|By Dana Gardner||
|June 16, 2014 11:37 AM EDT||
We have surely entered a golden age of mobile apps development, not just for app stores wares, but across all kinds of enterprise and productivity applications. The notion of mobile-first has altered the development landscape so much that the very notion of software development writ large will never be the same.
With the shift comes a need for speed, but not so much so that security and performance requirements suffer. How to maintain the balance between rapid delivery and quality assurance falls to the testing teams. Into the fray comes cloud-based testing efficiencies.
Our next innovation case study interview therefore highlights how Perfecto Mobile is using a variety of cloud-based testing tools to help its developers rapidly create the best mobile apps for both enterprises and commercial deployment.
BriefingsDirect had an opportunity to learn first-hand how rapid cloud testing begets better mobile development when we interviewed Yoram Mizrachi, CTO and Founder of Perfecto Mobile, based in Woburn, Mass. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Here are some excerpts:
Gardner: Tell us about the state of the mobile development market. How fast is it growing, and who are building mobile apps these days?
Mizrachi: Everyone is building mobile applications today. We have not gone into a single company that doesn't have anything on mobile. It's like what happened on the web 15 years ago. Mobile is moving fast. Even today, we have customers with more transactions on mobile than any other channel that they're offering, including web or making calls. Mobile is here.
Gardner: So that's a big challenge for companies that perhaps are used to a development cycle that took a lot longer, where they had more time to do testing and quality assurance. Mobile development seems to be speeding up. Is there a time crunch that they're concerned about?
Mizrachi: Absolutely. In mobile there are two factors that come into play. The first one is that everyone today is expecting things to happen much faster. So everyone is talking about agile and DevOps, and crunching the time for a version from a few months, maybe even a year, into few weeks.
With mobile, there's a bigger problem. The market itself is moving faster. Looking at the mobile market, you see hundreds of mobile models being launched every year. Apple is releasing many models. Android is releasing tremendous amount of new models every year. The challenge for enterprises is how to release faster on one side, but still maintain a decent quality on all the wide ranges of devices available.
Gardner: So that's a big challenge in terms of coming up with a test environment for each of those iterations.
Of course, we're also seeing mobile first, where they're going to build mobile, and it's changing the whole nature of development. It's a very dynamic and busy time for developers and enterprises. Tell us about Perfecto Mobile and how you're helping them to manage these difficult times.
Mizrachi: Yes, it is mobile first. Many of our existing customers, as I mentioned, have more transactions on mobile than anything else. Today, they're building an interface for their customers starting from mobile. This means there are tremendous issues that they need to handle, starting with automation. If automation was nice to have on traditional web -- with mobile it's no longer a question. Building a robust and continuous automated testing environment is a must in mobile.
Gardner: Now, we're talking about not only different targets for mobile, but we're talking about different types of applications. There's Android, Apple, native, HTML 5, Web, hybrid. How wide a landscape of types of apps are you supporting with your testing capabilities?
Mizrachi: When you look at the market today, mobile is moving very fast, and you're right, there are lots of solutions available in the market. One of the things that Perfecto Mobile is bringing to the market is the fact that we support them all. We support native, hybrid applications, Web services, iOS, Android, and any other platform. All of this is provided as a cloud service. We enable our customers to worry a little bit less about the environment and a little bit more about the actual testing.
Gardner: Tell us how you're doing this? I know that you are a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider and that the testing that you provide is through a cloud-based model. A lot of organizations have traditionally done their own testing or used some tools that may have been SaaS-provided. How are companies viewing going purely to a SaaS model for their testing with their mobile apps?
Mizrachi: The nice thing about what we do with cloud is that it solves a huge logistical problem for the enterprises. We're providing managed solution for those physical devices. So it's many things.
One of them is just physically managing those devices and enabling access to them from anywhere in the world. For example, if I'm a U.S.-based company, I can have my workforce and my testing, located anywhere in the world without the need to worry about the logistics of managing devices, offshoring, or anything like that. Our customers are utilizing this cloud model to not change their existing processes when moving into mobile.
Gardner: And in order to be able to use cloud amid a larger application lifecycle, you must also offer application lifecycle management (ALM) or at least integrate with ALM, source code management, and other aspects of development. How does that work?
Mizrachi: Our approach was to not reinvent the wheel. When looking at the large enterprises, we figured out that the existing ALM solutions in the market, led by HP, is there, and the right approach is to integrate or to extend them into mobile and not to replace them.
What we have is an extension to the ALM products in such a way that you, as a customer, don't have to change your existing processes and practices in order to move to mobile. You'll have a lot of issues when moving into mobile, and we don't believe that changing the processes should be one of them.
Gardner: Of course with HP having some 65 percent of the market for ALM and a major market presence for a lot of other testing and business service management capabilities, it was a no-brainer for you to have to integrate to HP. But you've gone beyond that. You're using HP yourself for your own testing. Tell us how you came to do that.
Mizrachi: HP has the largest market in ALM, and looking at our customers in Fortune 500 companies, it was really obvious that we needed to utilize, integrate, or extend HP ALM tools in order to provide a market with the best solution.
One of the things I'm quite proud of is that we, as a company, have proof of success in the market, with hundreds of customers already using us and tens of thousands of hours of automation every month being utilized.
We have customers with thousands of automated scripts running continuously in order to validate the applications. It's a competitive environment, obviously, but with Perfecto Mobile, the value that we're bringing to the table is that we have a proven solution today used by the largest Fortune 500 companies in finance, retail, travel, utilities, and they have been using us not for months, but for years.
Gardner: Where do you see this going next? Is there a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) opportunity where we're going to do not just testing but development and deployment ultimately? If you are in the cloud for more and more of what you do in development and deployment, it makes sense to try to solidify and unify across a cloud from start to finish.
Mizrachi: I'm obviously a little bit biased, but, yes, my belief is that the software development life cycle (SDLC) is moving to the cloud. If you want to go ahead, you don't really have a choice. One of the major failures in SDLC is setup of the environment. If you don't have the right environment, just in time, you will fail to deliver regardless of the tool that you have.
Just in time
Moving to the cloud means that you have everything that you need just in time. It's available for you. Someone has to make sure this solution is available with a given service-level agreement (SLA) and all of that. This is what Perfecto Mobile is doing of course, but I believe the entire market is going into that. Software development is moving to the cloud. This is quite obvious.
For our customers, the top insurance and top financial banks customers, healthcare organizations, all of them, security is extremely important, and of course it is for us. Our hosting solution is a SOC 2-certified solution. We have dedicated personnel for security and we make sure that our customers enjoy the highest level of privacy and, of course, security -- physical security, network security, and all the tools and processes in place.
Gardner: And, as we know, HP has been doing testing in the cloud successfully for more than 10 years and moving aggressively in that space early on.
Mizrachi: We're enjoying the fact that our research and development center and HP's research and development center are close-by. So the development of the two products is very close. We have weekly or biweekly meetings between products and R and D teams in order to make sure that those two tools are moving together.
SDLC, as you mentioned, is a lifecycle. It's not only about one time testing; it's ongoing. And post-deployment, when moving into production, you need to see that what you're offering to the market on the real device is actually what you expect. That's extremely important.
As the mobile market matures, organization are relying more on mobile to assure and increase their revenue. So making sure the mobile offering is up and running and meets the right key performance indicators (KPIs) on an ongoing basis is extremely important. The integration that we've made with BSM is utilizing an existing extremely mature product on the monitoring aspect and extending that with cloud-based real mobile devices for application monitoring.
You may also be interested in:
- Big data's big payoff arrives as customer experience insights drive new business advantages
- How healthcare SaaS provider PointClickCare masters quality and DevOps using cloud ITSM
- Software security pays off: How Heartland Payment Systems gains steep ROI via software assurance tools and methods
- HP HAVEn CTO Mundada on new ways for businesses to gain transformation from big data and new wave analysis
- HP ART documentation and readiness tools bring better user experiences to Nordic IT solutions provider EVRY
- NASCAR attains intimacy and affinity with fans worldwide using big data analytics
- Siemens Brazil Leverages HP Anywhere to Deliver Applications Better to More Mobile Devices
- Nimble Storage Leverages Big Data and Cloud to Produce Data Performance Optimization on the Fly
- MZI Healthcare Identifies Big Data Patient Productivity Gems Using HP Vertica
- Thought Leader Interview: HP's Global CISO Brett Wahlin on the future of Security and Risk
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
Oct. 1, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,055
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water, are pursuing SmartGrid initiatives that represent one of the more mature examples of SAE. We have spoken with, or attended presentations from, utilities in the United States, South America, Asia and Europe. This session will provide a look at the CREPE drivers for SmartGrids and the solution spaces used by SmartGrids today and planned for the near future. All organizations can learn from SmartGrid’s use of Predictive Maintenance, Demand Prediction, Cloud, Big Data and Customer-facing Dashboards...
Oct. 1, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 881
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, will discuss the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. The presentation will also discuss how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics to discuss are barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold.
Oct. 1, 2014 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,754
Whether you're a startup or a 100 year old enterprise, the Internet of Things offers a variety of new capabilities for your business. IoT style solutions can help you get closer your customers, launch new product lines and take over an industry. Some companies are dipping their toes in, but many have already taken the plunge, all while dramatic new capabilities continue to emerge. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Reid Carlberg, Senior Director, Developer Evangelism at salesforce.com, to discuss real-world use cases, patterns and opportunities you can harness today.
Oct. 1, 2014 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,162
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices – computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors – connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!
Oct. 1, 2014 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,377
Noted IoT expert and researcher Joseph di Paolantonio (pictured below) has joined the @ThingsExpo faculty. Joseph, who describes himself as an “Independent Thinker” from DataArchon, will speak on the topic of “Smart Grids & Managing Big Utilities.” Over his career, Joseph di Paolantonio has worked in the energy, renewables, aerospace, telecommunications, and information technology industries. His expertise is in data analysis, system engineering, Bayesian statistics, data warehouses, business intelligence, data mining, predictive methods, and very large databases (VLDB). Prior to DataArchon, he served as a VP and Principal Analyst with Constellation Group. He is a member of the Boulder (Colo.) Brain Trust, an organization with a mission “to benefit the Business Intelligence and data management industry by providing pro bono exchange of information between vendors and independent analysts on new trends and technologies and to provide vendors with constructive feedback on their of...
Oct. 1, 2014 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,021
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation and integration; and visibility through intelligent business operations and big data.
Sep. 30, 2014 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,581
There will be 50 billion Internet connected devices by 2020. Today, every manufacturer has a propriety protocol and an app. How do we securely integrate these "things" into our lives and businesses in a way that we can easily control and manage? Even better, how do we integrate these "things" so that they control and manage each other so our lives become more convenient or our businesses become more profitable and/or safe? We have heard that the best interface is no interface. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Co-Founder & CTO at Octoblu, Inc., will discuss how these devices generate enough data to learn our behaviors and simplify/improve our lives. What if we could connect everything to everything? I'm not only talking about connecting things to things but also systems, cloud services, and people. Add in a little machine learning and artificial intelligence and now we have something interesting...
Sep. 29, 2014 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,917
Last week, while in San Francisco, I used the Uber app and service four times. All four experiences were great, although one of the drivers stopped for 30 seconds and then left as I was walking up to the car. He must have realized I was a blogger. None the less, the next car was just a minute away and I suffered no pain. In this article, my colleague, Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant shares his experiences and insights.
Sep. 28, 2014 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,559
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) irreversibly encoded. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, will look at how this identity problem can be solved and discuss ways to use existing web identities for real-time communication.
Sep. 27, 2014 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,939
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT. Attendees will learn real-world benefits of WebRTC and explore future possibilities, as WebRTC and IoT intersect to improve customer service.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,850
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, will share some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, an Open Source Cloud Communications company that helps the shift from legacy IN/SS7 telco networks to IP-based cloud comms. An early investor in multiple start-ups, he still finds time to code for his companies and contribute to open source projects.
Sep. 27, 2014 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,315
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to create new business models as significant as those that were inspired by the Internet and the smartphone 20 and 10 years ago. What business, social and practical implications will this phenomenon bring? That's the subject of "Monetizing the Internet of Things: Perspectives from the Front Lines," an e-book released today and available free of charge from Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue management.
Sep. 27, 2014 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,537
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges.
Sep. 27, 2014 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,406
There’s Big Data, then there’s really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, Big Data and deployments are processing massive data volumes from wearables, utilities and other machines.
Sep. 27, 2014 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,078
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Erik Lagerway, Co-founder of Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services to the modern P2P RTC era of OTT cloud assisted services.
Sep. 26, 2014 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,602
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehension and conference efficiency.
Sep. 26, 2014 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,522
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, will discuss single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example to explain some of these concepts including when to use different storage models.
Sep. 26, 2014 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,336
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,716
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace. These technological reforms have not only changed computers and smartphones, but are also changing the data processing model for all information devices. In particular, in the area known as M2M (Machine-To-Machine), there are great expectations that information with a new type of value can be produced using a variety of devices and sensors saving/sharing data via the network and through large-scale cloud-type data processing. This consortium believes that attaching a huge number of devic...
Sep. 26, 2014 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,630