Isha Satija | Lead Performance Engineer

DentaQuest Chooses NeoLoad to Support “Shifting Further Left” Goal

A pre-existing Agile adopter, DentaQuest recently started working with NeoLoad after experiencing some significant testing time delays and reporting inconsistencies with their previous performance testing solution. The NeoLoad decision was not an easy one. DentaQuest had wrestled with maintaining a loyalty for the incumbent vs. headto-head comparison of industry front-runners LoadRunner and NeoLoad.

DentaQuest Context

DentaQuest is the second largest dental benefits administrator in the United States, and largest in the Medicaid space. 24 million  members across the United States are taking advantage of their innovative solution offerings. The company is steadfast in its commitment to delivering better outcomes at lower costs. Rallying around an improved oral health for all charter, DentaQuest continually seeks to raise oral health awareness with ardent promotion of oral solution effectiveness.

Applications under DentaQuest IT management represent three business units. Tests are conducted in concert with the cadence of each release, last up to four hours, and simulate up to more than half of today’s 800 total peak users.

Each test’s design requires a sign-off by Performance Testing team, who will compare results with the most recent run. Similar performance is considered testing success; inconsistency sends them back to the drawing board.

While production user load volume accounts for 800 peak users, most using concurrent sessions. Peak time is condensed into a narrow two-hour operating window – which will include application processing of nearly 30K claims processing/call tracking transactions. Scott Schweitzer, SQA Supervisor at DentaQuest, sums up the application’s criticality to the business succinctly, “… an issue with the application could have a potentially significant impact on our ability to process claims, answer customer calls, or otherwise, provide optimal customer service in a timely manner. As an organization committed to service excellence, this would be unacceptable. We needed a better way to ensure this would not happen.”


DentaQuest Context

Before NeoLoad, performance testing was time-consuming, and produced inconsistent results.

    • Controller/agent communication would break causing the unnecessary and inconvenient reality of having to re-test.
    • Tests would time out as quickly as they were kicked off, thus creating repeated, time-consuming attempts to execute.
    • Script maintenance was also time-consuming. At least once a month when scripts would be updated, DentaQuest experienced similar time delays.
    • When completed, report results were varied. A significant issue for Satija, which left the team continually questioning whether spikes were real or fake.
    • Without a firm grasp of “regular” performance, SLA establishment was not possible. This absence, particularly with regard to response time, kept the team from ever believing a “shift further left” was attainable.
    • Most importantly, the test/re-test continuum to no avail, prevented IT from the undivided attention needed to support the company-wide embrace of migrating customer service transaction management to Salesforce.

NeoLoad to the Rescue -> Providing DentaQuest the Proper Support of its Agile Framework

As part of its evaluation to keep the current tool vs. fresh start with an industry-leader, DentaQuest cites NeoLoad’s budget friendliness and ability to cover their full business stack with ease as key determinants.

Working under a weekly release schedule, DentaQuest seamlessly aligned NeoLoad with its existing use of Dynatrace for APM (another critical solution requirement for DentaQuest). Performance and load testing focused on the vital claims processing/customer service call-handling application.

      • “With our old tool, releases were sometimes pushed as we could not complete performance testing on-time. Now, we have performance testing complete even earlier then when manual testing is done… We’re also not chasing the false positive test results we were used to seeing,” says Satija. The upshot to this, the DentaQuest team has the valuable ability to take on projects such as the Salesforce implementation without having to squeeze more hours out of the day.
      • According to Satija, other benefits include, “faster scripting, maintenance with correlation and extraction; reports are comprehensive and clearly pinpoint any issues.” This includes the comparison report view “allowing us to see builds side-by-side…

We have also not seen any communication breakdown between controller/agent, which is a big win.”

        In terms of speed estimate, DentaQuest estimates a “>50% faster run time using NeoLoad vs. the legacy solution.”

      • The team also feels very comfortable with their ability to easily scale with the projected growth volumes upwards of 20%.

As the DentaQuest team considers the next chapter in their performance testing practices with NeoLoad as key contributor, they feel confident that the increased productivity, testing speed and quality will allow a more proactive role in SLA creation and attainment. Having the comfort in knowing that Neotys training and support is always a phone call away will go a long way in helping them realize the desired “shift further left” state.

Dental Insurance
USA – Massachusetts