The pre-Covid way of doing business is behind us now.
The Covid-19 crisis has brought in a sea of change in how companies across all sectors and regions do business. Perhaps more surprising is the speedup in creating digital or digitally enhanced offerings.
Across regions, Mckinsey reports suggest a seven-year increase, on average, in the rate at which companies are developing these products and services.
Another report suggests that the demand for I.T. outsourcing has intensified to a great extent, fueled by this rapid digitalization.
According to the stats, the global I.T. outsourcing market was valued at $318.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow by $425.19 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 4.5
What does it mean for Q.A./software testing outsourcing?
Where most industries suffered from setbacks from the pandemic, the software testing industry was hardly affected.
In general, the COVID-19 pandemic only accelerated more demand for software testing.
However, there's a downside to this.
There's a big negative on the supply side.
Software testing is a dynamic field. The roles are continually changing to keep up with how software is used. This only means that the industry requires multi-dimensional skillsets to adapt to the changing needs of the SDLC and tech stacks.
And there exists a significant demand-supply gap.
Companies often lack enough employees with the right skills, and many software testers no longer have all the required skills to fulfill their roles.
Sweden had the highest mismatch between supply and demand for software testers, as reported by ays Global Skills Index
This trend seems to be common across Europe. Many European companies try to hire software testers from abroad to fill the gap. And what appears to be an easier option with more flexibility is - outsourcing software testing tasks to offshore providers.
Key factors behind the outsourcing decision:
- Lack of skillset & infrastructure
- Few in-house testing specialists
- Cost saving
The increase in remote working norms due to lockdowns also spurs this on, as it blurs the distinction between in-house, nearshore, and offshore teams.
Characteristics of a good QA vendor to help you in unprecedented situations
If you're here, chances are you're on the lookout for a Q.A. vendor.
When working with an offshore provider, check for these characteristics.
Ensure the vendor understands your business challenges and is willing to take your product/solution forward based on experiences and success stories.
Solid track record:
Evaluate the vendor's client base to better understand the skillset and specialization. Take note of customer's references, recognition from authoritative sources, certifications, etc.
When remote, it's OK to over-communicate. Especially as a tester, the vendor must connect with multiple stakeholders of the product to ensure quality. Check for those capabilities and transparency in the initial level of communication.
Continued support in unexpected times:
Come what may be like a pandemic, ensure the vendor is prepared to deal with unexpected scenarios with a plan in hand, and instills confidence that desired outcomes will be achieved.
Software products are ever-growing, and there may be frequent changes in terms of requirements from the client's side. This could affect the S.T.L.C. if the vendor's change management mechanisms are not enforced. Ensure to pick the vendor that has in place robust change management processes that take care of the cost and time in addressing the requirements.
Price Vs Value Ratio:
- Measure the price you're paying vs the value the vendor promises you'll get.
- If the ratio is positive, proceed.
- If it's negative, move on to the next vendor on your list.
Most outsourcing partners/vendors offer a flexible engagement model to accommodate your needs, so the next step after evaluating the ratio is easier and faster to complete.
6 Answers to Your Questions About QA outsourcing with Zuci
As an IT solutions provider with expertise in Q.A./software testing, we get a lot of questions on testing and outsourcing models. We've rounded up the six most common questions regarding the partnership with Zuci and specifics enquired by clients at the initial stages.
Let's get to them!
1.How to start an engagement?
This tops the list of questions being asked to us. Clients want to know more about our testing offerings and engagement model.
We'll answer it two parts:
- Our key offerings
- Rate card and engagement model
Let's discuss both.
- Our key offerings
In this case, we have four categories, each catering to specific clients' needs. Be it a gap analysis, ad hoc testing services, or a test automation project, or complete ownership of the client's testing.
- Perform QA maturity assessment and share best practices for improvements
- Employ C.A.R.E. approach to software quality
||Strategic test partnership
- Help design, develop, and deploy customized testing solutions unique to your business needs
- Employ QA audits, test organization strategy, and streamline your S.T.L.C.
|Medium – long term
||Test automation as a service
- Offer services that enable automation across the delivery lifecycle
- Best practices for test coverage, minimizing business risks, release delays
||Managed testing services
- Incremental roadmap to test outsourcing
- Rights skills at the right locations at the right time zones and timelines
Depending on the project's needs, the clients get to choose the variants. We have clients who've switched from 1-2, 3-4, 2-4, based on their requirements.
Zuci offers a 60-min free consultation before starting an engagement with a client to discover more about the client's pain points, get an awareness of their product and help them choose the right offering that suits their needs.
Have an immediate product quality need? Need more info? Click here to talk to our experts
2. Rate card and engagement model.
We offer two engagement models: Fixed price, Time & material, with a dedicated team.
Fixed price model: It's more suitable for a short-term project and when requirements are properly defined - like in the case of a specific testing service requested by a client, like a functional or performance testing.
We'd require an N.D.A. (Non-disclosure agreement) to get an exact rate estimation if the product under test is not publicly available. Our team of experts will gather the necessary data and create a commercial proposal. Upon cost approval, we'll conclude the service agreement and an S.O.W. (statement of work) followed by an e-sign from the client's side.
Time & material: It's more suitable for medium to long-term projects with flexible and agile requirements. From our experience, clients prefer the Time & material with a dedicated team model when they want to extend their in-house testing team (staff augmentation) but have no time or resources to train them.
We study the client's ask for a S.E.T. or S.D.E.T. of a specific qualification with a set year of experience, define the cost of the one-man hour, and form a team. The client also pitches in the process by examining the CV of each specialist and meeting all project team members before finalizing the contract.
At Zuci, we believe "Quality is everyone's responsibility."
Time and material with a dedicated team are all about dedication to the project. Clients don't just want to add more staff but are looking for a dedicated team of experts who'll commit themselves to the project, be flexible enough to accommodate changing business needs, and give their best to take the clients; solution/software forward.
Lead time for both the models are as follows:
- The lead time for resource onboarding will be 2-4 weeks
- On-boarding time for niche skillsets require 6-8 weeks
- Talent hiring happens throughout the year and backups are maintained in projects based on the project team size
- Both Tacit and Explicit knowledge move to the knowledge base within projects. Knowledge institutionalization happens on all projects.
2. How to choose the right engagement approach?
We've put together a matrix for clients to easily choose the right engagement approach based on their expertise and test maturity level.
Note: Expertise and maturity are subject to variation. The above representation is a common pattern we've observed among our clients.
Unsure of your QA maturity? Take a quick 1-min quiz to find out
3. How do you integrate the team into the ongoing development process?
At the beginning of the partnership, we meet our clients and set up knowledge transfer sessions with our engineers/ managers. Once the expertise is gained, we compare and put together a list of toolsets – bug tracking, test frameworks, bug tracking, team collaboration, task management, and many more.
We aim to adapt to the client's tool sets as it makes the integration into their process /infrastructure seamless.
We encourage active and constant communication with the client's team of experts by setting up transparent work processes.
4. Are you knowledgeable enough about my industry verticals/business processes?
Most of our experience revolves around working with organizations across Healthcare, Independent software vendors in general, B.F.S.I., Credit unions, Retail, etc.
Our domain knowledge management is built on strong engineering principles.
For example, let’s walk you through the curious case of the current knowledge management status quo in SDLC that causes triple issues like: Time, Cost & Quality.
And how Zuci’s business analysts address it by bringing in Subject Matter Expertise.
Want to know more about our engineering principles? Click here to watch the webinar on engineering excellence presented by our President & Chief Technology Advisor
Our subject matter experts are core programmers who are flexible to move around technologies. Our teams are equipped with the unique knowledge they generated in other diverse projects. And our partnerships with various software testing tools and associated software licenses have become instrumental to high-quality testing across industries.
"Zuci have always made great efforts and gone that extra mile for us here at POWWR. From the senior management team all the way down to the consultants, they have an understanding as well as give the personal and very human touch to the services and interactions with us."
5. How do I track the progress of the testing team?
Our clients have real-time access to all test reports, defects identified and test documentations, which allows a deep dive into the testing activities carried out by the testing team.
Clients can manage tasks and establish priorities during sprint planning within agile-based testing projects.
For projects with service-level agreement (S.L.A.) metrics, clients get reports on the pre-defined product quality metrics. Our most popular SLA reports include:
Weekly/monthly reports are shared with the client team detailing the time spent, workload, etc for both fixed price and time & materials model.
Check out how Zuci's helps with better software quality using C.A.R.E in this short video from our President, Vasudevan Swaminathan
6. Why should I choose you?
"Whatever you do, do it with perfection" - is the guiding principle behind everything we do at Zuci Systems.
Read more on this here.
50% of our clientele choose Zuci as their testing partner upon recommendation, which signifies a high level of trust.
Companies often contact Zuci to deliver test consulting services for complex testing projects to optimize existing testing activities and set up a Q.A. roadmap from the ground up. Our founding team's strong Q.A. expertise is the key to significant product quality improvements on the client side.
Take a look at a recent product quality improvement of a global e-commerce provider with teams across six countries
Zuci's expertise has significantly impacted on our customers' product quality. That has also been a reason behind a few projects evolving from an initial test consulting project to entirely owned managed testing services.
The team that assures impeccable software quality for our clients at Zuci :
Looking to improve your app quality and user experiences? Take a look at Zuci’s QA consulting services and see how you can leverage Zuci for your business needs.