British pharmacy chain gains £174,069 in productivity after implementing Plutora’s release management solution.

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United Kingdom
Release Manager
Test Environment Manager

Boots is a pharmacy chain in the United Kingdom and Ireland, with outlets in most high streets, shopping centers and airport terminals. It sells health, beauty and food products, and provides optician and hearing care services.

Boots created Centralized  Environment Management Services (CEMS) to improve its release management and environments. CEMS has 12 employees and a wages budget of £1.16 million a year.

“Plutora improved our test environment management productivity by 140%.”

Martin Parker
Senior Test Environment Manager

Internal Review

Martin Parker, the Senior Test Environment Manager at Boots lists the problems CEMS faced before implementing Plutora:

  • Environment clashes were causing inefficient use of time and resources.
  • Excel spreadsheets were becoming increasingly complex and divergent to meet the needs of different portfolios.
  • A lack of environment visibility and environment booking tools to support governance and stakeholder management were leading to project delays and production bugs.
  • A lack of project tracking and metrics were leading to production issues and missed steps.
  • Poor data integrity and production issues were leading to a lack of compliance and security.
  • There was no single view of portfolio, projects and test environment requirements over time.

Plutora Engaged

“After a thorough external review, CEMS found Plutora to be the most cost-effective and functional test environment and release management tool,” says Parker. He adds:

CEMS engaged Plutora to deliver thefollowing outcomes:

  • A single view of all projects and allocated environments across the portfolio.
  • Greater transparency and visibility for test environment planning, through unified scheduling.
  • Centralized environment booking and change requests for testing and change management.
  • Ensured allocation of the correct environments to the correct releases and dealing with any conflicts and outages promptly.
  • Stored core configuration details for each environment and co-existing Boots infrastructure.
  • Engaged stakeholders with up-to-date dashboards, alerts, notifications, analysis, metrics and reporting.


“Plutora formed a partnership with Boots,” says Parker. “We managed Plutora’s implementation in 3 phases to ensure a smooth transition and successful user adoption.”

He lists the stages:

1. Pilot and Implementation

Plutora was found to:

  • Contain the mission critical processes to ensure the core release, environment and deployment capabilities were well-tuned.
  • Require no infrastructure investment because it is a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution.

2. Go Live

Plutora identified pain points where:

  • Information was incomplete.
  • Information was being re-entered.

3. Optimization

  • Plutora helped CEMS deploy and use Plutora’s modules more effectively.

Benefits Received

Martin Parker had a lot to say about the benefits Boots received from adopting Plutora:

Tangible Benefits

  • No more dependence on spreadsheets, resulting in better quality and predictability.
  • A productivity improvement of 5% from identifying environment conflicts and effectively managing environments.
  • Environment and release failures avoided.
  • Reduction in outages and rework because of fewer production issues.

Intangible Benefits

  • Fewer environment conflicts, leading to more efficient use of time and resources and an improvement to CEMS’s capability.
  • More collaboration and coordination among projects, because of centralized data and environment bookings.
  • Greater visibility, project tracking, stakeholder engagement and governance, because of the release calendar, environment metrics and dashboards.
  • Greater compliance and security.
  • Better decisions because of accurate and timely information.


“Boots had a productivity gain of £174, 069 with a payback period of 10 months.”

Martin Parker
Senior Test Environment Manager Boots

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“I can save 50–70% of my time by looking at Plutora’s comments module instead of emails. It’s awesome.”

“Plutora improved our test environment management productivity by 140%.”

“We’ve had managers from other departments come to us and say, ‘We like what you’re doing with Plutora. We want to use it too.‘”

“I see Plutora as the glue that holds the delivery process together, communicating with project managers, Development Teams, Test Teams, Infrastructure Teams and Stakeholders”