S’pore-based QAssure launches crowd-testing software service
AS more services go into the cloud and use open-source software and services, Singapore-based QAssure Technologies (QAssure) is offering enterprises a cloud-based and crowd-sourced platform which offers crucial testing of software code that is done much faster and at a lower cost.
Durairaj Dhanasekaran, group CEO of QAssure, told The Business Times that the company’s QA TestBox platform helps firms test applications and software through a community of expert testers with “extensive training, domain knowledge as well as experience in legacy and current platforms, automation suites and tools”.
He noted that this mode of testing results in “high quality and accurate testing results”. With an “extensive pool of testers from different parts of the globe and across different time zones”, the duration of the entire testing process can be significantly reduced, Mr Dhanasekaran noted, adding this “allows results to be delivered as quickly as the next day”.
“QA TestBox’s unique feature is that it offers an extremely safe and secure testing environment.”
According to analysts, crowd-sourcing is emerging as the new online distributed problem-solving and production model for enterprises to access a scalable workforce.
Research agency Gartner noted that the potential benefits of crowd-testing include getting speedy access to skilled resources of chosen demographics that would test in any chosen location, with their own devices and at attractive rates.
Headquartered in Singapore, QAssure, set up in 2005, has a presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India and the United States.
Mr Dhanasekaran said the company focuses on the entire spectrum of specialised testing services like functional automation, performance, digital and security testing for banking, insurance, telecom, education and public services domains. The services most frequently employed by its clients are performance, functional, test automation and security testing for newly developed software and services.
“Using QA TestBox, businesses can also reduce staffing costs as there is a lesser need to hire an in-house testing team. Businesses can then reallocate the fixed cost savings to the development of applications or software, resulting in an even higher return on investment,” Mr Dhanasekaran explained.
According to Gartner, the key risks associated with crowd-testing include security and intellectual property ownership considerations as well as the governance involved in managing the crowd.
On this point Mr Dhanasekaran said companies such as financial service institutions require a high level of security and have complex testing needs. “To address this need, QA TestBox uses a fully secured cloud-based sandbox – a virtual space to test software or code securely – for designated crowd-testers.”
According to him, QAssure ensures the security of the platform by thoroughly vetting domain-specific testers. “They are evaluated and certified through our stringent tests and background checks. Testers’ access is also discontinued once each testing process is completed.”
The QA TestBox platform operates on a fully secured cloud-based Citrix sandbox environment supported by Microsoft Azure. “This allows close monitoring of all our remote testers and ensures the data is entirely secured. Testers are also unable to extract any information from the platform, maintaining data security.”
Mr Dhanasekaran observed that, depending on their testing requirements, customers can choose between two models – self and managed services.
“Ideally suited for customers who have clarity on what they are looking for, the self-service model allows for a well-defined testing duration with a set number of testers at a fixed cost. Available in monthly, bimonthly and quarterly packages, the self-service packages are cost-effective and ensure products are market-ready on time.”
He added that the managed service model provided a “transformational approach with the appropriate test organisation and processes”.
“Offering fully customised services through a virtual cloud-based set-up, customers can achieve high-quality test assurance without incurring large overhead costs, and without losing overall control. Experienced project and delivery managers will ensure that testing solutions are tailored to the customer’s requirements to meet business goals and objectives,” he explained.
According to Mr Dhanasekaran, in the month or so that QA TestBox has been launched, the company has received “great interest from clients” in exploring the use of the different testing services offered.
“In particular, we have seen keen interest for functional, performance and security testing services for applications and software. As for industries, there has been notable traction from the fintech space – mostly for functional and security testing.
“With the rise of the gig economy, there has been significant growth in non-traditional services including crowd-testing. According to Gartner, 20 per cent of all enterprise application development will be conducted through crowd-sourcing by 2018,” he said.
The gig economy refers to a labour market characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.