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Top Value Propositions and Differentiating Factors of the Best QA Testing & Engineering Companies

Overview

Quality assurance is the last step in the development process, but it’s also one of the most important ones. Without QA, companies run the risk of launching products with bugs that will degrade the user experience and negatively impact their reputation.

Still, most companies do not have the internal resources required to handle large scale QA projects. These projects require QA expertise and solid experience with software testing -- skills most businesses do not regularly maintain on staff.

Third party QA companies exist to fill this gap. They can provide a huge range of QA services to ensure bugs and issues are identified in time to be fixed prior to launch. Outsourcing QA, however, isn’t a decision that can be taken lightly. It’s essential to find a trustworthy partner to execute this important task.

Below we cover the basics of QA outsourcing and identify key differentiators to look for in a partner. 

What do QA companies do?

Quality Assurance testing companies carry out tests on software, web platforms, or apps in order to discover and document bugs that will affect performance. QA is essential to the development process as it gives developers the information they need to resolve performance issues before a product goes to market.

Though some companies maintain QA teams in house, many prefer to partner with third party QA testers when quality assurance services are required. QA vendors offer a range of services that cover all aspects of the quality assurance process for businesses in a number of different industries.

QA services can include any of the following: mobile application testing, software quality assurance, user interface testing, ecommerce testing, game testing, accessibility testing, and many more.

Top QA companies have a solid process in place

Communication is difficult under the best of circumstances (ie; between coworkers working in the same office, speaking the same language), but it can become a deal-breaker in more trying circumstances, such as when dealing with individuals working for a third-party in another country. Because geographical, cultural, and language differences can make communication challenging, you should aim to find a QA partner that will be able to transcend these barriers. Top QA companies make effective communication a core differentiating factor.

How top QA companies market themselves

From a marketing perspective, QA companies need to appeal to decision makers at the types of businesses they target. As B2B companies, QA firms seek to define themselves as industry authorities through content marketing initiatives that demonstrate thought leadership. Though digital marketing channels are key to their efforts, they may also focus on traditional, offline methods as well. These may include event marketing and trade shows, as well as print advertising campaigns.

Search traffic is also important to the marketing efforts of a QA company as many businesses turn to Google to find qualified partners. As such, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising are channels in which they invest much of their efforts.

Location may be a factor in QA outsourcing

In any partnership with an outsourcing partner, location is always a consideration. The physical location of the people doing the QA work on your project determines your ability to get in touch with them and to manage workflow. The physical location will also dictate the native language of QA engineers, which may or may not be a main concern for your business.

It’s important to take location into account when selecting a QA partner. Would you prefer to be able to visit their headquarters? In English fluency an important stipulation? Will the team’s working hours align well with your own?

Benefits of outsourcing QA to a third party

Though it’s technically feasible for larger companies to maintain QA teams, or at least a single QA professional in-house, this isn’t the most cost-effective solution for most. It’s hard to ignore the benefits of choosing to outsource the QA process to a third party.

Expertise - Just as your business has years of knowledge and experience in your industry, QA companies have built up unmatched expertise in theirs. The QA engineers working on your project know what they’re looking for, and they’re managed by a qualified QA manager. Teams follow a clear and established process that has been proven to work. It’s difficult to build up this level of expertise on an in-house team, and doing so may be totally out of reach for small companies and new businesses.

Objectivity - The people who build an application or piece of software are not the best people to actually test the thing. They are far too intimately acquainted with how it’s meant to function to be able to provide a fully objective assessment of how it is functioning. A third party QA company has no connection to your product other than that they are being paid to test it, so they are better positioned to execute an unbiased assessment.

Cost savings - Hiring people is expensive. The cost of recruiting, interviewing, and maintaining an employee on staff is far greater than that of contracting with a third party. Unless your business rolls out new software and products regularly, your QA needs will be limited to a relatively short time-frame, which means that in-house staffing is even less attractive. Furthermore, because many QA companies are based in emerging markets, labor costs are generally on the lower end.

Shorter time to market - Because they specialize exclusively in quality assurance, third party QA teams are generally more efficient at their work than less specialized individuals would be. This means they can complete tasks quickly. Having a large, third party team working on a project usually means it can be completed in a shorter timeframe, which allows businesses to get their products to market faster.

Takeaways:

Quality assurance is critical to the launch of a successful website, app, or software, but few companies have the resources to complete a thorough QA process effectively. Partnership with a QA company can help businesses get products to market faster at lower costs, but only if the company is trustworthy and reputable.

A few things to know when searching for a QA company for your next project:

●     QA services - QA companies identify and document bugs in a software, platform, or app. Their services are wide-ranging and cover a variety of specific needs, such as mobile app testing, game testing, and more. 

●     Benefits of outsourcing QA - Doing QA in-house is often cost prohibitive and puts undue strain on internal resources. Outsourcing the quality assurance process can save time, money, and produce better results.

●     Location considerations - As with any outsourcing function, delegating QA to a third party based in another geographical area brings certain complications. The location of the company should be a consideration in the selection of a provider.

●     Process-oriented - The best QA companies are guided by process. Adherence to a proven process ensures consistent work product and keeps projects on track.

●     Communication - Communication is key to the success of any vendor-client relationship, but it can become more difficult to manage when the vendor is based overseas as many QA companies are. Ability to communicate effectively should be a primary consideration in your selection of a vendor. 

Top Qualities of the Best QA Testing & Engineering Companies

Reporting

As the client, you should expect to receive regular updates from your QA company. Top QA testing companies set expectations for when clients will receive reports and what information will be included in each report. They should also be clear about how often check-ins will take place and the maximum time you’ll have to wait for a response when you reach out. 

Timely completion

More likely than not, you’re working on a tight deadline to get your site or product launched, so timing is everything. Top QA testing companies are reliable in hitting agreed-upon deadlines because they know the ability to meet these deadlines is key to customer satisfaction. Always enter an agreement with a clear understanding on both sides of when testing needs to be complete, with the understanding that adjustments are possible if requirements change. 

Effective Management

Not only does outsourcing testing take the burden of QA off your team’s shoulders, it also reduces the burden on whichever internal employee has to manage the process. But that’s only the case if you can feel confident that someone at the QA company is managing the process effectively on your behalf. Top QA testing companies employ skilled project managers who work as client liaisons, keeping your team in the loop on the progress of the project at every step. These project managers are responsible for the work of the testers so that internal employees are freed up to focus on other things.

Experienced testers

The average person might think they’re capable of doing QA on a site or application, but in fact it’s a skilled job that requires experience. Top QA testing companies are staffed by experienced testing professionals who have completed many testing projects before. Look to enter an agreement with a company that has invested in a team of dedicated people, not one that has thousands of inexperienced testers working behind the scenes.

Reputation

Outsourcing the QA process to a third party is a big decision. Their effectiveness in identifying bugs and issues is key to the success of your product, website, or app. If they fail, you’ll end up launching with a bug-ridden product that isn’t enjoyable to use. That means it couldn’t be more important to choose a QA company with a respectable reputation. Top QA companies will be positively reviewed online, and will often showcase testimonials from satisfied customers on their websites. You can also ask prospective vendors to provide references so you can speak directly to past clients and ask them specific questions about their experience of working with the company.