Many companies responded to COVID-19 by rapidly accelerating the development of capabilities—particularly secure remote operations. Not only did this response provide quick wins that turned skeptical managers into believers, but it also gave industries a head start in making remote operations more autonomous. With this shift toward increased automation came a greater need for customizable and flexible testing for network equipment manufacturers. Kyrio’s FlexTest answers that call, simplifying the testing and certification process by introducing automated remote testing to expedite a product’s time to market.
FlexTest is an orchestration platform that makes it possible to automate remote access to and scheduling of all Kyrio test equipment, network access head ends and supplementary systems, as well as our expanding test automation systems and pipelines. Built on top of Kyrio’s existing 20,000-square-foot labs and state-of-the-art data center, the platform revolutionizes current certification models. Instead of testing that takes place only once, FlexTest allows for testing in any phase of broadband product development and maintenance. This reduces friction and ensures validation of hardware and software—before and after launch.
With FlexTest, service operators and their suppliers are provided with their own Lab-as-a-Service engine that’s automated, orchestrated and available anytime from anywhere. FlexTest provides extensive and flexible testing capabilities for products and services, helping Kyrio clients take advantage of the latest trends in automation strategies.
You can read more below about how FlexTest works and how you can work with Kyrio to get started. But first, consider how the need for automation and DevOps orchestration has grown in recent years and what that could mean for us going forward.
Evolving Automation Trends
Hyper-automation was first included in Gartner’s 2020 Automation Trends Report. The research and consulting firm defines it as “the effective combination of complementary sets of tools that can integrate functional and process silos to automate and augment business processes.” Much of what was said in those 2020 predictions has changed, mainly because organizations have accelerated their automation strategies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Two key converging factors:
- Economic uncertainty has led organizations to reduce spending and focus on operational efficiencies.
- Despite overall cost reductions, spending for digital transformation has increased as organizations rapidly adapt their workflows, services and business models.
Now, organizations are leveraging next-generation platforms to automate as much as possible. By removing human interventions and delays, organizations can reduce human error and make processes more efficient.
We’re currently experiencing an evolution away from automation scripting and toward automation pipelines and continuous testing. Overall, automating processes end to end means fewer resources are needed to complete the process—an advantage for organizations needing to reduce operational costs while accelerating new services.
As of 2020, 31 percent of businesses had fully automated at least one function, according to a report from McKinsey & Company. Increasingly, sophisticated software workflow engines are enabling companies to automate almost any type of horizontal business or engineering process, including software and hardware-related products.
In 2021, another Gartner study predicted that, through 2024, enhancements in analytics and automatic remediation capabilities would re-focus 30 percent of IT operations efforts from support to continuous engineering.
DevOps, the term most often used to identify continuous integration and continuous delivery or deployment, came about from operations teams partnering with development teams to improve technology deployments, stability and reliability.
Automating the development, building, testing and merging of code allows companies to exponentially increase the value produced by each of those necessary activities that are otherwise being run independently. The result is not only an increased return on investment (ROI) for engineering teams and their processes but also a dramatic reduction of risks, allowing for a rapid cadence for deployments to production—and, ultimately, a greater probability of delighting end customers in the shortest amount of time possible.
A result of enabling more DevOps is the need for full-pipeline support, beyond just functional automation, which now includes activities like security, accessibility testing and performance.
Orchestration is the automation of a process or workflow involving many steps across disparate systems. When you start building automation into your processes, you can then orchestrate them for scheduling, technical resource allocation and automatic execution. Once implemented, these platforms streamline and optimize frequently occurring processes, workflows and technical assets, directly supporting a DevOps strategy.
These platforms also help developers to build, run, schedule and monitor complex pipelines. They offer quality managers and test engineers the ability to maximize the readiness and use of existing—or fewer—lab resources and licenses and to reduce test cycle times, while simultaneously adding new complex testing strategies and increasing test coverage in each domain.
The 2022 Global State of IT Automation Report from Stonebranch and the IEEE reveals that 88 percent of enterprises plan to grow their investment in automation and orchestration this year. In today’s world of complex and distributed systems and deployments, with or without demands to compress operational expenses, orchestration quickly becomes a need rather than a want.
Considering these evolving trends and growing needs in automation and orchestration, it’s clear that the need for an optimized testing and certification solution like FlexTest has also grown.
How FlexTest Works
With FlexTest, customers ship a device directly to Kyrio. Devices are then checked in and connected to a test bench. Through the web portal, customers can easily select and schedule specific tests, or entire test campaigns, with full visibility of the testing process while reviewing detailed results in real time or upon completion. In addition, these devices can remain at Kyrio for any future testing, such as software updates or field escalation troubleshooting.
It’s really that simple, and the benefits are many.
FlexTest can boost capacity by expanding a team’s capabilities, allowing for multiple devices to be tested under various network configurations and leveraging automation capabilities that Kyrio develops and maintains. And, of course, FlexTest makes testing possible for organizations that don’t have their own capabilities for testing.
FlexTest can increase the speed of the testing process by having suppliers come to Kyrio first for test plans validating deployment configurations and scenarios. FlexTest also utilizes automated processes and pipelines to reduce the time required to test and deploy devices over time. The platform leverages the orchestration of network equipment configurations in an automated process.
Finally, FlexTest can even help Kyrio customers avoid capital expenses by reducing or removing the need for spending on test equipment, lab resources, test management and automation platforms.
Working With Kyrio
With more than 1,500 devices certified, resulting in 2.3 billion units shipped since 2001, Kyrio is the most trusted source for network equipment testing. We use global standards and have received worldwide accreditations to test devices in real network environments, ensuring high-quality products and services that guarantee a competitive edge.
It’s easy to see why automation simply makes sense. If your organization can’t do it on its own, partner with a solution and service provider like Kyrio to leverage this industry-centric approach and maximize your engineering investments.