“QA professionals are very intelligent people, but they also need to do very repetitive work. This causes them to move to different projects and different jobs frequently.” ~ Amir Rapson
WatchDox by Blackberry is an Israeli-based tech company whose SaaS document-centric security platform enables organizations to access and control their critical documents via mobile devices.
Founded in 2008 and acquired by Blackberry in 2015, WatchDox’s platform is used to securely sync files, share documents and collaboratively work with files wherever they need to go, even on devices not under IT control. The data-centric security solution enables organizations to control synced and shared files across any tablet, smartphone or PC.
Prior to its acquisition and eventual rebranding by BlackBerry, WatchDox would prioritize its testing needs by trying to balance the tradeoffs between the need to release new features at speed and the potential risk each new feature might have on the platform.
As WatchDox’s core business evolved, its product line expanded and the company matured, the approach to solution quality ran on parallel lines.
Despite WatchDox adding professional QA people to its internal team, it was impossible to cover every aspect of testing in-house. The company did not have a large team to test the platform, but it needed to continue the policy of fast feature release. Ultimately, there was no way WatchDox could test on all the devices the mobile platform needed to support.
Device coverage across different operating systems and form factors is a strategic value of the WatchDox solution. With a global explosion in available mobile device options, device coverage was (and still is) a moving target.
WatchDox needed to find a fast, secure and reliable way of testing, because it couldn’t risk a major flaw finding its way into the hands of top executives at major firms. This was one of the reasons WatchDox added Applause to its testing team.
Crowdsourcing Is A Cost Effective Way To Add QA Layers
One of WatchDox’s concerns was the long-term effect of repetitive regression testing on the commitment and morale of its QA team.
“QA professionals are very intelligent people, but they also need to do very repetitive work. This causes them to move to different projects and different jobs frequently,” said Blackberry’s vice president of research and development and Israel site manager Amir Rapson. “Having Applause testers allows our team to work on more interesting projects. It keeps the QA engineers very happy and that’s definitely important to us.”
In addition to rapid regression test case execution, WatchDox takes advantage of Applause’s exploratory and localization testing services. WatchDox has moved beyond using Applause to ensure their products work as intended for baseline functionality to leveraging Applause testing to improve its products and provide enriched digital experiences.
For example, WatchDox uses Applause-supplied in-country native speakers to test product language variations including Japanese, Spanish, and French.
“A driving factor for working with Applause was a desire to increase our overall quality. We still had bugs popping up even after we expanded our in-house testing practices,” said BlackBerry’s senior director of server research and development operations Oren Geva. “Applause gave us a cost effective way to add necessary layers of QA. We added reviews to test plans, regression testing, and exploratory testing. Whatever we don’t cover in an automation test, we cover with full manual coverage from Applause.”
Even though WatchDox has grown and been rebranded as BlackBerry Workspaces, the company understands that holding tight to its key strengths and differentiators is critical. As it has moved from working with small early adopter clients to larger clients, there has always been the potential to slow down, but WatchDox maintains its startup mentality and continues to launch new releases with the same sense of urgency.
Over the years, WatchDox has worked on a regular basis with over 100 testers from the Applause community. In essence, Applause testers are an extension of the WatchDox engineering team. WatchDox trusts the assigned Applause testers who are often given access to new features. In fact, the Applause Project Managers and Test Team Leads write many of the test cases.
In the long run WatchDox didn’t only find a company to outsource certain testing needs … it found a partnership with Applause.
“Applause is part of our development process and release cycle. We’ve relied on them for years,” Rapson said. “The level of confidence we get with Applause increases our ability to make bold decisions and position WatchDox as a market leader.”