Rigorous testing ensures delivery of Orange Wednesday


Sopra Steria is now Orange's largest UK-based testing partner. We have been working with Orange since February 2003 and, during this time, have helped amongst other things to develop a risk-based testing approach.


In addition, Sopra Steria has provided a flexible team of test managers, analysts and engineers that Orange can use to assist with projects, as and when required.  The Orange Wednesday service underwent rigorous testing to ensure successful deployment:

Telecoms giant, Orange, says rigorous testing helped ensure the seamless delivery of its Orange Wednesday campaign. Orange Wednesday is an offer exclusively open to Orange customers offering them one '2 for 1' cinema ticket every Wednesday.

Through a marketing-led campaign, Orange entered into an agreement with the Cinema Marketing Association (CMA) to make this offer available at 459 cinemas throughout the UK.  The system operates by customers dialling 241 on their Orange phone.

Orange then sends an SMS, to the customer which they present to the cinema teller. The code is then captured into a redemption terminal provided by Orange.  The server verifies the voucher and provides the customer with two tickets for the price of one. Weekly reports are generated to provide both Orange and the CMA with required campaign and statistical information.

To develop the system, Orange outsourced this work to a specialist IT company who developed the application off-site. Orange asked its testing partner, Sopra Steria, who were already working in-house, to manage the testing process and ensure the third party developed the application strictly to Orange standards.

"The return on quality, set in terms of Orange's reputation and integrity, was seen on day one. Given that there was a defect discovered within the system during the trial stages, reflects how important thorough testing is in delivering a system that is 'fit for purpose'. The integration of the Orange service is paramount, to ensure that the technology delivers first time, every time to very high standards." Paul Bevan, Validation and Test Manager for Orange

One of the key requirements was that the service had to be delivered to a very tight timescale as a specific launch date of 31 March had been agreed with the CMA. As Orange couldn't risk its reputation by releasing a service that might be faulty, testing was seen as an integral part of development life cycle of the project. Working in conjunction with Orange and the third party, Sopra Steria ensured that the testing process was carried out to the highest quality standards throughout the project lifecycle. This covered:

  • Preliminary Acceptance Testing
  • Integration testing to ensure the third party software and Orange software worked seamlessly
  • Testing of the WAP and IVR links
  • Full end-to-end testing to ensure that every stage of the process worked seamlessly together

Before the go live date, Orange conducted two weeks of trial testing involving Orange employees. This allowed the system to be thoroughly tested and ensured it was robust. Since going live the system has run smoothly with only three minor defects being discovered. On average, 10,000 vouchers are requested each week, with up to 80% between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on a Wednesday, with around 60% of these being redeemed at cinemas.