Customer stories

citizens-energy-group-customers-imageCitizens Energy Group

Saves time and effort, and keeps technical staff focused on strategic objectives by enabling business users to test mission-critical software


About Citizens Energy Group

Citizens Energy Group is a broad-based utility service company, providing natural gas, thermal energy, water, and wastewater services to about 900,000 people and thousands of businesses in the Indianapolis, IN area.

  • Population served:
  • Founded:



  • Manually smoke testing new releases of critical applications took around 20 hours.
  • Software testing was stealing time and focus from strategic projects.


  • Working with OpenText and iLAB to deploy UFT One for functional testing.
  • Automating and streamlining existing manual tests.


  • 92.5% reduced time to execute testing
  • Empowered business experts to accomplish tech goals
  • 75% reduced time required to create test scripts


  • Manually testing software was taking too long and stealing focus
  • Software testing represented an inefficient use of budget and resources

To minimize the risk of wasteful, costly, and potentially dangerous leaks of natural gas, Citizens rigorously inspects and monitors its extensive network of pipelines and valves. In addition to assuring the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to customers, this work helps Citizens comply with the US Federal Government’s Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. The organization uses an Esri application called ArcGIS Field Maps to help its field operatives plan, manage, and report on their inspections. Field Maps is integrated with other geospatial apps in the Esri portfolio to help Citizens issue alerts and execute remediation activities in the event of a significant leak.

John Anderson, manager of IT PMO at Citizens Energy Group, said, “Public safety is paramount to Citizens, and Field Maps is a vital link in the chain, helping our field technicians plan their inspections efficiently and report back on any issues. As with any other software product, there are ongoing updates and fixes, and these need to be thoroughly tested to ensure that new releases work as expected right away. Within a broader initiative around automation, we wanted to streamline the testing process for Field Maps.”

Joe McKamey, CSM - IT product owner GIS at Citizens Energy Group, added, “Testing software requires time, effort and skill. Manually smoke testing new releases of Field Maps took around 20 hours and stole time and focus from more strategically important projects. This was not an efficient use of our budget or resources.”

Through test automation, Citizens aimed to reduce the need for software engineers to get involved in routine testing, driving shorter cycle times and higher quality with less human effort.

citizens energy group quote image

With UFT One, a person who understands the business process can develop effective test scripts even if they have no software-engineering skills whatsoever.

Joe McKamey
CSM - IT Product Owner GIS, USA


To help its software testers save time and effort, and to keep technical staff focused on strategic objectives, Citizens Energy chose OpenText™ UFT One for the streamlining and automation of functional testing.

Product deployed:

  • UFT One

    Accelerates and simplifies end-to-end functional testing by automating tests for enterprise apps using embedded AI-based capabilities.

Choosing a new functional testing solution

Citizens engaged iLAB, a worldwide leader in software quality assurance, to help find a test automation solution for Field Maps. Kevin Copple, director, Technology and Support Services at iLAB, said, “We used Gartner’s Magic Quadrant to identify the leading contenders, and we studied 19 projects over the course of a month before shortlisting OpenText™ UFT One and one other product as the only two capable of meeting the functional requirements. When measured in terms of price, usability and flexibility, UFT One was the clear winner. A further advantage was the option to deploy on-prem: Citizens’ security requirements essentially ruled out a SaaS deployment.”

UFT One is an AI-powered functional testing tool that works across desktop, web, mobile, mainframe, composite, and packaged enterprise-grade applications. Following a rapid implementation, iLAB personnel started developing test scripts and transferring skills to business users at Citizens. “With UFT One, a person who understands the business process can develop effective test scripts even if they have no software-engineering skills whatsoever,” said Joe McKamey. “In other words, rather than taking an engineer away from another project and explaining the business process to them, the person who knows the product can build the scripts themselves. That makes for much shorter cycle times, so that field operatives can use the new software in production without delay.”

Streamlining and automating tests

Wherever possible, iLAB has broken down the existing manual tests into smaller, simpler test actions. The automation scripts then call multiple actions in sequence, assembling them into more complex frameworks. This atomized approach provides basic test building blocks that can be reassembled to meet any new requirement. It also makes test scripts far easier to maintain. Instead of laboriously making the same change to multiple scripts, Citizen can update a single action and have it automatically propagate to all scripts that call on that action.

iLAB is now working to transfer the use of UFT One to the internal team at Citizens; business users at Citizens will soon be largely autonomous in using the solution to manage testing for Field Maps.

UFT One has already delivered great benefits in speed and reusability, and has helped free up our engineers to focus their expertise on other projects.

John Anderson
Manager of IT PMO, USA


Through faster and more efficient functional testing with UFT One, Citizens Energy can focus its technical specialists on strategically important projects.

92.5% reduced time to execute testing

The introduction of UFT One significantly accelerated the testing of Field Maps. Manual testing that previously took 20 hours to complete is now automatically executed within just an hour and a half; a 92.5 percent reduction. What’s more, testing typically involves just a single person, versus multiple people before UFT One.

Empowered business experts to accomplish technology goals

“In addition to completing tests faster, we have empowered the business people who understand the application logic to handle tasks that previously required an engineer,” said John Anderson. “That’s much more efficient for the organization as a whole, and it means we can focus our internal talents on the most appropriate and beneficial activities.”

UFT One gives Citizens far greater flexibility in testing, because the organization is no longer dependent on engineers with specialist technical skills. Business users can rapidly develop scripts that work seamlessly across multiple platforms. And if a small issue emerges – perhaps a single action that fails in a 100-line test – the organization can call in a software engineer to resolve that specific action in a very targeted way. “With UFT One, you don’t just get AI and natural-language interpretation, you also have the option to use a traditional coded environment that would be more familiar to a software engineer,” said Kevin Copple.

The automation of testing will improve software quality over time by enabling more tests to be executed within the same timeframes, and by reducing the possibility of human error. UFT One automatically preserves a full audit trail with screenshots, reducing the compliance burden on human testers and increasing the scalability of the testing process.

75% reduced time required to create test scripts

Based on iLAB’s experience with UFT One, developing an AI-based, OCR-powered script takes on average about 25 percent of the time required to develop a traditional object-based script. And thanks to the atomized approach based on test actions, whenever something changes, Citizens will be able to find and update a handful of relevant base actions, rather than having to manually update potentially hundreds of complex test scripts. With UFT One, testing scripts are also naturally resilient to minor changes in the software being tested. For example, if the order of objects – such as fields on a web page – changes, the software is able to scan the page, find the displaced element, and continue without interruption.

iLAB took advantage of the Insight feature of UFT One to enable scripts to recognize application objects based on what they look like rather than based on properties that are part of their design. For an item such as a logo embedded in a background image, which may not be successfully identified as an ordinary image or as text, UFT One can identify and validate it as an InsightObject. “InsightObject is really useful because it gives us the flexibility to compare a screenshot with the targeted image to make sure that the application is representing what’s supposed to be on screen at that time,” said Joe McKamey.

On iLAB’s recommendation, Citizens invested in concurrent licenses for UFT One, so that it can share the software between different users and projects more easily. This gives the organization the option to use the OpenText solution across the rest of its Esri portfolio and other applications in the future, or for testing its back-end infrastructure. John Anderson concluded, “UFT One has already delivered great benefits in speed and reusability, and has helped free up our engineers to focus their expertise on other projects. The solution enables the people who understand the business side of things to accomplish what they need on the technology side. We’d like to extend these capabilities across the organization, so that we can maximize the speed and efficiency of software testing.”