Testbirds’ “Bring Your Own Crowd” tests Enterprise apps securely and efficiently

DeveloperTech spoke to Munich-based TestBirds’ Managing Director, Philipp Benkler, about a new important tool in the fight for bug-free and hassle-free applications in large enterprises. The crowdtesting company dubs the concept “Bring Your Own Crowd” which will undoubtedly be shortened to BYOC and become another acronym for us all to remember!

When you have a small number of employees, there’s the option of doing your testing in-house to ensure apps are working across the devices being used and in a secure manner where company secrets are less likely to be leaked from your own team. In a world where BYOD is becoming increasingly prevalent, however, even that is becoming increasingly difficult (mainly due to the world’s most popular mobile OS…)

When you’re talking about a large business, such as BMW, one of Testbirds’ partners, the situation becomes near-impossible when applications need to be crowdtested en masse but cannot be trusted being distributed to just about anyone.

Benkler says: “Bring-Your-Own-Crowd follows the Bring-Your-Own trend such as BYOD and is specifically for Enterprise apps testing. You need to test your app with the people using it at the end of the day. As a crowdtesting company, we have thousands of people who can test consumer apps but if you’re testing an app for internal-use then it’s not of real benefit.”

BYOC solves the issue of mass crowdtesting in large corporations which can lead to intellectual property damages and leaks of information to competitors. Utilising it, the company in question can bring their own employees to achieve the required testing. Not only can you iron out the kinks in your applications this way, but the end-users can give early feedback about what they’d like to see in the final result. Their knowledge brings value, and prevents resources being spent at a later point fixing errors which could lead to reduced productivity in the workplace alongside frustration from your employees. Allowing them to be involved with the applications development also leads to a greater acceptance, rather than handing them a completely alien app and expecting them to be happy with it and understand how it works.

With an increase in employee satisfaction, comes improved security. If employees aren’t satisfied by official applications then they are likely to look towards alternatives which may not have the policies in place to offer the same level of protection needed by many organisations.

Android is the most difficult platform to test across, due to the variety of hardware available. Processors are different, screen sizes are different, even form factors are completely different. Benkler says: “Android is a nightmare compared to iOS. I have a slide which shows how many different Android devices we have – and it’s not stopping right now. We have cameras running Android. Then we have different Android operating systems. The complexity on Android is really bad… but of course that’s good for us!”

In March, Testbirds launched Birdflight which is a distribution platform similar to Testflight. The same month they also closed €2.1m Series A funding. The company was also recently recognised by Gartner as a “Cool Vendor” in the field of Enterprise Mobility for 2014.

You can take a look at Testbirds’ “Bring Your Own Crowd” testing solutions here.

Are you interested in BYOC testing? Let us know in the comments.

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