client success

Understanding your Business

Better business and project outcomes are maximized when your dedicated testing personnel have extensive industry experience. QA Consultants’ history of delivering 5,000+ projects has given us exposure to virtually every market sector around the world. Every one of our testers, consultants and project managers has relevant experience in a variety of sectors. To ensure maximum productivity, all testers receive specialized education on their clients’ industry and issues before starting projects.

Client Testimonials

  • Aviva has engaged QA Consultants on dozens of mission-critical testing projects over the past eight years. During these years QA Consultants demonstrated true partnership and a commitment to innovative testing and service practices, especially the Toronto-based Test Factory, which has consistently delivered value-added testing services. These new forms of business value - that improve customer satisfaction and optimize cost - are a true representation of the most progressive client/provider relationship.

    Tatyana Dovga AVP, Quality Assurance and Testing Centre of Excellence, Aviva Canada
  • QA Consultants is an integral part of our business and has been for the past two years. Working on the largest account in our Toronto office, their team leads the QA efforts by developing comprehensive test plans and performing them across projects of varying complexity. Throughout the process, we receive regular status reports and collaborate during defect fixing to ensure the functional and non-functional requirements are satisfied. They demonstrate a solid understanding of development lifecycles and have always had excellent communication skills. I look forward to more opportunities to engage with a great team.

    Colton Horner Project Manager, Blast Radius Canada
  • At the Test Factory we found a top-notch centre of excellence. On shore QA Testing has helped us build super efficient and extremely effective quality system processes to help our organization move forward at a faster pace. The team at Test Factory has taken our questions and concerns to heart and helped customize systems that work for us.

    Lyndon Jones - Oliver Tech
  • I would say their flexibility and resource availability are excellent and extremely conducive to our overall business strategy. Testing is all they do, and quality is of utmost importance to them.
    IT Director at Shoppers Drug Mart (Consumer Products Retailer)
  • QA Consultants were instrumental in successfully testing and ensuring that the NU Life Transformation project was delivered on time and on budget to Transamerica Life Canada.
    Mike Daicoff - AVP, Life & ECM Services, IT, Transamerica Life Canada
  • They do software and application testing exclusively, so they really know testing. It's just in their blood. They are the only vendor we have on our approved vendor list that has such a niche service and skillset.
    SVP, Sr. Technology Manager, Global 2000 Financial Services Firm

Case Studies

Toronto Hydro

 

 

Situation

Toronto Hydro distributes electrical power to over 700,000 business and residential customers in the Toronto Area. As part of its ongoing productivity improvement strategy, Toronto Hydro proposed to develop an automated Timekeeping Solution to replace costly and cumbersome manual processes. The project had some big challenges due to complex nature of the project and demanding timelines. As part of risk mitigation strategy, Toronto Hydro engaged QA Consultants to provide independent testing services for both functional and performance related components. We were chosen for our testing expertise, relationship management flexibility, quick application ramp-up and rapid resource deployment.

Mandate & Solution

We quickly worked with the internal team to develop revised test scripts and plan that included skill requirements, testing location and optimal resourcing. Upon approval, we rapidly deployed a hybrid functional and performance testing platform with 7 expert testers deployed at the client site and 5 at our local Test Factory center of excellence. To generate immediate results, our team had to quickly get up to speed on the Timekeeping Solution and workflow and meld seamlessly into the client’s culture and project management teams.

Results

Our testing effort helped accelerate project completion, reduce business & technical risk, and improved code quality. The system was launched in January 2013, in line with target goals. Deploying Timekeeping Solution on time is estimated to bring huge cost savings as well as deliver improved service levels and higher user capacity.

Client benefits: high quality outcome, cost effective solution, ‘personal touch’ service

PRAXAIR

Situation

Praxair is a leading supplier of industrial gases to the North American market.  In order to enhance customer satisfaction and operational performance, the company undertook a multi-million dollar IT initiative to improve their logistics and operational capabilities.  A well-known global IT services firm was tasked with building the software and quality assurance solution. However, due to the complexity of the application the project was regularly plagued by quality and delivery issues.  To quickly get the initiative back on track without blowing up the budget, Praxair decided to bring in a dedicated and experienced quality assurance firm.

Our Mandate & Solution

QA Consultants were picked to handle 50% of their testing requirements, based on their technical and project management expertise, ability to customize their services and ‘personal touch’ responsiveness.  Given the project’s history and the need to minimize risk, Praxair had insisted on a fixed price/fixed delivery contract. After a thorough analysis of the client’s business and technical requirements, QA Consultants chose the Test Factory – their innovative testing centre of excellence – as the best testing and financial solution for the engagement.

Time was tight. The testers needed to ramp up fast on the technical aspects of the project plus get quickly get up to speed on important industry and operational considerations as well as internal client workflows. Ten highly-skilled testing professionals worked full time over 90 days to write and manually execute a variety of test cases.  In addition, QA’s dedicated account team worked closely with their Praxair counterparts on project management and troubleshooting issues.

 Results

Our work quickly got the testing schedule back on track – recapturing almost 6 months from a late critical path – without compromising the quality of the results or alienating Praxair team members. In addition, our efforts help shorten the development cycle, accelerate project deployment time and reduce overall business risk.  Finally, QA Consultants delivered their testing services on time, on budget and with no surprises.

 

Loblaws

Situation

Loblaws is a major Canadian grocery retailer in the midst of a major supply chain transformation that is slated to be completed in 2014. Loblaws is experiencing high levels of competition and margin compression. The company is in the process of rolling out new technology from 10% (pilot) to 80% of their stores in order to improve operational efficiencies, enhance decision making and minimize out of stocks. Of note, this is the largest SAP roll-out in the world.

 Mandate & Solution

QA Consultant was engaged to provide performance testing such as regression testing and defect management for 100% of the applications within a heterogeneous enterprise infrastructure. The project challenges are threefold:  1) perform the testing within a tight time window; 2) deliver high quality work to offset significant  business risk and 2) cope with significant project complexity driven by the massive amounts of data, customized reporting and multiple integration points between applications.

We are delivering a hybrid testing solution made up of our Test Factory centre of excellence and Staff Augmentation resources. The mission critical nature of this project requires that we provide only the best QA managers, testers and tools with extensive retail experience.  Furthermore, the risks and uncertainties associated with project require a high level of on-site relationship management support and detailed performance reporting.

 Results

We have met all of the project financial and delivery goals as well as exceeded client relationship expectations. Versus the IT services incumbent, we are delivering a 20% labour cost savings with our Staff Augmentation resources and an impressive 26% savings with our Test Factory offering. As proof of our value, our Loblaw business relationship has increased by 50% since 2011.

Client benefits:  high quality outcome, cost effective solution, ‘personal touch’ service

 

Large Legal Firm

Situation

This large, prestigious law firm was engaged by a leading telecom company to represent them in a software quality dispute. The telecom company (client) had contracted a software developer (vendor) back in the mid 1990s to build them an enterprise-scale service. The software was delivered, but there were issues. The client contended it did not work according to their expectations. The vendor disagreed. The dispute centered around whether the vendor delivered a sufficiently functional product according to the client’s requirements.

 Mandate & Solution

The legal team hired QA Consultants – based on reputation and 20 years testing experience – to provide forensic testing services and expert testimony for the software product. Our mandate was to objectively determine whether the product was delivered complete, in good working order and in compliance with the original formal requirements. The vendor engaged their own expert opinion to review the product’s completeness and quality. Much of the case boiled down to the thoroughness and credibility of each expert’s technical assessment.

Our project scope included performing defect analysis and performance testing, under the original (circa 1999) technical and environmental conditions. There were considerable challenges recreating the exact hardware, operating system and software configuration as well as simulating performance traits. Moreover, maintaining project accuracy, privacy and integrity were crucial, as our work was going to be scrutinized by the other party’s software quality assurance expert.

 Results

We produced a 126-page report outlining the findings from an extensive forensic testing effort. Our report was entered as expert testimony; it was viewed by the judge as the more credible of the opinions based on its real-life simulation and completeness. This report contributed to a successful resolution of the case in the client’s favour.

 

Four Seasons

Situation

Four Seasons is one of the world’s preeminent luxury and hospitality brands. In 2012, the firm was looking to expand its web presence in local markets (where it had locally-owned and operated properties) while ensuring a consistent and compelling brand and user experience. The company wanted to work with a partner who would truly understand their brand needs, stakeholder and IT systems and be able to leverage these learnings on multiple site deployments.

 Mandate & Solution

Four Seasons engaged QA Consultants as a single-sourced, dedicated and independent testing partner. Our mandate was to deliver a ‘best practices’ user experience, multiple browser and cross-platform testing to support the rollout of local web sites and a new reservation-booking engine. The company needed to test over 500 web pages in 14 different languages spanning 95 properties around the world. Furthermore, the scope of work included functionality testing on a content management system. This engagement had a variety of technical and business challenges including adhering to strict brand and user experience standards and the need to meet the stringent quality and delivery expectations of local owners/operators.

 Results

Since 2012, we have helped Four Seasons roll out 10 different language web sites in over 50 markets. Our testing services are helping deliver a high quality, more streamlined and consistent user and brand experiences across multiple platforms.

 

eHealth

Situation

QA Consultants was engaged by eHealth Ontario from 2011 to mid 2012 to provide software quality assurance and testing services. eHealth is the government agency tasked with designing and implementing Ontario’s electronic health record system (EHRS). It is widely acknowledged throughout the Ontario healthcare and IT sectors that implementing the EHRS was an extremely complex undertaking with significant privacy, security and system integration challenges.

 Mandate & Solution

The QA Consultants mandate was to provide expert testing services as well as configuration and release management support ‘on demand’ for any eHealth application, system and business need across multiple locations. Our firm was chosen for our application & process expertise, wide service offering and superior value versus other on and offshore vendors. Also critical was our independence, non-biased approach and exclusive focus on testing. Specifically, we were never tainted by earlier eHealth consulting scandals. Furthermore, we did not have a conflict of interest from also providing the client software development services. Simply put, we established an expert pool of resources at a fixed price, delivering testers and consultants when needed, where needed, as needed. This business arrangement gave eHealth increased testing flexibility, faster knowledge diffusion and rapid project scalability, all with fixed pricing, compliance with strict procurement policies and low financial risk.

 Results

Our work exceeded eHealth’s high expectations around quality of work, service responsiveness, professionalism and project delivery. Moreover, we meshed seamlessly with a variety of their internal teams as well as external vendors

 

Canadian Tire

Situation

Canadian Tire is an iconic Canadian retailer. Over 80% of all Canadians visit their stores every year. However, the firm is under siege from new US merchants like Target and major local players like Walmart and Home Depot. Maintaining customer loyalty is a strategic priority. Before launching a major loyalty marketing program, Canadian Tire undertook an important study to collect and track customer information and buying behavior.

Mandate & Solution

QA Consultants were engaged on this project after the incumbent outsourcer began trending 3 months late and millions of dollars over-budget – owing to a lack of application expertise and effective project management. Outside of the budget and work plan issues, the project had a number of challenges including tight deadlines, issues around data integrity and the sheer volume of data.

We were hired for 3 reasons: 1) our customized solution promised a 70% labour cost savings versus the incumbent’s local and offshore alternatives; 2) QA Consultant’s superior tester skill and industry experience and; 3) the ease and agility in which we do business. QA Consultants delivered a hybrid testing solution made up of our Test Factory center of excellence and On Demand staff augmentation resources.

Results

Our focused yet responsive efforts got the project back on track and delivered it on time – versus 3 months late. We estimate that our solution saved Canadian Tire $3.8M in testing costs and enabled the company to meet its business objectives of a national roll out of a new Affinity program.

Client benefits: high quality outcome, cost effective solution, ‘personal touch’ service

Case 2

Situation

Canadian Tire is a preeminent North American retailer and brand. In 2013, the Company undertook a major initiative to move their comprehensive catalog of hundreds of thousands of stock keeping units to the web and then add e-commerce, support and rich media capabilities in order to drive new sales through their website. This was a complex project given the number of back end systems that needed to be integrated, the strict security requirements and the number of internal and external teams involved. Canadian Tire was using both an offshore vendor and an internal Agile team for development, but required the ability to provide On Demand testing to align with their new Agile approach to development.

Mandate & Solution

QA Consultants was engaged to provide mobile, functionality, security and U/X software testing services for their strategic E-commerce implementation. We were hired for our responsive & local operations, industry knowledge, and deep testing skills. The project was especially challenging given the technical demands, our need to mesh quickly with both Agile and Waterfall methodologies teams (both in Toronto and abroad) and the requirement for deep retail and client knowledge.

 Results

The project was launched on time and on budget. Our testing work exceeded the client’s quality and service expectations while maintaining organizational harmony with all internal and external stakeholders. With rigid timelines that we dictated by the competitive landscape, QA Consultants provided an effective testing solution to meet these initiatives at Canadian Tire.

Aviva

Situation

Aviva is one of Canada’s largest and most respected insurance providers. QA Consultants have been Aviva’s pre-eminent testing partner since 2005. We have successfully completed over 60 quality assurance projects involving application migration, UAT, ecommerce, WARP and marketing testing.

Mandate & Solution

We were engaged on one particularly complex, multi-million dollar project which featured very tight delivery deadlines, application complexity and limited internal resources. Our traditional service model for Aviva, Staff Augmentation, was insufficient to deliver on the client’s strict requirements around delivery, budget, resource availability and quality. The only way of meeting these needs was by executing this project through our on-site, on-demand Test Factory centre of excellence. Using the Test Factory enabled us to run multiple shifts with our insurance and application experts while leveraging our advanced and proprietary testing methodologies.

Results

The Test Factory accelerated time to production by 50% and produced a 28% reduction in direct labour cost. Additional cost savings were gained by freeing up over 2200 sq ft of Aviva’s facilities, scarce personnel and expensive hardware and software to work on other priority initiatives.

Case 2

Situation

Aviva is one of the World’s leading automobile insurance companies. Aviva Canada has been regularly enhancing their customer-facing and back-office applications, as well as their software development and testing capabilities. QA Consultants has been a strategic testing partner since 2005, involved in over 60 testing projects to date.

Mandate and Solution

QA Consultants was engaged to provide testing for a new enterprise documentation management system and repository. We delivered a comprehensive offering of Testing services that included designing the Test Plan, Script Development, Testing Execution and producing a comprehensive report detailing the bugs and code enhancements. Our bespoke delivery model featured a combination of staff augmentation, the Toronto-based Test Factory centre of excellence and consulting services. Within the project we had to overcome a number of business and technical challenges including tight project timelines, infrastructure complexity and the need to link up with external broker management systems.

Results

We fulfilled the first phase of this complex project on budget, on quality and on time; our core team is currently supporting the second phase of the project. Furthermore, our efforts helped streamline their processes enabling Aviva to write better test cases, faster. Finally, several members of our Aviva team were recognized by the company for the quality of their work and performance.

 

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