Some years ago, companies were focused on optimizing operational processes, meanwhile, leaving the work on procurement, personnel, customer relationships, and more in the background. Considering the gravity of both internal and external activities, improving all in-house operations has become a clue to the maintenance of a competitive position in the market.
ERP systems turned out to be pervasive means of improving business processes. Statista’s report indicates that the world ERP software market revenue will reach $43 billion by 2021.
According to business needs and goals, companies opt for various ERP systems. Acumatica is a common platform amid small and mid-sized organizations. However, its implementation is not enough to be confident in data integrity and its stable operation. By applying software testing, companies can assure the systems are running like clockwork.
Otherwise, adverse consequences may emerge. For instance, due to some errors in the software, namely the lack of notification to the employee, an appointment with the client might be disrupted. In its turn, these issues affect the entire business and may lead to reputation decline.
How to avoid such cases? Read the article to explore the QA role in ERP systems’ flawless operation and its effective performance.
What if not to test ERP systems?
These platforms supervise all processes within the company — from procurement and delivery to financial transactions. They cover a great amount of information about products, employees, and customers.
With the advent of new technologies, many companies are shifting to the cloud storage. As Panorama’s survey on the ERP systems implementation and support showcases, over 60% of ERP software, including Acumatica, work with cloud technologies.
When implementing such a system, it is vital to ensure safe data migration to the cloud, as it may contain confidential information. Due to possible bottlenecks, the software is highly susceptible to cyber incidents up to intellectual property theft. Therefore, security is one of the essential issues under consideration.
Within massive blocks of information, businesses should keep data integrity and accuracy to prevent inconsistencies in the future. Other way, it may affect, for example, the volume of purchases that impact on the budget.
Data storing plays a pivotal role in introducing an Acumatica ERP system. Erratic data entry can impede business processes requiring extra time to regulate the issue.
To set a certain format and structure of a system, you need to take care of it in advance. Companies use big data technologies to address the challenge. Proper operation is another difficulty. Make sure whether the information is distributed among the corresponding databases assigned to particular activities.
Considering ERP software like Acumatica works with other platforms and browsers, appropriate integration should be carried out. It’s important to check its compatibility to dodge problems or lack of functioning at all. Aiming to add corporate software, also verify the interaction between them and all modules of the system.
ERP solutions process numerous activities every day and may operate 24/7. Due to such frequent and vast usage, the server can be overloaded. So, companies are to examine the system’s response to a heavy load: whether data is saved after recovery, whether some information is deleted during a failure, and many more.
Therefore, to leverage the Acumatica system and other ERP software with confidence pushing fear aside, you need to concern its reliability and avert all possible failure scenarios.
Holistic approach to ERP systems testing
Despite the differences in internal process management systems, a1qa’s experts recommend performing thorough testing of ERP software that covers all aspects and risks.
Once QA engineers have studied the documentation and business logic of the system, they proceed with the testing activities. Specialists verify the entire functionality in accordance with the requirements and identify defects. Before the new functionality is released, the QA team performs regression testing to check whether the changes didn’t affect the previously developed features. To make sure bugs are fixed, they conduct defect validation.
For Acumatica systems and other ERP solutions, it is crucial to check correct data storage both during migration and in the system itself. So, alongside functional tests, QA engineers review the data: proper distribution to databases, correct usage, information compliance with the previous storage.
According to Panorama’s survey, about 30% of respondents are concerned about the risk of data breaches when introducing an ERP system. Two reasons are prevalent: the lack of information from cloud solutions (16%) and potential data loss (9%).
Security testing can help protect the ERP system from such cyber incidents. Harnessing penetration testing, experts simulate the actions of malusers, thereby checking the system for vulnerabilities.
In most cases, companies integrate ERP systems with ready-made software that increases the risk of malfunction. Therefore, system’s behavior is unpredictable. a1qa’s experts advise performing integration testing to identify defects and ensure stable operation of the platforms.
Moreover, you may embed additional functionality, such as an electronic signature, in the Acumatica systems and other ERP solutions. Here, the QA specialists check how the digital signature works with various documents, who can sign them, and what statuses the signed papers acquire.
A large number of data operations that are continuously carried out and numerous ERP modules can cause server restart or crash. Through load testing, one can evaluate the behavior of the system under the expected load. Stress testing determines the peak number of simultaneous sessions and evaluates the stability of the software product.
When executing performance testing, a1qa’s specialists use a behavioral approach, simulating end-user actions and setting test conditions as close as possible to real ones.
The engineers write automated tests for the frequent checks, the business logic of which is subjected to rare changes, such as regression cases. So, it saves time for testing, thereby reducing iteration.
Besides, the execution speed of the autotests exceeds one of the manual checks. Within large data sets of the Acumatica system and other ERP solutions, automatic tests detect errors faster and minimize the human factor.
Testing automation also allows QA engineers to focus on performing other types of testing that are only executed manually, such as UI, UX, exploratory, ad-hoc, and others.
Effective QA for an ERP system
Performance is affected by a number of factors, including the methodology on the project. The most pervasive approach in the IT industry is Agile.
The main reasons for implementing Agile methods include accelerating time-to-market, managing rapidly changing priorities, improving productivity, and more.
However, the introduction and testing of ERP systems require another tactic. One of the best options is a combination of long-standing planning with traditional Waterfall methodology and short-term planning and task tracking using Agile practices. This scheme allows achieving the desired results and combining strategic objectives and adaptability.
A team with the necessary skillset is another indicator of effective testing. When onboarding specialists on a project, it is essential to conduct an introductory course so that QA engineers get acquainted with the requirements and business logic and further promptly realize the ERP system’s principles.
There are two variants of attracting QA talents: organize an in-house testing team or contact outsourcing companies. If you want to focus on higher-priority tasks, then hiring a dedicated team is one of the ways out of the situation.
Therefore, setting a well-defined approach and a testing strategy, including a QA team, paves the way for deriving planned outcomes and conducting efficient testing with minimal costs.
In a highly competitive IT market, companies are forced to optimize not only production processes, but also all internal operations by implementing ERP systems.
Thorough testing is a go-to means that ensures software soundness and stable operation, as compromising on quality may lead to repercussions in the process management, budget, and reputation of the business.
A comprehensive QA bundle — functional, performance, security, integration testing, and test automation — allows detecting software defects before go-live, eliminating them, and maintaining a competitive advantage.
Need help with quality assurance of ERP systems? Get in touch with us to have a consultation with a1qa’s experts.