our testing needs and really learn the product – not just doing set up for this project but also reusing our learning and testing models on future upgrades,” says Eriksson.
“The experience turned out even better than we first expected. With OmniFi’s automated testing capabilities we get testing of a wide range of instrument types and multiple, complex buy and sell transactions. The richness of the testing scenarios we can build, incorporating data from any financial instrument, system or trading activity, really sets OmniFi apart. We get documentation of what we have tested and we have a framework now that can be used for any future patch or version upgrades.
We now have such good test scripts and documentation ready that we can do any future patch upgrade in just two weeks with two people at If – a 75% reduction in time. Previously it would have taken eight weeks for two people,” says Eriksson.
The solution and processes can be applied to surrounding IT infrastructure too. In fact, Sampo Group has done an upgrade of the database underlying portfolio management system, and were able to fully test the impact on its trading operations for If in just two days with two people, and in three days with two people for Sampo – much shorter than it would have been without OmniFi. More long-term, Sampo Group expects to upgrade from version 6.5 to version 7, and the best practices and library of scenarios it has developed with OmniFi will also make that upgrade much easier.