Evaluating Service Virtualization Tools? 43 Questions to Ask

May 28, 2015

Posted by Parasoft

Move Beyond the Marketing Hype by Asking These Questions

service-virtualization-tool-vendorsSince service virtualization tools become part of your core architecture, selecting the vendor and product that's the best fit for your organization's process and culture is crucial to your long-term success and return on investment.

The vendor that's most prominent in the marketplace may or may not deliver the best results in your environment…but how can you determine this before you've already committed considerable resources to the initiative?

As you begin your service virtualization tool comparison, be sure to ask each service virtualization tool vendor a broad array of questions that will help you gain a clear understanding of their approach to service virtualization—and how that will impact your organization's productivity, costs, and success if you ultimately commit to working with this vendor.

With diligent probing, you'll be able to zero in on red flags related to:

  • Innovation

  • Enterprise scalability

  • Process fit

  • Support

  • Productivity

  • Total cost of ownership

Want some guidance on what questions to ask? We've prepared a list of 43 service virtualization tool vendor questions to start with (including tips on how to evaluate the vendor responses to each question). Here are a few questions to get you started...

  • Describe the organization’s journey towards having an SV offering—how/why?

  • Can you access the thought leaders? Can the thought leaders participate in your deployment?

  • Can you share any general metrics regarding the performance of SV assets? 

  • What do I need to know in order to build a basic virtual asset from scratch and how much time would it take?

  • How easy is it to reconfigure the environment (e.g., switching between different data sets, performance profiles, etc.)?

  • Does the solution support a Center of Excellence model as well as team-lead adoption?

One of the most critical red flags to beware of is that many service virtualization solutions bring hidden costs associated with services. In many cases, the ratio of service costs to technology costs can be quite high and should be considered as a significant part of the total cost of ownership. Although services might be required to jumpstart your process, in the long run, the technology's architecture, flexibility, and suitability to your evolving needs will dictate costs—whether direct OpEx associated with your staff, or indirect OpEx associated with a system integrator.

Before you begin examining service virtualization tool vendors, we strongly recommend that you ask yourself some questions about your implementation strategy. Once you know what plan of action makes sense for your needs, you're in a much better position to determine if a particular vendor will help you get there. Parasoft's Service Virtualization Implementation Strategies paper outlines a number of key considerations, ranging from general decision criteria (your risk tolerance, access to dependent systems, etc.), to the expected implementation focus (environment-based, project-based, demand-based, or hybrid), to the anticipated team structure (distributed, center of excellence, or hybrid). 

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