I wrote the first Panaya customer case study in 2010. More than 50 case studies later, Panaya is still evolving and I’m doing my best to keep up.
To be honest, I am generally wary of software product announcements. Usually such announcements are either iterative in nature, or traumatic to customers. I see this launch differently, so I decided to deviate from my avoidance of product launches and write this blog post.
Panaya was a cloud vendor long before cloud was an analyst catch phrase. Panaya customers are already used to having cloud access to Panaya, and they are used to having features added at the pace cloud software can deliver.
So I can knock customer trauma off the list of launch concerns. One piece of interesting news from the Quality Management Cloud launch jumped out at me: Panaya has now extended its cloud solutions to include not only Oracle and SAP, but Salesforce.com. This will take some industry watchers by surprise, because the stereotype is that SaaS solutions don’t require any Q/A resources. That’s not necessarily the case. Change analysis is a given. Over time, customizations add up. Version control can be an issue.
It’s unavoidable: testing is a reality of life for the enterprise – whether you’re on-premise, cloud, or, more than likely, hybrid. When you consider the consumerization of IT, the burning question is: When are testing tools going to follow suit? When are we going to have testing solutions lightweight enough for business users to grab onto, without the intensive training business users simply don’t have time for?
That’s where cloud has not had much impact – yet. Panaya is determined to change that, and I see these announcements as evidence of that determination. When Panaya refers to Cloud Wisdom, in my view, they are upping the ante on what they’ve been doing for years: aggregating Q/A know-how and putting that collective intelligence back into their solutions for SAP, Oracle, and now, Salesforce.com customers.
Bloggers like me warn customers about ‘false clouds,’ or ‘cloud washing.’ I see something different here. In this case, cloud is not just a way of accessing Panaya’s applications – it’s about making those applications continuously smarter from collective use. That’s a characteristic folks like me look for in true cloud solutions. But it’s not about the technology for its own sake – it’s about an improved customer experience.
For longer than I’ve known Panaya, I’ve seen IT departments struggling with the maintenance chores of enterprise software. It’s not just the big upgrades – thousands of patches and enhancements bog down IT shops. The lazy assumption is that IT is out of step with the business. But the truth is more unsettling: most IT leaders do see the urgency of collaborating with business. But they rarely have the time. When you’re caught up in system maintenance, you’re stuck under the hood of the car while others plot the journey ahead.
I see Panaya as one of the few companies that really attacks that problem, helping IT to reduce “maintenance mode” time, freeing IT teams to focus on business-relevant projects – at least most of the time.
I wasn’t always sure about this. But I’ve heard from enough Panaya customers who have been able to improve the IT/business relationship that I’m now persuaded: IT change is possible, even in complex legacy environments. (Most of the interviews I’ve conducted with Panaya’s customers took place without a Panaya employee on the line, giving me the chance to ask them anything – which of course I did).
Look, none of this is easy. I don’t believe in magic technology dust you can sprinkle on corporate problems. But when an IT team can move from “We’re years behind on patches,” to “We finally have a structure for patching and testing that works,” then they are in the game.
In recent years, Panaya has taken this further. Its collaborative testing solutions (along with functional testing support), offer IT, Q/A, and business an integrated testing process. Business users are vital to successful testing – but guess what? They hate the clunky testing tools of yesteryear.
We’re now into the first generation of testing tools that are truly business user-friendly. I am looking forward to hearing what customers have to say about it.
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