4 months Project Examples

ROQ’s Blueprint for Seamless Updates to Windows 10 – Saves Significant Time and Support Costs

Summary

ROQ has worked with a Magic Circle Law Firm for over 3 years, providing a Managed Test Service, spanning various test disciplines and projects, including a Windows 10 implementation and the continual update programme.  Windows 10 updates, within a BAU context, are very complex as the implications of any issues that arise due to the updates impact upwards of 4000 users globally, particularly around Office 365.

Challenge

The client was initially releasing updates to its internal users 5-6 times per month and experiencing a multitude of issues on every release.  These updates would include: monthly Windows 10 security patches, Office 365 patches and ad hoc updates to applications (Circa. 200 in the estate) which interface with either Windows 10 or Office 365.  The frequency of users needing to reboot – 5 or 6 times per month – along with the negative effects of the updates, was causing frustration across the global workforce, as well as serious downtime.  More control was needed to streamline this process and ensure that disruption to users was minimised.  Serious problems such as the performance of business-critical applications significantly degrading – e.g. MS Word taking 30 secs to load - elevated the need to find a resolution.  This issue was particularly damaging, as any delay in load times had a detrimental impact on users being able to perform their role. Considering there are 4000+ users, this had a real impact on revenue.

Solution

To gain more control of the quality of the software released into production, a more robust and structured testing approach was applied, categorising and delivering all application updates by deployment type, i.e. reboot, silent, etc.  

The chosen solution was to deliver a monthly cumulative update. This ensured all of the application releases requiring a reboot, were delivered into production post the delivery of the monthly Windows 10 and Office 365 security patches.  The application updates that can be deployed silently continue to be released on a risk and priority basis.  Larger updates such as Windows Creators or Windows 1809 are released on an annual basis.

To prevent any additional issues following any changes, ROQ also built and implemented a Test Automation framework covering the core regression of business-critical applications. This is executed against every application release to ensure that the change does not affect other parts of the application ecosystem.  Developing this in a BDD format meant that the business is able to maintain it more easily. 

In addition, ROQ’s End-Point Performance framework was implemented to capture all business-critical application load times pre and post application update. Like the Test Automation Framework, this provides instant, real-time reports on application updates that may cause detrimental impact to end user experience – including device type and location.  

Value

This approach to Windows 10 Updates has been game-changing for the business and they now have a blueprint plan for any updates. Examples of this value are:

  • Updates have a more structured and thorough approach, meaning that everything is now delivered on time and has very little impact on any other aspects of software delivery within the business
  • The business now has confidence that any updates will have minimal impact on the day-to-day operations and that key risks have been mitigated
  • The balance of finding issues is now weighted in favour of pre-production, with a lesser burden on the support team and therefore reduced costs in fixing problems
  • The new approach, coupled with an effective automation framework, saves up to 60 hours per week when compared to the previous manual approach

 

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