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Iwoot uses crowdsourcing to boost online performance

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference has been able to get its new payment system up and running in record time and at low cost by using an innovative crowdsourcing approach developed by testing community uTest.

The etailer decided to try the new testing concept when a recent payment card industry compliance initiative required changes to the payment systems on its ecommerce site. The aim was to strike a balance between the cost, quality and speed of its testing and debugging.

Iwoot turned to TCL for access to uTest, a marketplace for testing web sites as well as desktop, mobile and gaming applications. uTest uses a crowdsourced software-as-a-service (SaaS) model which includes a worldwide community of more than 18,000 software testers and is already being used in the US by companies such as Google, Thomson Reuters and Intuit.

“Not only is software testing being revolutionized by the idea of using a global community of professional testers, but the concept has proven to deliver compelling, real world business benefits at a fraction of the costs of traditional software testing,” says Stewart Noakes, chairman of TCL. “A one year subscription to the uTest service typically saves organizations 70% compared with the cost of hiring one additional QA engineer in-house. The testers are customer-rated and motivated by a pay-for-performance model. Unlike hiring additional in-house QA personnel or signing long-term outsourcing contracts, crowdsourcing enables real-world, massive software testing coverage. Bespoke virtual QA teams with appropriate skills are constructed by environment and demographics such as access device type, application rules, geographic location etc and deliver real-time responsiveness. In fact, a complete test cycle can be run in 48 hours or less.”

“Testing is a vital part of our online business, because if anything goes wrong it directly affects our bottom line,” says Sagar Vadher, the etailer’s head of IT. “Basically, there’s a risk of us starting to lose money if there’s anything wrong with our web pages. Everything has to be easy-to-use and in full working order at all times.”

“The costs of full time testing staff required for our aggressive delivery times are prohibitive and we were attracted by the concept of testing by a community of real live testers essentially on-tap,” he added. “It has been very easy to try with the simple subscription or per-project pricing structure and we were not constricted by volume minimums or long-term commitments. When we tested changes made to our payment processing service, the crowdsourcing system delivered real-time feedback via a secure web platform in less than two days.”

“We had looked at outsourcing, but it proved a headache,” Vadher continued. “It would cost more and fail to deliver anywhere near the same results. Also, the timescales and time zones involved did not fit what we wanted.”

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