The Australian independent software testing and training organisation, Planit, has opened an office in Wellington and will offer a one-stop shop for software testing and training in software testing.
Planit provides government departments and businesses in industries including banking and finance, telecommunications and insurance, with quality assurance, software testing services and software tester training and certification.
Large organisations – particularly in the government and corporate sector – rely on custom-built software programs to successfully run their businesses. Without proper testing of those applications businesses risk not only vast amounts of time and money on the project, but also the performance of their business that relies on the systems to function.
Chris Carter, Planit’s managing director, is also the president of the Australian/New Zealand Testing Board (ANZTB) and secretary of the International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB). Carter says the company has set up shop in New Zealand in response to a demand from customers there.
“Customers kept asking when we were going to open an office in New Zealand,” said Carter. “What they wanted was one company that could service all their software testing needs: one that could train employees in practical methods and processes; that could help with certification to international standards; that could provide a flexible and scalable resource pool; and that was vendor agnostic.
“While the global financial crisis has seen many oragnisations reduce their operations, both in terms of staff and projects, it has had the reverse effect on us,” said Carter. “New Zealand businesses cannot risk losing money on poorly developed projects, or be part of the five per cent of projects in ANZ that are cancelled each year. They need to include testing early in software development projects to ensure success.”
Planit has been servicing the New Zealand market for a number of years through its Australian operation. The company felt the time was right to establish an office in New Zealand to provide high-level guidance and advice to customers on how they can set up their testing processes.
In 2008, Planit included New Zealand organisations for the first time in its annual Planit Testing Index. The results showed that while New Zealand businesses viewed software testing as more critical than Australian organisations did, they conducted the testing later in their software projects, reducing the benefit of that testing – just 21 per cent started testing early in the software development phase, compared to 36 per cent of Australian organisations.
The 2008 index also showed that software projects in Australia and New Zealand, on average, cost A$17.8 million.
Carter said for development projects to succeed there had to be an element of rigour at the specification stage.
“A poor set of requirements guarantees failure,” he said. “However, our testing procedures can help New Zealand companies better understand the viability of their projects. Any potential pitfalls can be identified early and so help manage the cost of the project.”
Simon Farrant will set up the New Zealand business. Farrant has worked for Planit for three years as a principal consultant based in the Sydney office. The company also plans to appoint additional testing and training staff.
“Our ultimate goal is to satisfy the growing demand we see in the New Zealand market for high-quality and reliable testing services,” said Carter.