Digital Test Hub concept challenging offshore testing

Customer demand leads to Birmingham opening.

Edge Testing Solutions, one of the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent software testing companies, has opened a second Digital Test Hub to expand its footprint in the Midlands and reverse the trend towards offshored testing provision.

Edge launched the Digital Test Hub concept in 2013 in Glasgow, Scotland – the first of its kind in the UK. Now employing 250, it was founded to meet requirements for a low cost, on demand test service supplied within the UK. The Digital Test Hub operates as a challenger to the offshore model as it can be accessed easily by organisations looking for a remote testing service for their in-house applications and back office systems, within the same time zone and an immediate understanding of business culture and communication norms.

The decision to select Birmingham was driven by customer demand for quick access to on-site support when necessary, and also by the increasing number of large businesses moving to the Midlands – for example, HSBC is moving 1,000 head office roles to Birmingham by 1st January 2019 and American owned Advanced Computer Software Group is creating approximately 400 jobs in new Birmingham site. Also, home to more start-ups than any other UK regional city, 17,473 new Birmingham companies registered in 2016.

Edge’s second Digital Test Hub facility in Birmingham aims to create over 60 new jobs in the area over the next two years, from experienced Test Managers and Test Analysts to Trainee Software Testers. Edge has already been operating out of Birmingham for over four years, working for several banks, telcos and financial services providers. The company’s clients include the Big Lottery Fund, IRESS and the Student Loans Company.

The Digital Test Hub is cloud based, and is staffed by dedicated service managers. It is available as a standalone service or part of Edge’s Managed Testing Service. Services include device and compatibility testing, website monitoring, website performance testing, usability and accessibility testing, functional testing, regression testing and test automation.

To reduce the need for UK organisations to offshore testing, Edge is addressing the shortage of testing skills in the UK, by building up a pool of trained testers through its Edge Academy. All Edge employees are required to pass the testing certification ISTQB within the first six months of employment, and there is also further in-house training available.

Brian Ferrie, CEO, said: “The Digital Test Hub model has proven a huge hit with our customers. The ability to have a low cost, on demand, remote service without the challenges of going offshore has been a real winner. We have listened to our customers who have said that the service would be even better if there was the flexibility for the team to be on-site during critical project stages. We chose Birmingham as our second Hub as it’s easily accessible for our customers across our southern business, is a vibrant tech hub and gives us access to some fantastic local talent at both experienced and graduate levels”.

Nicola Hewitt, Commercial Director of inward investment agency Business Birmingham, commented: “It is great news to hear Edge Testing will be expanding its operations in Birmingham. The city has become a thriving hotspot for the IT and digital sectors and is the number one location in the UK for business growth rates. Many business – just like Edge – are investing in Birmingham, citing the region’s talent pool and central location as key draws”.