Shove off, Excel

Plutora hopes to ease test environment woes

Lucy Carey

Enterprise management software provider releases souped-up tool to help companies take control of test environments.


Francisco-based Enterprise SaaS provider

which specialises in enterprise release management software, added
an update of cloud based tool ‘
Test Environment Manager
’ to its
repertoire last week.

For the uninitiated, this on demand application
does exactly what it says on the tin, providing organizations
transparency and control of their test environments, helping them
to better manage and control their test environments to support

Plutora Director Dalibor Siroky and his team
originally conceived the platform in a bid to help slice the time
lost in testing – around 30-40 percent of which he estimates is
related to challenges or problems in individual environments. A
considerable task considering that every delay caused by
environmental problems in their ecosystems can run up
collateral costs of around $100,000 (Aus) a day for

Ultimately, with the development of Environment
Manager, Siroky hoped to remedy  the lost productivity brought
on by “spreadsheet sprawl and poor collaboration between delivery
and operational teams.”

Anyone with a claim to be able to cut these
levels of expenditure is bound to attract attention, and indeed,
since the platform update officially went live last week, Siroky’s
office has received a healthy volume of calls from clients eager to
take it for a test drive.

Having started worked as a consultant on large
scale IT projects, before moving on to a role as a CIO at an
investment bank, Siroky is well aware of the issues facing large
scale testing environments. When the bottom went out of the systems
banking market, he took the opportunity to branch into the world of
startups, working with a group of similarly experienced tech
colleagues to, as he puts it, “solve this problem that we’re trying
to solve on a day to day basis within the organisations that we’ve
worked in previously”.

Once they’d established what they wanted to do
with Plutora, the founders pooled their knowledge, taking what
they’d learnt from working in environments as diverse as banks, a
utility company, and a telecommunications company, and “ basically
started cutting code”. A devs team was hired to architect the
team’s first product, and building commenced, greatly bolstered by
the strong market connections within the fledgling

Siroky explains that they were able to “validate
a lot of our thinking very early on”. It was very easy for Plutora
to talk to a CTO or development team lead, or lead developers or
architects in a number of organisations, and, he says, “when we
actually got to release the product, we had a lot of validation,
and it was very market driven in the way that we developed
it”. This profound
understanding of the market greatly helped in the conception and
delivery of the Test Enterprise Manager. 

Siroky explains that his platform effectively
builds a forge schedule around those testing environments. “It
provides them with the configuration around those test environments
to ensure that the right environment is at the right place at the
right time and from a technical perspective, the way that we do
that is that we very clearly match the release requirements, the
configuration, the versioning, the application code, very specific
to what the actual release would require”.

Although Siroky can’t disclose the big name
entities that his company is working with, he hints that some very
large scale financial institutions indeed have been working with
Plutora to manage their applications. It’s thanks to working with
these market leaders that Plutora have been able to confirm that
their product is up to scratch, and after three months of testing,
and confirmation that the release is “really good” from their
customers, Plutora felt confident enough to make a full
announcement of  Test Environment Manager 2.0.

Perhaps what makes Plutora’s new addition to its
clutch of SaaS solutions most unique is the fact that it’s taken a
process which was traditionally done by most of their clients using
relatively basic methods on to a much slicker plane.

Slightly incredulously, Siroky reaffirms his
surprise that release management is still, at the enterprise level,
done on spreadsheets. He explains that, at worst, “a lot of the
time when an app gets pushed out, its a manual provisioning
process, done on spreadsheets…with no system to manage that”.
Siroky proudly notes that Plutora have now “industrialised” the
process – and hopefully helped IT departments save a few hundred
thousand dollars along the way.


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