When your IT department grows from 20 employees to 70 in just a few years, the ability to scale and deliver quality software at a fast pace is critical. For American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, QASymphony has been a key partner, helping strengthen the QA process and making testing information available to employees throughout the IT department.

Strengthening the QA Process

Dennis Young was hired as Assistant Vice President of QA in 2014 to improve the QA Process at American Equity. When he joined the company, his team had a very manual and labor-intensive approach to testing and documentation, primarily using Microsoft Word documents. “It would take an extremely long time for testers to locate the information they needed,” says Dennis. “This was a big problem because we have a comprehensive testing process that needs to be completed in a short amount of time. We had to become more efficient.”

QA is very important to American Equity. “We sell annuities so we can’t have math errors,” said Dennis. “We have to constantly check and re-recheck our work. We can’t miss any steps.”

“The implementation was extremely smooth, and the deployment was exceptionally easy.”

— Dennis Young, Assistant Vice President of QA at American Equity

Evaluating Software Testing Tools

Dennis immediately identified the need for better tools to drive more efficiency and visibility into the QA process. He conducted an extensive search for software testing tools, evaluating 30 different options. “We were very thorough in the search process. I wanted to make sure we didn’t miss out on the newest technologies.”

Dennis also had specific requirements for this new testing tool. It had to be on-premise because of the secure nature of American Equity’s IT systems. It also had to be easy-to-use since several people on Dennis’ team had never used test case management software before.

Dennis narrowed the initial list of 30 down to 10 based on American Equity’s requirements. The team then demoed each tool and voted on their favorite. qTest was selected as the winner.

“qTest met all our requirements,” says Dennis. “The team liked that it is easy-to-use and enabled them to reuse test cases. But what really tipped the scales was qTest eXplorer. It’s a great tool to capture errors as we interact with our systems.”

Implementation

Once the selection was made, the QASymphony Customer Success team started the implementation process. “The implementation was extremely smooth, and the deployment was exceptionally easy,” says Dennis.

Results

qTest Test Case Management software has made a significant impact on the QA team at American Equity. “It has improved our re-usability of test cases,” says Dennis. “We’ve seen a large reduction in tester errors and we now have history on our defects. We can see where the problems are.”

Dennis has also been pleased with results using qTest eXplorer. “We didn’t have a baseline set of tests so we used eXplorer to create the test cases,” says Dennis. “It has helped us significantly reduce our construction time for the test cases. We’ve saved hundreds of hours documenting test cases and our business analysts are using eXplorer to create documentation for end users.”

Dennis has been impressed with the service and support his team has received from QASymphony. “It has been stellar. Quick response times. Features that we’ve asked for have been made available, even before we were ready for them,” says Dennis. “The partnership between American Equity and QASymphony has just been wonderful.”

About American Equity

American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, through its wholly-owned operating subsidiaries, issues fixed annuity and life insurance products, with a primary emphasis on the sale of fixed index and fixed rate annuities. American Equity Investment Life Holding Company, a New York Stock Exchange Listed company (NYSE: AEL), is headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa. For more information, please visit www.american-equity.com.

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