NXP (National Express Products) is a product sourcing and distribution company with nearly 70 years’ experience in New Zealand. From humble beginnings as a regional stationery supplier, the organisation now has operations across Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and is the largest supplier of business and cleaning products to corporate and government sectors.
“DXC took the project on and in the end, we went live five days ahead of schedule, with no customer disruption and volumes traded more than 10% up during Q1.”
Joe Taylor Chief executive officer, NXP
With a mission to deliver sustainable workplace solutions, the company is committed to helping companies, big or small, to find cost efficiencies through broad single source and custom supply chain services. Having recently rebranded, the company is now 100% New Zealand owned.
When NXP was recently sold by its parent company it was tasked with transitioning its operations onto new IT systems within a six month period. NXP’s CEO, Joe Taylor, says many of the company’s existing partners declined to assist in the separation exercise.
“They said it couldn’t be done in that timeframe without affecting revenue or customer experience.”DXC Technology was selected by NXP to support its requirements.
In only four months, DXC successfully undertook the complex business separation for NXP, which included data migration and a full SAP landscape implementation on Microsoft Azure.
“DXC took the project on and in the end, we went live five days ahead of schedule, with no customer disruption and volumes traded more than 10% up during Q1,” says Taylor.
Once separated NXP would be in competition with its previous parent company. This created a need for stringent data confidentiality between the two entities during the data migration process.
NXP’s IT environment was complex and included the following SAP solutions: ECC6, CRM, BW, BOBJ, Ariba, Enterprise Portal, Solution Manager, Content Server, WebMethods, as well as Stibo STEP, Adobe Document Server, and NXP’s custom built e-commerce website.
Key to the success of the project was DXC’s recommendation to use Qualibrate, a three-in-one cloud solution that transforms and accelerates the way teams test and document software and train end users. Equally crucial was the use of Datavard’s automation tools to streamline selective data separation for SAP ECC, CRM and SAP BW.
Smarter, faster project delivery
The six-month project timeline required DXC to set up new IT infrastructure on Microsoft Azure’s cloud-based platform, build up the new NXP SAP environment and migrate all relevant master and transactional data, configuration, custom code and organisational structures. The transition to the new landscape had to be seamless for both NXP and its customers.
As part of the project, DXC had six weeks to set up a test automation framework and to execute functional, regression and performance testing prior to go-live.
In order to meet the tight deadline, DXC adopted new implementation methods and technologies, and a range of accelerator tools to speed up data migration and testing.
Datavard tools support smooth transition
As part of the separation, DXC deployed Datavard data transformation tools to identify the legal structures, telex the relevant data and ensure a smooth data carve out of NXP’s parent’s SAP systems and the surrounding IT landscape.
Datavard’s proven technologies accelerated the transformation and ensured a low risk approach. Specifically, they allowed for all historical data, customised entries, master data and open items to be converted with minimal effort and minimal impact on business users. Using Datavard, data was preselected, harmonised on the fly and reporting integrity was maintained.
Qualibrate enables agility
A key part of the project was to provide NXP with the ability to create, test and implement new processes in response to changing business demands.
Using Qualibrate, DXC was able to run the first fully automated regression test cycle only 15 business days after starting the test work stream. The testing was undertaken by a team of four NXP business users. In total, 558 level three processes were recorded, automated and included in the regression test set, representing 95 percent of all NXP’s level three processes. Leading towards the project end date, Qualibrate tested more than 90 end-to-end business scenarios every night, allowing the team to analyse and solve defects the next working day.
NXP can now test changes it makes to business processes much more rapidly as Qualibrate dramatically reduces the time it takes to build, maintain and execute fully automated regression testing — reducing testing time from weeks to overnight. Performing a full regression test in such a short timeframe ensures that each process change can be fully tested against all business scenarios to ensure it has no impact on any of the company’s other transactions.
“Qualibrate paves the way for us to adopt more agile development methodologies,” says Taylor. “We will be able to make changes to meet a particular market need on the fly and introduce new processes into our live production environment quicker and with less disruption.”
Qualibrate’s simple widget interface allows non-technical users to record processes and automate software testing. In the separation project, all of NXP’s testing was prepared and completed by four business users, ensuring all processes were automated and tested in the manner they would be used by business users in a real work situation, rather than how the system was designed by consultants.
With functional users operating Qualibrate, not only is testing time reduced but defects are found and fixed quicker. Defects are automatically captured by the system and made available to the developer to solve, negating the need for detailed interactions with, or repeated retesting by, the end user.
When a transaction test is recorded, Qualibrate captures a range of information that can be used for documenting processes, as well as training new users. If a change is made to a transaction, Qualibrate automatically updates that transaction in all the scenarios in which it appears across the system — eliminating the time and effort it takes to update (automated) test scenarios, process documentation and end user trainings.
“Our business is now ready to pursue digital transformation initiatives. We have moved our key IT infrastructure to the cloud, trained new staff to use the software and gained valuable new tools that will expedite the creation, quality assurance and launch of new business processes. And this has all been achieved without any disruption to our day-to-day business operations."
Joe Taylor Chief executive officer, NXP
Qualibrate enables agility
Thanks to DXC, NXP implemented and achieved its desired end state on time and on budget. NXP now has a robust SAP platform with a fully automated regression test platform, built with an architecture designed to support many times its current transaction volumes.
It can now undertake testing rapidly, using less resources in terms of people, infrastructure, and cost. The ability to test 100 percent of its transactions, every time, will result in better quality business processes being brought to market in a much shorter timeframe.
The separation project was achieved with zero downtime for NXP and with no loss of historical sales records or stocking data. Most importantly, the project had no impact on revenue or customers. New customers are now being onboarded seamlessly onto a platform that is fully scalable and ready to respond to volume increases and new company initiatives.“
Our business is now ready to pursue digital transformation initiatives,” says Taylor. “We have moved our key IT infrastructure to the cloud, trained new staff to use the software and gained valuable new tools that will expedite the creation, quality assurance and launch of new business processes. And this has all been achieved without any disruption to our day-to-day business operations.”