In 2019, EPAM acquired Test IO—a global leader in crowdtesting—to challenge the status quo for testing engagements in the industry. So, what is Test IO today?
Founded in Berlin in 2011 by Jan Schwenzien and Tommy Grüderich, Test IO was a pioneering company in the software crowdtesting space. When customers needed testing and guaranteed coverage across all their customers’ devices, operating systems, regions, and languages, the Test IO community of thousands of freelance QA testers came to their aid.
EPAM acquired Test IO to extend EPAM’s global reach and ability to manage a distributed workforce, so Test IO’s customers got a testing partner capable of evolving alongside them.
Being CTO of Test IO, Jan Schwenzien values the innovation that EPAM and Test IO have in common: “Before the acquisition, Test IO was small, and we had a niche solution to offer. However, it was very innovative and fast. The reason why I am such a big fan of Test IO brand as a part of EPAM’s Testing Practice is keeping that innovation…” and maintaining the mindset “to never shy away from challenging yourself and finding new ways of solving the problems of the future.”
Test IO’s core focus has traditionally been on exploratory manual testing, used in customer-facing web and mobile apps. According to Max Schultz, General Manager, Test IO, “You can think of Test IO crowdtesting like an Uber model where our clients request a test, our platform then matches that test with the right people from our community based on device, location, and other metadata and we then execute on that test with speed and scale unmatched in the industry.”
“Before we joined EPAM, we really didn’t have the capability to grow with our customers as they became more advanced organizations that needed support in test automation, load and performance testing, UX testing, accessibility testing, and other specific services. Today, we offer fully managed engagements that build on both the Test IO crowdtesting piece as well as EPAM's quality engineering excellence—and those together have become a unique offering for everyone from startups to the F500,” says Philip Soffer, VP of Product-Service Systems, EPAM.
Expanding Test IO’s testing capabilities cleared the path for customers to engage with Test IO on large-scale quality improvement initiatives.
As Adam Auerbach, VP, Head of Engineering Excellence (DevOps, Testing, Agile), EPAM, tells us, “The integration of Test IO into EPAM allows us to package expertise in flexible engagement models. It also allows us to help drive improvements and transformation to our customers’ testing organization. So, there's lots of flexibility.”
The addition of Test IO allows EPAM to offer a uniquely comprehensive testing program, from automation at every level of the stack to business assurance testing in the real world. Test IO has now integrated a range of testing services under its Testing-as-a-Service delivery model.
What is Testing-as-a-Service (TaaS) and how do you benefit from it?
TaaS is a managed testing model that uses the capabilities of entire EPAM Testing Practice. For example, EPAM expertise in test architecture and test automation, performance, security, accessibility and crowdtesting are wrapped into a single package that is flexibly delivered to customers as needed via a managed engagement. Rather than hiring full-time people with specific expertise, clients can engage the service and draw from the expertise of thousands of people across different domains of software testing.
As Max says, “We have built up this amazing TaaS delivery organization. We have hundreds of professional EPAM testers working on any given day, including about thirty test managers who are overseeing these engagements, and thousands of freelancers. This approach reduces the fixed costs for our clients and enables us to tap into the right people at the right time on demand.”
What are the advantages of having a 400,000+ (and growing) freelance testing community and 9,000+ EPAM testing experts?
With the combined power of the freelance testing community and EPAM’s testing experts, we can provide the right resource at the right time and at lower fixed costs.
“EPAM brings such a broad range of skills for our clients that one of the challenges is to build a platform flexible enough to accommodate everything we can now do for them,” Jan Schwenzien added.
“This credibility, mixed with innovative delivery approaches that Test IO has pioneered over the last 10 years, is a very compelling combination. Our clients value the combination of engineering savvy and speed and fluidity that Test IO brings,” Phil adds.
Each month, thousands of people sign up organically on the platform to become freelance testers. After a comprehensive onboarding and training process, the resulting testers give Test IO a huge database of people around the world who can deliver valuable results based on their location, demographics, or the devices that they have in their pocket.
Jan says, “Having more people who can do work means there are more things we can do. Diversity also comes with that. We can access people from more countries in the world, and they have different cultural backgrounds and different influences they can provide that EPAM before the Test IO era couldn’t, because it was geographically more concentrated in the world. It is a huge benefit to the entire company, and ultimately to the business.”
“We have testers who speak Italian, French, Korean, Japanese or any other language to do localization testing. Or it may be device testing, where people have different cell phones/carriers/providers across the globe. This is what we can now offer clients. With the expansion of IoT devices in the market, all these things are very different than traditional EPAM testing. When our clients have a real production release, we have done almost everything possible to ensure that it's going to work in the real world,” Adam concludes.