DUBLIN, April 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As pay TV operators adopt models of continuous delivery to accelerate new product or feature introductions, they need more reliable ways to test and track the impact of those deployments on customers' experiences in live networks. Today, at S3 Group's second annual StormTest® North American User Group in Philadelphia, S3 Group disclosed that a dozen global pay TV operators are in various stages of trials of its live-network testing system, StormTest Warning Center.
Introduced late last year, Warning Center enables video service providers to execute live-network tests of new video services or features; delivers actionable data on the availability, stability, and performance of consumers' experiences in the field; and provides a continuous feedback loop between development, engineering support and operations teams. According to Capgemini's 2014-2015 World Quality Report, an extensive global research study of quality assurance (QA) and testing practices, 2014 marked the first time that more than half of QA and testing budgets were spent supporting new development initiatives, rather than maintenance activity. This transition is particularly acute in the pay TV industry, according to S3 Group.
"Pay TV operators are essentially becoming software companies, which requires a fundamental restructuring of how they approach product development, testing and service introductions," said John Maguire, Chief Strategy Officer, TV Technology, S3 Group. "For our customers, yesterday's mindset of 'test and launch' is being displaced by a more agile mindset of 'launch and test.'"
Maguire continued: "We're extremely pleased with the immediate market response to StormTest Warning Center. We now have more than a dozen operators across Europe, North America and Asia actively engaged with it, just months after its introduction. Warning Center is enabling our customers to embrace continuous service delivery while ensuring stability and Quality of Experience (QoE)."
Key Attributes of Warning Center
Warning Center is used to test and support new service deployments in live networks, provide automated service validation, and perform remote troubleshooting – all through a collaborative, cloud-based system. For example, operators can run remote test scripts to determine the impact of a new deployment on audio or video quality or reliability, EPG rendering, channel change times, VOD access times, and much more, while triggering alerts for any problems. Key product features include:
- Application Performance Monitoring:
- Track QoE on multiscreen devices through continuous and automated monitoring of performance;
- Facilitate tighter feedback loop with development teams to prevent ongoing interruptions and iterate faster for new service delivery;
- Monitor services on a range of devices including set-top boxes, connected TVs, Android or iOS phones and tablets, and games consoles.
- Insights into Performance and Service Readiness:
- Access to real-time analytics via an easy-to-use portal that provides current and historic views of service behavior and performance;
- Report by software configurations, events, devices, fault types, tested channels, geographic sites, and more.
- Alerts to React to Problems Faster:
- Rules-driven automated testing for service disturbance, performance KPIs, and defect localization;
- Receive notifications when services become unavailable or impact the user experience;
- Provide direct input to issue tracking or project management applications to notify development teams of service impacting issues.
- Probes to Triage Emerging Issues Faster:
- Deliver 24/7 automated performance monitoring at strategic network nodes;
- Provide remote access to connected CPE for troubleshooting;
- Take manual control of set-top boxes, OTT devices or video CPE devices in the field to aid remote diagnosis.
Warning Center is designed to work synergistically with S3 Group's StormTest Development Center, the leading video test automation platform. Whereas Development Center is designed primarily used by development teams to test devices and services in lab environments prior to deployment, Warning Center provides development and operations teams with ongoing test capabilities and feedback from devices and services within a live network.
In the coming weeks, S3 Group will demonstrate its StormTest portfolio, and Mr. Maguire will speak on sessions at TV Connect in London (April 28-30) and ANGA Com in Cologne, Germany (June 9-11). Additional information about Warning Center is available at: www.s3group.com/stormtestwarningcenter.
About S3 Group:
S3 Group is a global leader at enhancing the performance and service readiness of video platforms across connected devices. In both development and production, S3 Group provides unique insights through service validation products and platform integration services for multiscreen deployments. S3 Group has more than 100 customers, across 28 countries, including: Astro, BT, Comcast, Kabel Deutschland, Liberty Global, Mediacom, NAGRA, Swisscom, Time Warner Cable, upc cablecom, RDK Management LLC, Sky, Videotron, and numerous others. Visit www.s3group.com/tv and www.twitter.com/S3Group_tvtech for further information.
SOURCE S3 Group