A Complete Guide To QA Outsourcing With A List Of The Top Software Testing Outsourcing Companies:
When the work is given to an external vendor/company without being performed by the internal core team then this process is termed as Outsourcing. QA or Software Testing is one such area, that many companies prefer to outsource.
There are several factors that drive the need for outsourcing, and at the same time, certain points should be noted before finalizing the vendor for outsourcing.
In this article, we will walk you through a few factors that should be kept in mind before outsourcing, concerns before finalizing an outsourcing company, along with a list of the TOP Software Testing Outsourcing Providers.
What You Will Learn:
- Outsourcing Software Testing: Why Do You Need It?
- Factors To Consider Before Outsourcing
- Offshore QA Outsourcing
- The Benefits Of QA Outsourcing
- Top QA Outsourcing Companies
- How To Choose The Best Company?
- Software Testing Outsourcing Models
- List Of Software Testing Services That Can Be Outsourced
- Few Useful Tips For Successful QA Outsourcing
Outsourcing Software Testing: Why Do You Need It?
Outsourcing of Software Testing is a practice of handing over the testing related tasks to an independent test specialist, testing firm or a third party where they are not involved in the overall software development process except for testing.
Finding the right combination of the skill set required to execute the project based on various latest technologies, within an organization is a big challenge for the organizations.
To cite an example, the project that I was recently working on, involved setting up the testing team from scratch with skilled resources, processes, methodologies, and tools.
The team members required must-have skills of the health care domain, Mobile Automation (Selenium, Appium), Rest API testing knowledge, exposure to SOAPUI and also a thorough background of cloud testing.
Thus, ultimately a tester with the knowledge of Healthcare, Automation, a Testing strategy of Cloud environment and Coding and Scripting knowledge (Python or Java) was the requirement.
How do you expect anyone to possess all of these skills? Do you think it is possible to deliver the expected quality within the specified deadline, even if one of these skill sets is missing?
Do you think it would be feasible for all the organizations to hire the testers with closest matching skills, train them on the knowledge gap and bring them up to the speed and place them on the project execution? Do you think we can expect them to be productive from day one??
Many organizations are not Testing Services Company by themselves, where they do not have a dedicated Test Centre Of Excellence (TCOE) set up with SME’s, Experienced Testers, Test Managers and Test Architects along with the latest tools and technologies made available to meet the testing demands of the various projects across the organization.
Or they have not kept updating themselves with the latest trends of testing, adopting global best practices and optimizing the testing productivity with efficient methodologies. It turns out to be quite expensive to build and maintain the core competency within the organization when compared to outsourcing it.
Thus, organizations that do not have any long term plans to create the core competency in testing would prefer to go for outsourcing QA services.
Similarly, many organizations cannot afford to set up the TCOE, especially, the startups where they cannot divert their focus from product development and invest their time and effort in setting up the testing facilities.
In such cases organizations have difficulty in delivering a quality product to the customer. They have to compromise on the quality as they can not adopt the latest testing technologies, techniques, and trends and hence they find no other option than Outsourcing Testing to maintain the product quality.
Sometimes, it might be a one-time effort and the company does not want to spend a huge sum on the in-house test set up and testing effort and hence they decide to outsource testing and get it done by the domain experts.
Factors To Consider Before Outsourcing
If you are in a doubt as to whether to execute a QA project internally or hire a testing company, then check the below scenarios to clear your doubts.
#1) One-time Project & Internal QA Team Lacks Skills
Assume that you have to get the testing done for a one-time project but the project requires a specialized skill set which the internal team is lacking.
In such a case, there is an option to train the internal resources but that would be time-consuming and would drive a certain amount of cost as well. Hence, you can opt for outsourcing the QA work to a company having the required expertise & supporting the latest technology.
#2) Short Timeframe Project But Need More People
The strength of a QA team is always less when compared to the Development and Maintenance teams. Many times, due to delays in development or for some other reason, the QA window is shortened, and the project or business would demand QA completion at the earliest.
One option in such cases is to utilize the existing resources and get high-level testing done or onboard more people and get the extensive testing done. The latter becomes a difficult choice as interviewing & hiring individuals for testing and retaining them for long-term poses a challenge. Thus, a better option is to outsource the work to a known QA company.
#3) Long Term Project But Need To Save On Cost
Outsourcing work is known as a cost-effective method. Maintaining an internal team with specialized skills is always expensive when compared to maintaining a contract with a third party. So, if you are in a situation to manage and get long-term projects executed, it will be wise to think about outsourcing 90% of the work.
It’s always advisable to maintain a small team of business experts and project coordinators internally. Outsourcing everything poses another challenge of losing control over the project and business knowledge. Thus, you should have good control over what needs to be outsourced.
Offshore QA Outsourcing
The offshore QA outsourcing market is growing rapidly these days. A number of American IT companies outsource their QA department to offshore vendors. Offshore QA outsourcing can give significant cost savings for the companies. The benefits are not only related to cost savings, but offshore outsourcing can offer much more.
Some of the major advantages include:
- Faster Time To Market: When we use the combination of onshore and offshore teams, the testing time sometimes gets cut down to half. With offshore outsourcing, you get the teams available across time zones. This indeed doubles up the effort and efficiency without increasing cost.
- Higher ROI: In countries like the US, the labor cost is very high. So, they can be benefitted from offshore outsourcing as the labor cost is considerably lower in other traditional outsourcing regions, generally with the same or higher level of qualifications and skills. So, the return on investment with offshore outsourcing is very high.
- Focus On Core Business: By releasing the internal resources and assigning time-consuming tasks to an external team, you are allowed to shift your focus on core business areas or take up new assignments.
- Global Leverage: Outsourcing positions your organization in the middle of an additional global market. Our business will have an increased approach to global resources, knowledgebase, and skills, and earn publicity as well in the emerging markets.
The Benefits Of QA Outsourcing
There are several Benefits of Outsourcing Testing work and a few of them are listed below.
#1) Cost-saving is the prime benefit of Outsourcing. Building the core competency, setting up the TCOE within the organization includes increased cost of testing, overhead of testing tools, costly infrastructure setups and thus will be expensive compared to outsourcing the testing. Hence outsourcing will result in overall operational cost reduction and gain in revenue.
#2) Specialists or the testing organizations use a systematic approach to carry out testing based on global best practices, best techniques of testing methodologies & strategies, processes & tools and hence they provide the top Quality Testing with cost-effective methods.
#3) These independent testing organizations are equipped with strong, technically sound test resources, and have built their own costly testing platforms, cloud infrastructures for testing purposes which they would leverage for testing purposes.
#4) Independent testers or third parties can provide specialized services across various domains, especially in any niche areas or latest technologies like Web services, Mobile testing, Cloud testing, Embedded System testing, Digital testing, and Big data. Hence they can provide specialized offerings in addition to normal testing and you get full test coverage with the latest testing tools.
#5) They can provide all kinds of testing services i.e. from simple testing to quality engineering, test advisory, test automation, next-gen testing (digital testing, big data analytics, mobile testing, medical device testing, etc.,) which require robust test strategy and highly analytical skills for the tester.
They also provide services like Test Planning, Test Design, Test Execution, Test Management, Test Data management, Service virtualization by adopting various latest SDLC models like Agile and DevOps.
#6) These testers will have sophisticated knowledge and experience in all the open-source and commercial tools, adaptable and integrate the Automation frameworks available in the market.
#7) The independent testers and testing organizations not just provide innovative solutions but also provide solutions to the various testing problems faced by global clients. They can handle the most challenging software testing issues across various stages of testing.
#8) Independent testing organizations or testers can carry out unbiased evaluation & test reporting and hence they can provide accurate feedback without any external influence.
#9) Independent firms or the third parties will not have information on any project related changes that happened during the software development process which influences the testing and you get uninfluenced testing.
#10) Outsourcing helps in overcoming the constraints of non-availability of skills, resources and time.
#11) As testing is handed over to testing experts, business owners can be assured that they will employ the best practices of the industry. Overall, the final product delivered will be of high quality.
#12) Business owners don't have to worry about the delivery schedule and the possibility of missing the deadlines from the testing perspective, by setting up strong SLA’s with the third party for the timeline and even other quality parameters. This, in turn, helps in reducing the overall time taken for software development.
#13) Owners don't have to worry about the process of testing and test management adopted by the vendors. They can periodically review the outsourced work with regular monitoring of the program and can focus on the development activity.
#14) By Outsourcing the testing, it provides a third party view on the product and also an overall picture of the product to the business owners, which helps them to make better decisions.
#15) The burden and responsibility of the in-house team will be reduced, which provides them the bandwidth to be more effective and innovative within their scope of work. Hence the stress on internal resources will be reduced.
#16) Organizations can take additional support for testing from the independent vendors in case of special requirements i.e. new technology, time crunch or resource crunch.
#17) Client can adopt suitable business and payment models based on their specific requirement of the project with a short term or long term SLA based contract.
#18) Crowdsource testing helps the organizations in exposing their software to real-time end users and hence can have a collection of end-user experience, feedback, and defects, well in advance during the testing phase itself.
#19) On top of everything, it is proven that review and testing done by an outsider is always better. Outsiders will have a special eye on each detail of the product and the outsider’s perspective will help in improving the product quality at a faster pace.
#20) If testing is outsourced to a team located in a different time zone, then the owners can utilize the opportunity of time zone factor. By the time they wake up the next day, the test report is ready.
Overall, outsourcing the QA can be a game-changer for your business!
Top QA Outsourcing Companies
QA Outsourcing results in overall cost savings. Additionally, one of the major advantages of outsourcing QA is a reliable level of quality. A well-recognized outsourced QA company encompasses a team that possesses in-depth knowledge and proficiency gained across testing a wide variety of software products.
Given below is a list of the Top QA Outsourcing Companies worldwide.
Since 2002, QASource is one of the leading software testing company in the world. It provides comprehensive QA services and QA Analysis including Automation testing, Manual testing, API testing, Mobile QA, Security testing and Performance testing.
It has around 51-200 employees. It is trusted by several big clients like Ford, Oracle, eBay, IBM and many more. As per the review by some of its clients, QA Source charges around $25 – $49 per hour. However, you can request a quote on their website to know their detailed pricing structure.
Location: Headquartered in Silicon Valley, QAsource also has its office in Chandigarh, India.
BugEspy consists of a team of leading experts in quality assurance and testing software. They have developed a wide range of experience over many years by working on projects covering a number of business areas, including Education, Transportation, Media & Entertainment, e-commerce and much more.
They have one of the most cost-effective services in the global market with a team of highly qualified ISTQB certified QA engineers. Their mission is to provide quick delivery at affordable prices with autonomous and top-quality solutions while maintaining strict ethical standards.
BugEspy charges around $12-20 /tester-hour. Their technical team is based in Pakistan and their sales team is based in Georgia, USA.
ScienceSoft is one of the top QA outsourcing vendors. They offer a full range of QA services.
They provide current QA process assessment, Test planning, Issue management, QA incorporation into existing workflows, Pre-certification aid for software, Test automation, Manual testing, Mobile app testing, Web app testing, Functional, Performance, Usability, and Security testing.
Location: ScienceSoft has its headquarters in McKinney, United States. It also has a European office in Finland.
QAMentor is one of the leading software testing company. It is CMMI Appraised and ISO Certified with around 8 different offices all over the world. They offer a wide variety of QA services including Strategic QA, Core QA, Automation QA, On-demand QA and a lot more.
It has around 51-200 employees. They offer economy package level pricing starting from $12 per tester-hour to $29 per tester-hour. Additionally, they also have different packages for Website testing, Mobile testing and Automation testing starting from $199 to $30k.
Location: QAMentor is headquartered in New York. Additionally, this company has its global presence with offices in New Jersey, Brooklyn, Thailand, UK, France, Israel, Romania, India, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Tunisia.
TestMatick, a USA based organization, is one of the best companies that serve absolutely to every need in QA outsourcing.
It provides almost every QA related service including Mobile testing, Functional testing, Installation testing, Game testing, e-commerce testing, Technical writing service, SEO testing, QA recruitment service and a lot more. It has reputed clients around the world. Mediaspectrum, Sweetrush, Samanage, etc. are some of them.
It has around 51-200 employees. The average hourly rate for their testing services is < $25 / hr.
Location: TestMatick is headquartered in New York. They also have offices in Ukraine and Cyprus.
This organization provides lots of outsourcing services worldwide, and Software Testing & QA are among them. They focus testing based on the common concerns of businesses. They offer a lot of QA services including Independent QA, Integrated testing, QA consulting, Full-cycle testing, Mid-life testing, and Custom testing.
They have around 201- 500 employees. The average hourly rate for their testing services is < $25 / hr.
Location: They are headquartered at Gurugram, India.
Few Other Notable QA Outsourcing Companies Include:
#9) Devstringx Technologies Pvt Ltd
#12) QA Test Lab
#14) TechWare Solution
#15) Orient Software
#18) Axis Technical
#22) A1 QA
#23) BugHuntress QA Lab
#24) Orimark Technologies
#25) Cigniti Technologies
#26) STC ThirdEye
#27) Thinksoft Global
#28) Indium Software
#29) Pure Testing
Suggested Reading => Top Software Testing Companies
How To Choose The Best Company?
While making the selection for a QA outsourcing vendor, you should do extensive research by considering some important factors as mentioned below.
It is crucial to go through the organization’s portfolio in terms of its Vision, Mission, Objectives, Goals and Existing clients. It should be a reputed company in the outsourcing world and should have a decent fit in the industry.
Basically, the following three factors should be checked to assess the capability of the company:
- Skillset/Area of Expertise: Getting Testing done by an Amateur vs. getting it done by an Experienced resource makes a lot of difference in the overall outcome. Thus, before you decide the outsourcing company, find out about the services they provide, i.e. What types of testing and What all expertise they hold, and How old is the company, etc., and track the record of their past projects & clients that they have catered in the past. Moreover, the most proficient QAs are generally ISTQB/CTAL/CTFL certified which proves that they are technically strong. Thus, you can check if the testers of that company hold these certifications.
- References: Excercise significant effort in checking the references that the vendor shows to you. Also, check which QA outsourcing companies are gaining progress in the industry. Go through the market trends and reports.
- Industry Expertise: Check if the testers have prior experience of serving the industry vertical in which you operate. Knowledge of the business functions can aid in testing and thereby bring better quality. For example, if you work in the Healthcare industry, prefer a tester who has experience in working with Healthcare projects earlier. Similarly, it applies to other domains like Finance, Legal, Academics, etc. as well.
#2) Adaptability/Flexibility/Scaling Up And Down:
It is very important to understand whether the shortlisted company would be able to satisfy the flexible needs i.e. for some projects more resources might be required, or a lesser number of people would be required, and they should be able to handle the needs accordingly.
Thus, they should be flexible enough to scale up and down as per the demand of the project. The outsourced QA staff should also be capable enough to deal with the changes in Requirements, Test plans, Regression errors, etc. They should be able to perform well in the continually evolving conditions.
Additionally, they should be flexible enough to persuade your internal procedures and practices.
Knowing more about the infrastructure that the company maintains is definitely one of the most important points to be considered. In today’s world, we deal with a lot of secured data and indeed we have access to confidential information. Thus, knowing about how the company caters to keep security intact is damn important.
Also, certain testing requires specialized setup including devices, network conditions, etc., hence it is advisable to check on the mechanism that is used to test devices as well as connection setup before outsourcing the work.
Many companies get their committed staff to work in ODCs (Offshore Development Center) where the team works only for a specific client project and entry to any outer staff is prohibited. ODCs have cameras mounted for monitoring purpose and they also limit the usage of Mobile devices, Storage gadgets, etc. to prevent data leakage.
Recommended Read => Evaluating Software Testing Companies for Outsourcing
Software Testing Outsourcing Models
Organizations, while they are focusing on the speed to market, cost control, and quality at high speed must adopt optimized testing models.
So, while outsourcing software testing has realized its scope & gained a lot of momentum, it is quite important to understand how outsourcing functions in the IT industry. Several outsourcing models are available in the industry today.
Let us understand the two broad terms in Software Testing:
- Traditional Testing Services
- Specialist Testing Services
Traditional Testing Services, generally called TTS is a Software Testing model of carrying out Software Testing by the in-house testing team.
Specialist Testing Services, shortly known as STS, includes the testing services where test specialists, SME’s or testing organizations provide testing services to the client.
#1) Traditional Testing Services
This model includes the organizations having their own set up of in house testing team and they carry out the Software Development and Testing activity together within their own organization by making use of their own resources and will not outsource it to anyone else.
These organizations would have built their own in-house testing team along with the Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE).
#2) Specialist Testing Services
This model is also known as Software Outsourcing Testing services or Independent Software Testing services that consist of outsourcing the testing activity to the 3rd party testing vendors.
Here the subject matter expertise (SME’s) or specialists provide the testing services. We know that it is not possible to have various subject knowledge by a single tester or a few in the group. Thus, when it is offloaded to a specialized testing service, then those who are specialized in that particular field can do a much better job.
The Specialist Testing Services option of Outsourcing Testing includes Outsourcing Testing to,
- Independent Testers
- Testing Organizations
- Crowd Testing Group
(i) Independent Testers:
If the work is small in size and duration, then it is possible to outsource it to the Independent Testers, who are also called Freelancers. These Independent Testers are away from the developers and hence they will be able to do a good job by giving straight forward, open and righteous feedback about the product without any hesitation.
Thus, when testing is given out to ‘Independent Testers’, there is no worry of any biased decisions.
This model works on a pay per hour or pay per project kind of payment services to the Independent Testers and the Testers will use their own set up for testing other than any special test set up. If required to test on a special set up, they will be provided with access by the client to carry out the testing.
(ii) Testing Organizations:
Outsourcing the testing to the 3rd party testing organizations or Testing Vendors includes contracting the entire testing work or partial work to them.
In this model, few clients would like the third-party vendors to be based in their own premises or co-located with the development team at the client’s location so that they can keep an eye on them as well as the confidentiality of the project. Thus, the clients let these people use their own test set up, processes and methodologies.
In another case, the test resources are completely kept away from the owner or they will be seated at their own office locations and they will not be placed at the client location. Only the Test Manager interacts with the owner in exchanging the project information and transferring back to the team and hence they may or may not use the client’s resources for testing.
The top-notch companies like Accenture, TechM, Infosys and various other organizations are providing testing services to the global clients.
Similarly, the organizations that are specialized only in testing like Qualitest, Dignity, etc., are very well versed with different areas of testing and are equipped with experienced resources in terms of people, infrastructure set up & tools and provide world-class testing services to the clients.
(iii) Crowd Testing:
The Crowd Testing model includes offering testing to the real or end-users generally during beta testing to carry out the testing.
The various payment models that the clients adopt for outsourcing the testing will include:
- Time and Material
- Fixed Price
- SLA based
- Any other models
List Of Software Testing Services That Can Be Outsourced
Enlisted below are some of the QA services that can be outsourced:
- Functional Testing
- Mobile App Testing
- Automation Testing
- Performance Testing
- Security Testing
- Usability Testing
- Cross Browser Testing
- Localization Testing
- Technical Writing Services
- SEO Testing
- User Interface Testing
- Exploratory Testing
- Multi-platform testing
- Game Testing
- E-commerce Testing
- Installation Testing
- QA Recruitment Services
- Full Cycle Testing
- Pre-certification Testing
- Documentation services
- Compatibility Testing
Few Useful Tips For Successful QA Outsourcing
#1) Select The Right Vendor: Indeed, the first and foremost tip would be to select the right vendor. We have already discussed in detail about choosing the best QA Outsourcing Company.
#2) Sign A Comprehensive SLA: Service Level Agreement plays a very important role in outsourcing partnerships. SLA sets out rules, guidelines and due dates for each phase of testing. It secures both the parties by acting as a legal point of reference for them.
#3) Coordination Between The Outsourced Team And In-house Staff: For moving things speedier and easier, there should be better collaboration and common understanding between the in-house staff and outside testing. One should be able to reach the right individual in the organization.
Lack of proper coordination and communication between both parties can result in poor understanding of the Product requirements, Vague bug reports, Late changes in the test plan, and thereby result in Missed delivery dates.
#4) Keep The Outsourcing Testers Concentrated On QA: The outsourcing team should be focused only on the quality assurance tasks. Indulging them in the development tasks can introduce bias in testing.
#5) Frequently Evaluate The Outsourcing QA Vendor: Periodic reviews of outsourcing partner aids you in achieving the QA goals you set. You should evaluate the Company’s current position, Review testing documentation, Identify any hidden actions and Cost drivers and then adjust your current business system with the vendor accordingly.
#6) Choosing An Engagement Model: You should choose an appropriate business model that would align with your business needs and minimize risks accordingly. The essential part here is to decide whether to go for Incremental outsourcing or Total outsourcing.
You need to make this decision by considering various variables like Selecting the geological area, Business policy, Comprehending the landscape, etc.
#7) Motivate The Outsourced QA Team And In-house Team: Keeping the team morale high is crucial for successful QA. You can appreciate the team members in a number of ways and should take care of a few key pointers as stated below.
- Sharing the latest tools and information with the team so that they can work efficiently.
- Listening to employees and trying to remove their blockers/issues.
- Applauding them from time to time when they make some achievement.
All that you need to know about QA outsourcing was explained in detail here. We discussed the Benefits of Outsourcing, Software Testing Outsourcing Models, Important Factors to be considered while outsourcing along with the useful Tips for successful QA outsourcing.
With these opportunities and benefits available from outsourcing the Software Testing services, now the concept of TCOE is slowly declining. Thus, more and more advantages of outsourcing QA services are pushing the organizations towards Outsourcing Software Testing.
Finally, Check This => Crowdsourced Testing Guide