Testing Times at ZEDA

Application management specialist ZEDA is offering customers a new software and system testing service designed to identify potentially costly IT problems before they go 'live'. A series of problematic, high profile customer launches of IT dependent business initiatives underlines this point. Agilent Technlogies is the most recent example where the failure to get the system up and running properly cost the company £46 million.

For more than two decades ZEDA has provided testing services as part of its application development and application management work to clients such as Avesta Polarit, Bradford & Bingley and Boots Opticians. ZEDA is using this expertise to offer customers a new stand-alone service.

ZEDA has introduced a specific testing methodology with a major retail high street client from which a bespoke package of automated and non-automated system and software tests were developed. In this case the areas addressed included, audit of specification (where 80% of system errors originate), functionality (do systems deliver on business requirements?), user acceptance (ensures smooth handover from development into operations), load and performance (can your e-commerce site, for example, cope with the number of visitors and respond quickly and accurately?) and integration testing (do new or enhanced systems integrate seamlessly with existing applications?).

"Failure to 'road-test' new, or revised, IT systems carries huge commercial risks. Downtime on systems can lead to damaged reputations and lost business, placing a heavy burden on budgets," explains Trevor Loker, Sales Director at ZEDA. "The number of business critical IT systems has increased exponentially and companies are more dependent than ever before so they really can't afford to get it wrong."

"Effective technology is critical to most organisations nowadays but often it isn't their main business function or forte. With a combination of common sense, intelligence, aptitude and automation we take the risk out of implementing new software or systems and enable our customers to get on with what they do best.

"Ask yourself: 'at the very least, shouldn't testing be paramount where a high risk of system failure coincides with that failure having a high impact on the business?"

Testing provides a proactive early warning system and can deliver business benefit by reducing costs and commercial risks as well as increasing productivity. Using a third party brings objectivity and independence and access to skills it would be difficult to maintain in house.

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