The folks at Helm360 have been putting their knowledge as a full-service IT company to another use of late, developing products that build on their experience implementing technology solutions for  legal and professional services firms. 

I wrote about one of these products in May, Termi, an AI-enabled chatbot that aims to solve the problems of slow tech adoption and platform fatigue by allowing attorneys and staff to simply ask it natural-language questions or request tasks that they might otherwise have to send to a human assistant or the IT department.

Now, the London and California-based company has launched another product that solves a problem larger firms sometimes face, that of the tedious and time-consuming task of testing a new or upgraded implementation of Elite 3E, the Thomson Reuters financial and practice management platform. 

Helm360’s Elite 3E automated testing tool automates the functional testing of 3E by using the library of some 1,000 test-case scripts Helm360 has developed through its own work with law firms to implement and test 3E.

“Using our tool, firms can say goodbye to tedious, labor-intensive application testing and hello to an automated, one-click action item any team can handle,” said Bim Dave, Helm360 executive vice president, products and services. “This next generation solution makes implementations, upgrades, mergers and data testing faster, easier and worry-free.”

Battle-Tested Scripts

Dave, who recently gave me a demonstration of the new tool, said it transforms how 3E testing is performed by quickly locating system issues and documenting them, complete with screenshots, eliminating the long hours of staff time typically needed to find these issues manually.

“When we came up with the idea for the tool, it was based off some of the experience that we had over the years helping lots of different customers … that went through a long cycle to implement 3E and got hung up in terms of how much effort was required to physically test all of the modules they were going live with,” Dave told me.

“So what that fundamentally translates into is a test case library that we built up over a number of years, which has been battle tested across multiple firms, all different shapes and sizes, all of which implemented 3E successfully as a result of having an extensive QA approach to being able to understand that the software is working correctly for them.”

Features of the tool include:

  • Accelerated testing that can transform the process from a manual one that takes weeks to an automated and repeatable one that can be done in hours.
  • Reusable reporting that enables IT teams to benchmark their application’s weak spots and customizations, making future implementations and upgrades more efficient. The tool’s reports completely document core business processes, including screenshots showing step-by-step interactions within the 3E product.
  • A test case library developed and proven through years of Helm360’s work implementing 3E at some of the world’s largest law firms. Helm360 says the library includes scenarios applicable to firms of every size and situation to ensure comprehensive testing.
  • An agile platform that can be deployed right out of the box or tailored to suit a firm’s specific needs.

Standard modules address test cases that cover client-matter administration, billing management, accounts payable, general ledger, standard taxes, and trust administration. Additional modules are available for collections, records management, advanced taxes, people administration, conflicts, system processes, fixed assets and purchasing.

The tool includes a dashboard that provides a summary of all the test cases that have been executed, including any that failed, and a timeline of what happened during the process. The user then then drill down to see the step-by-step report of the process, including screen shots.

Because the scripts effectively replicate a user’s actual experience in using 3E, documenting the steps required to perform tasks, such as entering a cost, an added advantage is that the step-by-step report and screenshots can later be used to build user guides, Dave said.

While the tool is able to streamline new implementations of 3E, it is also useful for regression testing when new versions of the product are released, similarly replacing a formerly manual process of testing with the click of a button.

Purchase Standalone or with Service

As Helm360 releases this tool to the market, it is initially selling it as a standalone product. “For customers that just want to execute the standard modules here, the core modules, you can buy the product, add your own data to it, and execute it.”

However, Helm360 will also combine the product with a service offering, so the customer will license the product on an annual basis, and then Helm360 would tailor it for the firm and provide access to any updates to the library or the product.

All of this benefits law firms through savings of both time and cost, Dave said.

Without this tool, full regression testing can take take a minimum of 2-3 weeks and consume the time of some of the firm’s best people, he said. The tool enables those operations to take place in just hours.

But cost savings is potentially an even bigger benefit, he said. The process of user acceptance testing can run into any number of issues, some of which are properly addressed at the time, but some of which are not, leading to problems further down the road when the implementation goes live.

Not only does that extend the time of the roll-out, but it also requires the firm to keep project managers, contractors and others on the project longer, further running up costs, Dave said.

This tool, Dave said, allows firms to have confidence in their UAT schedule — and in knowing that UAT will not be wasted by uncovering showstopper bugs that could have been caught by automated quality assurance.

“Our Elite 3E testing tool ensures firm leaders can see the best possible ROI from their investment in this technology,” Dave said. “It streamlines functional testing and change management procedures while maximizing the value to a firm of deploying Elite 3E.”

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.