Accenture (ACN), Applause Enter Crowdtesting Alliance

September 14, 2016 8:14 AM EDT

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Accenture (NYSE: ACN) has formed an alliance with Applause, a leading provider of software testing tools and services, strengthening the capabilities and geographic scope of its own testing services. With an initial focus on digital application testing, the new alliance provides organizations with access to crowdsourcing services as part of their broader testing program, in order to accelerate software releases and ensure more seamless customer experiences.

As part of the alliance relationship, Accenture Ventures also made a minority investment in Applause.

The testing market is exploding as the number of devices, operating systems and applications keeps growing. In addition, countries have varied security requirements, privacy laws, and other regulations, making testing requirements more complex—creating an ideal scenario to tap into the testing capabilities provided by Applause’s global, diverse crowd of testers.

The Applause crowd community features more than 250,000 experienced quality assurance testers around the world. They complement Accenture’s 35,000 testing professionals to provide an unmatched scope of testing services and geographic coverage. Accenture is already working with Applause to test, secure and monitor digital applications for a seamless customer experience across mobile devices, desktops, kiosks, smart TVs, and wearables. Working with Accenture and Applause, companies can also access specialized crowds of testers that match the profile of their users and customers. For example, the 60,000 women testers in the Applause crowd can be tapped to effectively test applications for products and services specifically targeted for women.

“Crowdsourcing will supplement, not replace, traditional staffing capabilities and provide flexible access to in-demand talent that can help clients improve the end-to-end performance of their websites, mobile applications and Internet of Things devices,” said Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive, Accenture Technology Services. “By working with a crowdtesting leader like Applause, we will be better positioned to help our clients build a more liquid workforce that addresses the constant need for new skills, accelerates speed to market and enhances the customer experience.”

“Digital experiences today are the front door to any type of business,” said Doron Reuveni, Applause founder and CEO. “Applause has the know-how, communities and crowd to help companies test across multiple devices and get results very quickly. Working with Accenture, we’ll help companies test their applications in the wild on real devices and configurations, beyond the confinement of a lab. Together, we’ll be able to help deliver a truly innovative and delightful experience for customers and users.”

“As organizations are moving toward the As-a-Service economy with the goal to achieve higher agility and to accelerate time to value, testing services have to be able to support those strategies. By blending crowdsourcing of testing talent with other innovations such as automation and artificial intelligence, organizations are able to respond to the ever increasing complexity of technology while still speeding up deployments,” commented Tom Reuner, Research VP at HfS Research.

By 2018, 80 percent of development organizations supporting digital transformation will incorporate crowdsourcing into their projects as a regular practice, according to IDC1. This represents a sea change in the way organizations design and staff projects. In one recent project, Accenture turned to Applause to help test mobile applications on devices across more than 30 countries, with over 50 percent of the countries staffed on an as-needed basis. This staffing flexibility helped the client achieve significant cost savings, in addition to dramatically improved application quality and speed to market. With effective project and work flow management and scheduling, the overall testing efforts were reduced by over 30 percent.

“Our new alliance with Applause is a game-changer for our clients, who will benefit from unprecedented access to a global network of testing talent, including more than 60,000 women crowdtesters, to improve application quality, accelerate software releases, and deliver an enhanced customer experience,” said Kishore Durg, Accenture managing director and executive sponsor of the Applause alliance.

The Applause community is also integrated into the Accenture Omni-Channel Testing Platform, a first-of-its-kind platform that helps testers focus on improving user experiences and delivering business impact.

1 @IDC, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2016 Predictions, November 2015

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