I have a good friend who manages IT for a large company. Over the years technology has greatly improved, but also gotten infinitely more complex. Introducing new products to the network can be a significant challenge. Will it interoperate with the existing systems? If not, where is the glitch? Even upgrades or minor patches can disrupt the entire IT ecosystem.
“It’s like changing a tire on a moving vehicle … that is speeding down the highway,” he once told me. “There is no vacuum. New software must interact with all the other pieces or you could bring everything down. Oh, and that moving car is going faster and faster, by the way. Meaning a crash just gets more and more dangerous.”
The pressure is especially high for customer-facing communications systems. It’s one thing to halt productivity among employees, but to cut off customers could be disastrous to business. And it’s not just ensuring a phone has a dial tone anymore. Multi-channel customer service strategies offer call, live chat and even video options.
Communications solutions continue to promise more benefits, but are becoming more and more complex. Plus single-vendor solutions are all but gone. Few companies have a pure Cisco shop, or are all Avaya. Many companies seek to leverage Microsoft Skype for Business, perhaps have SIP trunking services from a solutions provider and maybe conference phones from Polycom. BYOD has only made it more challenging.
Of course interoperability testing becomes more important as tech complexity increases. It’s the only way to accurately ensure that a solution will work and provide the promised functionality without compatibility issues.
But testing is not the simple fix we once perceived it to be. Not only is complexity of tech solutions increasing, the pace of development is accelerating. Remember how my friend said the car is going faster and faster?
This calls for a whole new way to think about interoperability testing. It’s no longer a one-off, end-of-deal proposition. We are no longer in a static world. Interoperability testing has to become a dynamic process to meet the continuously changing IT landscape. Dynamic testing.
In fact, we are seeing software vendors and service providers testing interoperability more frequently these days. Continuous testing. A growing number of enterprises are seeking independent testing to verify their business decisions too. That’s a great first step.
But true dynamic testing requires some automation and a model that allows regular, on-going assessments. In a world that is increasingly focused on business analytics, this is a logical step.
tekVizion is enabling dynamic testing for our clients through a series of solutions that automate key processes and integrate testing as a core part of managing the communications system. Our onTAP testing environment allows clients to virtually test anytime, for example. They can save previously tested configurations to then test new additions. They can even evaluate multiple options to help make a more informed decision.
We continue to develop dynamic testing solutions that meet our clients growing need to adapt to the fast-changing communications landscape. We know the IT department has to drive the car while changing the tire. Not an easy task, but dynamic testing can provide ongoing insight to make better decisions and avoid a big crash.