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Travel giant chooses Roq for major project

The Client 

The client is a specialist in online hotel bookings. With access to a broad range of property types in high volumes, they offer millions of deals across the UK and worldwide. The accommodation is diverse and includes bed & breakfasts, hotels, apartments and chalets.

The company is headquartered in Manchester and has been offering hotel deals not ordinarily available to the general public since 1999. They became a member of a much wider group of Travel companies in December 2006.

The changing market has led to increasing numbers using online travel agencies. As such, the client experienced a strong period of growth, both organically and through acquisitions. This meant the existing application landscape and code base had become overly complex making it very time consuming to maintain and restricting speed of response to market opportunities.

To combat this, an IT refresh project was created with the aim of introducing a Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) to refactor the original code, expand the company’s CRM system and implement a CSM system from different independent software vendors (ISVs).

Each ISV used different delivery models whereas the client’s standard delivery model is Agile Kanban. Ensuring the ISV’s delivery approaches could provide assets suitable for on-going Agile enhancements made the project difficult to manage.

Roq’s Solution

Roq provided a managed test service to deliver the quality assurance and governance on the project. It brought together process skills and specific testing capabilities, including test management, planning, analysis and automation for both functional and SOA services. It also allowed cross-functional flexibility to accommodate the changes in demand as well as technical support across the various project phases.

The refactoring began by concentrating on the main brand’s code base in Kanban following XP pair partnering techniques. For this, Roq worked closely with the developers on their unit tests, playing an active role in test case design and execution. It gave the ability to check in small code changes into the Continuous Integration (CI) environments for regular releases and is still continuing.

On the CRM project, the business areas involved worked very closely with the ISV responsible for the build (in Waterfall). Roq was engaged mid-development cycle so had to adopt an appropriate delivery method.

To achieve this, the ISV’s delivery method needed an integration point into the existing client Agile methodology. It also had to ensure future changes could be supported. Roq’s process created efficient in-cycle delivery and provided assets which could be built into the client’s CI environment. It required Roq to:

  • Build and execute test scripts for the SIT phase, test development changes to the 3rd party CRM system; testing was coordinated across teams

  • Execute several cycles of tests to engender confidence in the changes to the application

  • Work with the business team to build and execute BAT scripts

  • Develop automation tests and handover to the CI build team

  • Report progress to the program and other interested parties

The implementation of SOA was in Kanban and used TIbco messaging systems. Roq worked with the Tibco developers and Business Analysts to define the process and messages. Roq also controlled the way unit testing was to be introduced so that assets appropriate for CI would be delivered.

In addition, Roq introduced a series of node-level SOAP tests using SoapUI. These have been added as part of CI pipelines. They ensure that every checked-in change is tested against every existing service to mitigate the risk of repercussions.

Roq has left a legacy of test process and management and maintains a presence on the client site to continue with the project until completion.

The Outcome  

Due to a strong relationship and honest communication, the client was kept in touch with all progress and issues. This enabled them to make faster and more informed decisions, which resulted in less site downtime, improved customer experience and growth in revenues.

A key factor in the successful delivery of this project was Roq’s adaptability to the changes in delivery approach, project priority and resulting skill requirements. This flexibility helped to build confidence and strengthen the client relationship further.

If you’d like to find out more about how Roq can support your business, please email us at




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