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SQS Details its New On-Demand Testing Offering

SQS has recently briefed NelsonHall on its on-demand testing offering announced earlier this month. The company has introduced two pay-per-use offerings around mobile and web applications.  In detail,

  • SQS is offering a mobile application and web site performance testing service based on SOASTA CloudTest. It is also providing functional testing services for mobile applications and web sites based on SOATSA TouchTest
  • For these service offerings, hosting is available on a number of options including in a public cloud, in SQS’ European datacenters or in the client’s own datacenters
  • Pricing includes both the service and the license agreement.

Mobile and Web Site Performance Testing

Performance testing is a specialist activity that requires skilled personnel and expertise that organizations often do not have in-house. Furthermore, SQS highlights that even IT services vendors have difficulty scaling up quickly for performance testing engagements. With this offering, SQS is offering an automated and industrialized service, which includes:

  • Provisioning and configuration of performance testing software and hosting. This step can be achieved by SQS within minutes
  • Creation of test scripts, based on identification of critical business processes. SQS is highlighting it typically in mobile applications and web sites ~5 critical business processes, each of those requiring 2 to 4 hours. In total, test scripting for performance testing purpose takes one to two days, depending on delivery options
  • Test execution (short test cycles, typically 1-2 hours).

The service is priced on a per hour basis. SQS provides an estimate of the duration of a task in number of hours, taking into account several elements e.g.

  • Client test objectives (peak load testing or stress testing)
  • Volume of virtual users to be simulated
  • Number of critical business processes to be tested, and complexity.

SQS claims it is seeing good activity around its recent offering. The company cites as one example of an online gaming client, whose online and mobile-based betting volumes can be highly variable, with many bets occurring on one single day. Services provided have included peak load testing services to help the client ensure it can handle and process bets at peak times.

Mobile Functional Testing

The SQS-SOATSA TouchTest offering is based on the same principles as CloudTest and shares the service and license approach, and its industrialized service approach.

The offering is part of a wider functional testing mobile testing offering. Services delivered include mobile application and device testing. SQS uses tools from other ISVs as well as open source software.

The company has developed expertise around mobile testing in several locations onshore, nearshore and offshore. Its main expertise center is located in Pune.

Roadmap

Introducing industrialized offerings such as its on-demand offering is a priority for SQS. The company wants to drive activity around output-based services, and invest in IP and automation, to reduce dependency on human interaction, and gain speed.

SQS intends to further develop its on demand testing services offering. Its roadmap also includes security and code quality static analysis. Those two new offerings will complement SQS’s current mobile and web site functional and performance testing services.

The company will not disclose what software products it will be using but stresses that clients are looking for it to provide a comprehensive service, not a point service based on the usage of a specific software functionality.

The company is developing a web portal where clients will be able to order on-demand services online.

The online portal is to require in the future limited human interaction and help lower prices to clients. It will be open to existing clients and prospects.

SQS is further investing in cloud testing offerings. Monitoring acceptance of such new offerings will be of high interest. Currently, most adoption of cloud computing testing services has been somewhat limited to testing applications being migrated from a client server architecture to virtualized servers/instances and public cloud. Acceptance of SaaS testing tools has not taken off as quickly as expected. This is true for both functional and performance testing. Some of the slow start is related to the economics of the offering and due to lack of ISV willingness to make a business case, by offering attractive SaaS subscriptions.

SQS’ approach of an online portal for ordering short-term, specialist testing services is also interesting, but not entirely new. A couple of competitors are experimenting with the same approach, acknowledging that a number of testing activities need to be procured inexpensively: if not the sales cost related to those testing services makes the transaction too expensive. SQS is therefore pointing towards the right direction. Yet, success of this portal approach is probably a mid-term effort as it requires changing client habits.

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