As Test Odyssey turns 1 year old, CEO & Founder, EKA Techserv, Dr. Prakash Mutalik speaks about innovation, managing for the long term, and how he aims to uphold the company’s rich legacy.
On becoming an Tech Entrepreneur in Software Testing Space to earning $22 Million Dollars in Revenues
When I completed my Ph.d Computer Science & Applied Mathematics in 1974, I was all set to join the IT industry and had no ideas of starting my own venture.
It was while I had been working as an Engineering Controller at Wipro System for 7 years, when the idea of providing focused services on software testing, validation and verification alongwith Quality Assurance to IT organizations worldwide took shape.
That’s how RelQ Software was born in 1998.
After growing it to a stage where it was generating $22 million revenues in 2007 and employing 700 employees worldwide, we finally sold it to Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in the same year. I continued to Head Global Testing with EDS for a year and then moved on to HP for another short stint.
But this nagging idea remained at the back of my mind that, what the IT industry to deliver high quality software, was a sound test automation tool. Which was neither too expensive nor too
cumbersome to set up. Definitely NOT complex to avoid having potential users shy away from coding and using the tool, per se.
And most of all, a test automation tool that could deliver a range of tests and whose usage could be scaled up/ down as per business volumes.
That’s how Test Odyssey came into existence in 2015.
On Mobility and Innovation
As they say, you don’t really get a second chance to make a first good impression!
If an organization looks at testing as just another mundane task and does not believe in systematic testing, it has already lost half the battle. If it does not believe in deploying test automation tools to improve productivity, and still relies on manual testing by humans, it has again lost the game of delivering bug free, high quality software to the market within short timelines.
Whether it’s confusing UX, an ugly GUI or a series of slow API calls, any/all of them can lead to a software application’s demise even before it has had a chance to blossom. The one-star- review apps littered in app- store halls of Google playstore, Apple, Windows etc are a testimony to this fact.
It therefore no makes no business sense to choose speed and quantity over care and quality.
Needless to say, a test automation tool should help achieve this goal by simplifying testing rather than making it more complex with demanding requirements of extensive coding, tool specialists or expensive physical infrastructure.
We built Test Odyssey to fix each of these lacunae in testing while also bringing innovation into the tool itself; to free it from the drudgery associated with all test automation tools in general.
Test automation on cloud
Test Odyssey has been modeled as a SaaS offering.
As per cloud computing forecasts by IDC, worldwide spending on public cloud will hit $141 billion by 2019. So when we built Test Odyssey, we placed it on cloud to help our clients leverage benefits of cloud by having 24*7*365 access to the tool with zero downtimes and stay on top of market trends.
Dedication to Testing
The issue with several companies promoting test automation tools is that they have their fingers in too many pies be it ERP, physical infrastructure outsourcing, networking etc.
All of which dilutes their focus on testing.
At EKA Techserv, we have been very clear from the outset, that we are a company dedicated to testing and stand firmly focused on adding enhanced features to our test automation tool, Test Odyssey.
We have received a lot of customer appreciation for this fact as well.
With Test Odyssey, we have done away with the need for you to code before you test!
We have inbuilt it with ‘an import manual test cases into the tool itself’ feature so your manual and test automation teams no longer need to suffer disconnects. With cloud, we have also enabled you to utilize your limited IT budgets in testing itself, instead of investing it in obsolete hardware.
We are proud to be a technology driven company and our test automation tool has been built to leverage every aspect of it.
Increased mobile usage (and development) has changed user behavior wherein mobile users are increasing daily.
This means that if an app fails or is buggy with a new release, users can easily give up and never look back. This low tolerance for errors puts pressure on mobile app testing.
A challenging aspect with mobile testing would be testing on the wide range of device matrix available. Through Test Odyssey we will be addressing this challenge by harnessing the capabilities and features that cloud has to offer. Next few releases of Test Odyssey will see support to test responsive web applications and native apps.
Managing client expectations
In my experience, not delivering on client expectations can literally be the deal breaker.
For instance, I have been witness to situations in the past, where entire test projects have gotten delayed or even shelved because a test automation tool was unable to deliver as promised.
For sure, a test automation tool has failed to add value, if it has missed delivering on one or more of the following
- Bugs creep back into the software again and again
- Lack of developers confidence in the system
- System is not refactored by developers
- Because adding new features is a headache, teams go slow on it; customer loses out on having a more comprehensive product in the bargain
With the learning curve of Test Odyssey being short, users can easily login and begin using it from the word, go. The system is designed to facilitate smooth regression, functional and compatibility tests. We have put up a lot of infographics and Test Odyssey product related data on www.ekatechserv.com for customers to refer and to get started.
Long term objectives
As per rough estimates, only about 1 in 4 companies have adopted test automation. About 41% are either primarily or completely into manual testing. Only about 45% of clients use cloud services.
These figures are far too low and we aim to change them; firstly, by educating clients on moving from a manual set up to an automation tool based one. Secondly, we want to highlight the benefits of using a cloud – based test automation tool, like Test Odyssey.
As mentioned elsewhere, we intend to add mobile testing and testing of native web applications to Test Odyssey’s list of deliverables.
In the long run, we aim to develop Test Odyssey into a robust test automation tool, to make the whole process of testing easier for our clients so that they can in turn provide an optimum end user experience to customers who use their software applications.
What are the features do you think test automation tools need to add into their portfolio? Share your thoughts, comments and feedback here.