Frank Lepper | Performance Test Engineer, CSS Versicherung

CSS Insurance Chooses NeoLoad’s Enterprise-grade Load & Performance Testing Platform for their CRM System

CSS Insurance is one of the leading health insurance companies in Switzerland today and has approximately 1.66 million customers to its name. The CSS business is supported by critical applications such as the CSS web customer portal and Oracle Siebel CRM. It’s essential for them to ensure application reliability and speed under load. In order to meet this demand, CSS has recently selected NeoLoad for its testing of their most critical applications prior to production.

Css Context

The core of the system tested is built around three main applications: the CRM application, CSS web portal, and the internal invoicing system.
The CRM system deployed at CSS is heavily customized, and as a result, includes different behavior than the software tested by the vendor in its testing environment. Having certain periods throughout the day seeing a great deal of concurrent users, the risk of performance bottlenecks rises. Performance bottlenecks needed to be identified and fixed. New performance challenges came with necessary changes concerning hardware/interface components. Yet again, realistic load and performance testing were required to limit the risk of decreasing reliability or efficiency.
With 340K active customers and traffic volumes growing at a fast pace, the CSS web portal presents another strategic element for the CSS IT environment (including AngularJS and jQuery). This application, which enables customers to view and manage their account activity, produces expected seasonal traffic spikes in October and November, when, for example, the insurance policy commercial offer calculator is called 300 times an hour (mobile and desktop browser-driven).
The internal invoicing system, which was self-developed in Java, is known to generate significant transactional volume between this and the two others (with three components deeply interconnected).

crm_css

Challenge

CSS was looking for a professional load and performance testing tool that could provide support for all of its technical testing requirements, and enable the organization to:

  • Execute realistic performance tests with the introduction of every new version of the app
  • Leverage load testing to capacity plan for application infrastructure adjustment when necessary
  • Component testing to analyze technical issues

One of the primary challenges for CSS was to find a testing tool that could satisfy their advanced technological need for complex Hessian technology application testing.

Solution

CSS launched a proof of concept (POC) with a shortlist of three solution providers. At the conclusion of the POC, CSS decided to move forward with NeoLoad as it covered all necessary use cases:

  • Testing of standard web technologies like Java, AngularJS, and jQuery
  • Testing of complex Java/Hessian technology implemented within the CRM
  • Testing interfaces: Java Business services, SOAP, REST

Neotys was able to provide a flexible solution using the NeoLoad API to match CSS’ complex use cases. Frank Lepper, Test Engineer at CSS, comments “NeoLoad proved to be the only solution matching all our testing requirements, including the complex scenarios. With Neoload we are able to run and maintain 30+ Testcases on a regular base with 1 FTE”

NeoLoad & APM-Tools

Because application performance is critical to CSS, the organization is monitoring the application in production with a specialized APM-Tool. NeoLoad’s openness enables CSS to leverage this tool to monitor load tests in the pre-production environment. When non-regression performance tests fail, the APM-Tool is used as a complement to NeoLoad’s native monitoring to perform deep-dive, code-level analysis.

Results

  • By using Neoload there is better knowledge about performance and stability of important applications before a new software release is deployed. The risk for performance issues after a new software release is reduced. Be it during normal or peak volume instances, with NeoLoad, CSS has less worry about outages
    • For Lepper, “… this has really helped us improve our customer experience leading to more satisfied customers.”

Next Steps

As CSS is enhancing its agile development methodology, one of their first next steps is to integrate load and performance testing across all current processes. With NeoLoad’s easy-to-use and learn UI, Lepper is convinced that Developers will be able to get up-and-running using NeoLoad quickly, starting their performance tests as early as needed in the development process (component level). Part of this, for the CSS team, is to integrate NeoLoad into the Continuous Integration process.

More generally speaking, CSS is constantly adopting new approaches in terms of digitalization, which can alter the application environment significantly. As a result, performance tests will be crucial to understanding the behavior of all associated interconnected systems pre-production. One more reason why Lepper takes advantage of working with NeoLoad.

Company
CSS Insurance
Industry
Insurance
Employees
2000+
Location
Switzerland

… this has really helped us improve our customer experience leading to more satisfied customers.

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