Gain efficiency with CAI's automated test data management process
Today’s cruise ships are essentially floating cities, providing services and functions from nearly every industry – utilities, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, telecommunications. Most ships in service today rely heavily on technology to provide such a disparate array of services. It’s the cruise liner’s responsibility to integrate these services and technologies for a seamless customer experience.
A leading cruise line actively used more than 100 applications across four brands and 13 ship classes. These applications are critical for daily shipboard operations, helping employees manage among other things embarkation turnstiles, point-of-sale systems, property management systems, digital door keys, temperature and light controls, and the delivery of up to 80,000 meals a day across the fleet.
These applications require a great deal of testing. The cruise company recognized they needed to bring modernization and rationalization to their tech stack. They wanted an agile testing environment to enable product teams to test new digital and legacy technologies across multiple ship classes and multiple brands.
The company turned to CAI to provide an infrastructure and application support team with an application modernization and agile service management solution. CAI helped expand and maintain a Cisco VMware environment called the Shipboard Test Lab that enables more than 20 teams to test new and legacy technologies across the fleet’s brands and ships. The Shipboard Test Lab is a 2,400 square foot interactive end-point testing lab that simulates and integrates stateroom functions, such as lighting, thermostat, door locks, and televisions, as well as core shipboard systems such as point-of-sale, embarkation, and property management systems. The infrastructure and network solution allows product teams to simulate an end-to-end ship-like guest experience, which CAI calls its “Test Like a Guest” initiative.
It also automates the test data management process, which transitions guest data from the shoreside reservation system to the shipboard property management system. The Test Lab allows rationalization and scalability across the company’s test environments and brings the hardware capabilities current with ship-like settings to provide the ability to build out on-demand environments and manage capacity for growth.
Because the Shipboard Test Lab has created high-velocity throughput for more efficient solution delivery, teams can now test functionality before it goes into an individual ship’s environment, which streamlines production and provides a much-needed end-to-end perspective. While the team completed only 338 items in the second quarter of 2018, it completed 652 items in the second quarter of 2019, nearly doubling its throughput for the year.
CAI’s automated test data management process also saves 45 man-hours per week, the equivalent of 2,340 hours per year, freeing up a full resource to support additional product team testing. And, because the Shipboard Test Lab allows the infrastructure resources to be used across the entire organization, the cruise line saved further investment of $1.3 million for testing and saw major improvements in deployments and customer experience as a result.