9 important questions to ask your quality assurance supplier

As a customer, you have a choice. And that’s a good thing. Strong competitors force everyone in the market to innovate and deliver value to their customers. But the choice can also be overwhelming. For example, if you have to choose one yogurt in the supermarket from a refrigerated case full of different brands. I can’t advise you which yogurt to choose. But I can help you think about what is important when choosing a quality assurance partner. Below are some important questions to ask to see which supplier best suits your needs.

How user-friendly are your tools?

We are moving away from high code programming, manual testing and scripting. No-code and low-code are the new paradigms. These trends are democratizing testing, as the learning curve for using low-code and no-code tools is much less daunting. Modern quality assurance tools respond to this trend. It makes no sense to use high-code testing tools to test applications built with low-code tools like Mendix, Outsystems, Pega. As development cycles accelerate, testing tools that require programming or scripting cannot keep up. And because business and IT increasingly work together, you need tools that everyone can use.

Engineers working with Tricentis tools need not be highly skilled software engineers who required years of specialized training to use them. Our approach is automated, completely codeless and intelligently powered by artificial intelligence. Software is eating the world. We are past the stage where we eat with our hands. So don’t try manually. Use intelligent tools for that.

Do you support agile development?

The waterfall is dead, long live agile. Waterfall was a good method when release cycles spanned years. Today, companies roll out applications and updates on a quarterly, monthly, or even weekly or daily basis. Hence the success of agile’, where developers, testers and customers work together in an iterative approach. This requires everyone to adapt and respond to changes rather than sticking to a detailed plan. Since agile development involves many iterative phases rather than a single, sequential development process, traditional software testing methods no longer apply. Where testing used to be postponed until the end of development, in the agile methodology it is integrated into the development cycle from day one.

With Tricentis, agile teams can dramatically accelerate software delivery, reduce costs and improve quality. Tricentis qTest is an agile test management solution that enables teams to track, organize and report on testing activities across the enterprise. And we recently announced Tricentis Test Management for Jira, an end-to-end test management solution that streamlines development and test cycles by helping the entire enterprise manage testing from idea to production as one team in Jira. Unlike other Jira plugins, TTM for Jira does not slow down the entire Jira instance. TTM for Jira delivers performance and scalability.

Are you standardized?

Companies usually consist of several development teams that use different tools to develop and test software. It is good for agility – and the individual teams will cherish this autonomy. On the other hand, mixing different tools can make it harder for teams to collaborate and reuse what the other teams have developed.

Tricentis takes a very open stance here: Tricentis unites test management, implementation and reporting. This results in greater collaboration and greater efficiency and accuracy. Tricentis analyzes and visualizes results from commercial, open source and proprietary testing tools and aggregates them into custom dashboards. Real-time integration with Jira and other tools gives you traceability of all requirements. To make life even easier, Tricentis provides built-in support for more than 160 applications and technologies. As insurer Baloise said of Tricentis: “In the five years we’ve been using Tosca, we haven’t come across a single application that we couldn’t use Tosca for.”

How easy is it to reuse test cases across projects and teams?

For the sake of efficiency, development and testing teams are constantly looking for time savings. Being able to reuse test cases from one tool to another and from one team to another greatly contributes to time savings. In addition to reusing test cases, it is very important that changes in one test case are also included in other test cases.

Tricentis is a big fan of recycling. Just look at how our test management tool qTest allows you to create a test run in a project using a test case shared by another project. And when changes occur that require a change to shared test cases, simply update the original test case – it will automatically be adapted in all other projects. Say goodbye to tedious updating of test cases in different projects, even with a simple environment change.

But it gets even better: You can also easily reuse functional tests as performance tests. Testers using NeoLoad can build on the results of functional tests, for example by taking test scripts from Tosca or Selenium and then converting them to performance tests. And as a testament to the power of integrated tools – and the direct alignment between Tosca tests and NeoLoad test scripts – minimal maintenance is required when there is a change in the functional test.

Do you use new technologies such as artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for a long time, but the concept only took off when there was enough data to make systems learn, and enough computing power to analyze and learn from all that data. AI is now embedded in more applications than you can imagine. AI is being used to personalize experiences, to power recommendation engines, to detect fraud, to help organizations make sound decisions – and most importantly, to further automate processes that require too much human effort. No wonder AI is playing a key role in automating the software testing process.

Vision AI from Tricentis is a next-generation, AI-powered test automation technology that enables test engineers to automate user interface test cases based on a mock-up. So before writing any code. This allows you to test much earlier in the development lifecycle. Vision AI can test virtually any application, regardless of technical expertise. This means you can run tests across legacy and modern apps, and even technologies so new that most automation tools don’t support them yet. Vision AI requires no coding or scripting, which means less maintenance and more reuse. Unlike other AI tools, Vision AI is not a stand-alone product, but a standard part of Tosca.

Do you support ‘shift-left’?

Shift left is one of those terms that keeps popping up in discussions about software testing and quality assurance. Traditionally, the software development life cycle begins with a requirements analysis, followed by a feasibility study, architectural design and software development. Testing will only enter a fifth phase, just before rollout. Left shift means testing is involved earlier in the cycle. It is estimated that more than half of software errors can already be detected in the requirements analysis phase. Clearly, moving tasks to earlier stages in the development lifecycle can save valuable time, shorten time-to-market, reduce costs and improve overall quality.

Vision AI, discussed above in this article, is a good example of how Tricentis supports shift-left: UI testing can already start from a mock-up. You don’t have to wait for the UI to finish. Thanks to Vision AI, you can start automating your UI tests right away.

Do you have strong relationships with major software suppliers?

Few companies today build their own applications and instead rely on customized software from large software suppliers such as SAP, Salesforce or ServiceNow. These applications affect companies’ fundamental business processes, so both implementing them and making changes involve significant risks. Quality assurance tools can help mitigate this risk, provided the QA tools are tightly integrated with these software packages.

Tricentis has very close collaborations with these software vendors and has tight integrations with the software, enabling app native testing. Tricentis is part of SAP’s Solex (Solution Extension) program, which means that Tricentis is SAP’s preferred partner for end-to-end SAP testing. With Tricentis Test Automation for ServiceNow and Tricentis Test Automation for Salesforce, applications can be automated earlier and more often, resulting in faster releases, accelerated development and greater test coverage.

Is your company stable and focused on quality assurance?

Quality assurance is about reducing risks, securing business processes and delivering good customer experiences to your users. QA is so deeply embedded in the application development lifecycle that you don’t switch QA vendors like you would with network switches. This means you want a technology partner with a long-term vision and a clear roadmap. A company that is well financed and can exist independently.

Tricentis is a stable company and is expanding its market lead through organic growth and acquisitions. Tricentis focuses exclusively on providing high quality products that help its customers. Compare that to the testing tools offered by MicroFocus, which has gone from one owner (Mercury Interactive, HP) and is now being sold to another company, OpenText. Test solutions will be only a small part of OpenText’s business and will likely receive little management attention and R&D focus.

How well are you rated by key analysts such as Gartner, IDC and Forrester?

Not all IT departments have the resources and bandwidth to continuously monitor the entire software application and tool market. The application landscape has become so complex that it is virtually impossible to see all the trends in the market. Fortunately, renowned analysts such as Gartner, Forrester and IDC take care of it. Working with suppliers who consistently score well in analyst reports is a safe choice. Paraphrasing the old adage “no one ever gets fired for choosing IBM,” one could say that no one ever gets fired for following Gartner’s advice.

In Gartner’s reports published with the Magic Quadrant on Software Test Automation, Tricentis is consistently placed in the “Leaders” quadrant for five consecutive years. This means that Tricentis scores well in both its vision and its ability to execute on that vision. Analyst reports are based, among other things, on user interviews. Scoring well in an analyst report is not only confirmation from the analysts, it is also confirmation from other customers.

Every company is a quality assurance company

You’ve no doubt heard the statement that “every business becomes a software business”. If that is the case, I would think that every company should also become a quality company. Your company’s success and reputation is proportional to the quality of your internal and customer-facing applications. By getting the right answers to the above questions, you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to deliver the very best quality to your customers.

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