Q&A with Mario Matthee about DVT’s new Global Testing Hub (GTH) that recently opened its doors in Cape Town
DVT has launched a new software testing hub in Cape Town, with the goal of creating the largest facility of its kind in Africa for local and international clients. We speak to Mario about the new hub and what makes it different to the company’s other software testing centres.
What is the GTH and how is it different to DVT’s other testing centres?
The GTH is in fact an evolution of the mobile testing hub we opened in Cape Town last year, but offers so much more in terms of the types of application and level of testing we offer. When we opened the mobile hub we realised just how much demand there was for offsite test automation not necessarily linked to a mobile device – for websites, desktop applications and mainframes for example. We also had several enquiries for offsite performance testing, and the results in both cases were so immediate and impressive they inspired the idea of the GTH. Today we offer cross-platform, multiple device testing for almost any application.
How is test automation and performance testing different to mobile testing?
Mobile and performance testing, while complex in its own right, is usually a short-term process. Test automation on other, larger platforms can take anywhere from three months to a year, depending on the project, so the scale and skills requirements are vastly different. That said we saw no reason why the different testing services couldn’t exist in a single environment, given we already offer our clients a combination of all three, and usually more than one at a time. The GTH is one of the only centres I’m aware of that offers manual, automated and performance testing under one roof.
What are the main benefits of outsourcing software testing?
Even though companies may occasionally employ in-house testers, manual testing can be incredibly time consuming and expensive. Automating testing usually requires programming skills, and since IT is not the core focus for most of our clients, we now have the means to offer them a dedicated offsite testing environment that’s not only far more affordable than in-house solutions but also more efficient and effective. The same goes for performance testing, which is typically done after hours with limited resources.
What makes DVT’s GTH unique?
We built our own 100% open source automation testing platform, which means clients don’t pay any licensing fees. Commercial testing software costs companies hundreds of thousands of rands for a license, which immediately makes our services more affordable, but that’s just the start. We assign a dedicated team to each project, headed up by a senior team lead, so the client always has a one-on-one go-to person. This is very important, especially when you’re working with global clients that want a single point of contact for all their interactions. In fact if you factor in what it would cost a company to assign the same resources to an in-house testing project, I don’t think you’ll find better value anywhere.
You mention global clients – is this a core focus for the GTH?
You’re right, even the name suggests we’ve built this hub for a global market, but in truth we offer the same high level of service and the complete portfolio of testing options to both local and global clients. Every client is different, whether they’re based in Cape Town, London, Sydney or New York, which is why we have an extremely flexible engagement model in place that keeps the client in control every step of the way. From our initial meeting through to (the free) proof of concept, we clearly document (and record) the requirements gathering, analysis and reporting interactions so there’s absolutely no confusion when it comes to reviewing and understanding exactly what’s required.
Now that it’s open for business, what are your future plans for the GTH?
We already have 12 major testing projects running in parallel, so what began with the original four-person mobile testing team has now grown to more than 30 people, and we have a conservative target of 50 by the end of the year. That means going beyond what we offer today. Reaching out to global clients is one way we’re growing, and in fact we’ve recently completed our first project for a UK-based client. Australia and the U.S. are the other major regions we’re targeting, primarily because we have an advantage over other global hubs that don’t speak English as a first language. The currency exchange rate is likewise an advantage. We’re also in discussions with strategic partners on what we can do to make testing – and specifically commercial-grade testing tools – even more affordable for our clients, so watch this space!