A new solution to allow all employees to easily contribute to testing pre-production business-to-employee (B2E) and business-to-consumer (B2C) mobile apps has been launched by Apperian. Early adopters, which include several national retail brands and an international financial institution, have already experienced significant improvements in app quality, faster time to market and broader community involvement of internal testers for their app initiatives.
This new offering leverages Apperian's enterprise mobility platform and is specifically designed to help enterprises consistently deliver high quality mobile apps that users want to download, install and use, while significantly speeding time-to-market.
"User acceptance testing is a phase of the development process that has traditionally been difficult to scale. Testers are typically limited to a handful of employees, at times even the same people who are developing the apps, which puts enterprises at risk of delivering an app with poor usability or even poor quality," said Carlos Montero-Luque, CTO at Apperian. "We have reimagined what mobile app testing should be by empowering hundreds and even thousands of employees and/or contractors to be part of a user acceptance test process that is already delivering excellent results for early customers. In fact, many customers are reporting that they’re gaining a much clearer understanding of how their apps will actually perform in the market thanks to the fact that they have been tested by a broad group that actually represents real end-users."
A recent Gartner report titled "Agenda Overview for Application Development, January 2014" suggested best practices for app testing and detailed user concerns:
"In response to the new application topology introduced by mobile and cloud technologies and the growth of agile practices, testing organizations are under pressure to deal with raised expectations. Consumerization drives a broader focus on software quality beyond "Does the software function?" Highly publicized software failures are pointing out the need for improved quality practices. Traditional software testing tools have been found lacking in the ability to manage quality at Web scale, and the multiplatform and mobile marketplace demand additional tooling."
Apperian's platform can be used for B2C or B2E apps prior to general release and also helps boost app store ratings as a result of broader, faster pre-production capabilities that deliver higher quality apps.
Additional capabilities are:
Over-the-air auto app updates: Ensures that testers always have the most up-to-date version of the app. Users are automatically prompted to download the latest version, which will install without requiring a tester to plug the device into a PC.
App remote control: Developers and administrators can remotely watch and control the app being tested on a tester’s iOS device for support, troubleshooting, and usability analysis.
Self-registration: Allows users to self-register to be a tester without requiring device ID codes or any special device-centric enrollment.
Usage reporting: Detailed reporting chronicles how often users are actually using the app.
Centralized, end-user feedback collection: Users are provided a familiar process for giving feedback on an app being tested as if they were leaving comments in iTunes or Google Play. These comments are associated with specific versions of the app and are centrally collected by the Apperian platform for review by developers and product owners.
Crash-log reporting: If an app crashes, the debug information is centrally collected in a secure manner within the Apperian platform and available for diagnostic review.
"Using Apperian to manage our mobile app user acceptance testing has significantly improved the quality and usability of our apps while decreasing the amount of back-and-forth between our QA team and our clients' QA teams and their end-users," said Kathy Ma, Product Manager at Rapid Consulting Services. "Thanks to Apperian's unique approach, we've been able to more efficiently deliver apps that fit the exact needs of our clients. Most recently, we saw a significant impact when testing and distributing one of our apps, Mother's Milk, at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, where Apperian made the process a lot easier and more effective."