Case study

Micro Focus Silk solutions speed up time to market while improving product quality and delivering a 60 percent time saving


GTL provides a range of insurance products online through a nation-wide network of agents. The paperwork associated with keeping track of all products and policies was vast, according to Ed Rheingans, Lead Programmer Analyst with GTL: “Before we had the online portal, everything used to be paper-based. We have to ensure full auditability, and this resulted in some very manual processes. Whenever we had a new policy enquiry, our agents would manually enter all the relevant information into our policy administration system to receive a premium quote.”

Application testing is an essential part of the development process and GTL had very little automation support in this area. Visual Test was used in a limited fashion, but as the business expanded and more insurance products were added, GTL realized it needed a more sophisticated application test automation solution.


Market research revealed Silk Test™ to be a good solution for GTL. Rheingans started working with Silk Test to achieve an early win for the new testing process: “I quickly learned test scripting and instead of manually entering applicant’s data into our policy administration system, we developed a Silk Test script to do this. Based on the input, Silk Test captures the premium displayed, and compares it to known values for a full validation. It then returns a pass or fail to the representative who can act accordingly."

Shortly after Silk Test was implemented to streamline application testing for the policy administration system, the online agentdriven portal was introduced and here, again, Silk Test proved its worth. New products are first introduced into the policy administration system to ensure premiums are calculating correctly. Previously, QA would need to retest everything when a new product was introduced. Now, automated regression and validation tests are executed to ensure that new products are fully functional before they are released to the portal and are available to agents.

The time saving is off the scale, according to Rheingans: “We introduced virtual machines to run the tests. Our QA engineers just need to trigger the relevant tests on the virtual machine and return to their own work. We can open up a new product, hit play, and let Silk Test do its thing. For instance, we fixed an issue in our premium calculations within the policy administration system and needed to apply the change to 1,000 policies. Previously this would have taken many manual hours of adjusting and checking each single policy. With Silk Test, I simply wrote a test script and it was done in a bulk run which took only a small fraction of the time it would have done manually.”

To improve auditability within GTL, Silk Central™ was introduced to work in tandem with Silk Test. Testing requirements for new products used to be maintained in a plethora of spreadsheets stored on different drives; not easy to quickly gather for an internal or external audit. Silk Central provides one place where all requirements, test attributes, and test results are stored. GTL offers its products nation-wide, but the offering varies state by state. With so many product variations, good documentation is essential, which is exactly what Silk Central offers.

Nancy Horwitz, Quality Assurance Analyst at GTL, comments: “Our testing requirements and scenarios are set up in Silk Central; we then build and execute the test cases in Silk Test. The results are documented in Silk Central, so between the two solutions we have a comprehensive record of our testing efforts. While we build test cases we can also cross-reference the testing requirements to ensure everything is covered.”


Recently, a deadline for a new product was beaten by four weeks through an effective automated testing process. Rheingans is impressed: “Supported by Silk Test and Silk Central we deliver a higher quality product and speed up the development process; bringing new products to market faster than ever before.”

He concludes: “We estimate the Silk solutions have delivered a time saving of 60 percent in our development process. It allows us to multi-task and we have all the documentation required to respond to an audit. We feel there is still lots of potential within GTL to expand the use of Silk and reap the same benefits elsewhere in the organization.”

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