Protecting your reputation with QA Testing

QA Consultants helps companies across North America protect their reputations for building innovative software products and running reliable systems. QA Consultants accomplishes this by conducting comprehensive quality assurance (QA) software testing.

QA Consultants is chosen by quality professionals, product professionals, and digital agency owners -- from across industries -- when they are:

  • Looking to reduce the frustration and risk associated with software failures;
  • Planning to launch a new software product and/or app; or
  • Looking to lower the costs associated with building a software product and/or app.

QA Consultants services, staffing solutions, and products leverage current automation frameworks and tools to make sure that:

  • Software performs reliably under normal, unusual, and high-stress situations
  • Software is secure
  • Data quality is maintained
  • Software complies with local or national accessibility standards
  • Software testing methods and tools are cost-efficient

QA Consultants offers the following QA tests: agile testing, automation testing, accessibility testing, data testing, functional testing, mobile testing, performance testing, and security testing.

 
Undisclosed
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
50 - 249
 Founded
1994
Show all +
Toronto, Canada
headquarters
  • QA Consultants
    5700 Younge Street, 14th Floor
    Toronto, ON M2M 4K2
    Canada
    416.238.5333
other locations
  • QA Consultants
    5706 E Mockingbird Lane
    Dallas, TX TX 75206
    United States
    512.699.5386

Portfolio

Key clients: 

ADP, AT&T, Aviva, Canadian Tire, The Co-operators, CPPIB, Fidelity Investments, Four Seasons, Home Depot, PCL, SuperValu, TD Bank, Teranet, Toyota, Weston Foods, Wunderman.

Reviews

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Manual & Automated Testing for National Retail Chain

"[They're] well-known for providing strong candidates with a very fast turnaround."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
2010 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

QA Consultants has for several years served reliably as one of four premium suppliers capable of handling both manual/automated testing. Assigned resources test database, backend, frontend, and UI deployments.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Project Manager, National Chain
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

There are few technical systems that QA Consultants wouldn't be able to test effectively, which underscores just how familiar they've become with industry standard deployments. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

We are a nationwide retailer of a wide range of consumer products. I am a project manager for the company. I started my role as a QA lead, went up to QA manager, and ultimately became responsible for multiple client projects as the lead manager. I have been involved in quality assurance work since 2010, occupying various roles, from manual to automated testing for databases and backend systems all the way to frontend and UI work.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with QA Consultants?

QA Consultants is just one of four consultants we've hired for various large projects that involved manual or automated testing services.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

One of our projects is a complete rewrite of an AS/400 application, which helps stores get their systems upgraded. Our other projects are frontend website upgrades, backend system upgrades, as well as one related to big data. QA Consultants has provided manual and automated testing for these projects.

QA Consultants can setup testing environments if needed, but in general, we manage our own environments. We own and have built multiple ones using our in-house infrastructure team.

Our AS/400 database migration project has a 60-million-dollar cost and is using 14 teams in Ukraine, with a total of 200 members for heavy Agile development. We have 70 onshore members consisting of a combination of business analysts, developers, and testers. The offshore solution is being validated onshore, given that it requires different levels of testing on actual devices being used in stores. Indirectly, we have a resource allocation of an additional 10–20 people, depending on what departments we are working with. There are easily 20–30 departments in touch with the supply-chain infrastructure database and reporting.

The other major project is a 30 million dollar one for refreshing of the front-end UI layer and the backend of a content management system, which is being upgraded to Adobe Experience Manager 6.1.

Estimates are normally done by in-house project managers, based on past project histories. We have timeframe requirements for resources, and we extend those based on how the project is behaving, what defects are identified, and so forth. In general, our habit has been to request a 3-month estimate and extend resource involvement for up to 3 years. The advantage of using contractors is that we can keep going for as long as we need, and stop the tap at any time.

How did you come to work with QA Consultants?

We mostly deal with teams in Ukraine, so communication can become challenging. We need to provide as many details as we can so that the remote team can reproduce the issue. I was not sure if QA Consultants would be able to provide this; I reached out to 4–5 different vendors, ultimately hiring 2 members from QA Consultants.

How much have you invested with QA Consultants?

The cost of QA Consultants' testing services is between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000 per year. QA Consultants has provided close to 20 resources for our projects. We use an average of 10 testers per year, at a cost of $17,000 per resource, per month.

What is the status of this engagement?

When we started working with QA Consultants in 2010, we were using close to 70 testers from their team. Due to a strategic change in our organization in 2014, we've brought in more full-time in-house resources, so QA Consultants' involvement has been reduced.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

When looking for resources, I will prefer to have a blend of developers and testers. Resources need to work with offshore teams in trying to understand what's being built, get the build deployed locally, execute it, find anomalies, and provide feedback to the offshore team, actually making them accept that there is an issue to be fixed. More than a tester, I need a leader, an automation specialist, and a developer with very good technical skills, who can come in and challenge the nature of the issues we're experiencing.

Testing in itself is not rocket science, but this type of skill set in understanding the nitty-gritty of our work was a challenge. QA Consultants presented a number of resumes, out of which we picked the right people.

We are building a solution for the Canadian government. Not many companies are familiar with the tools and the levels of acceptance testing required for such a project. QA Consultants stood out by providing experienced resources.

Whenever we have a need for acceptance testing, we will contact QA Consultants. They are solely specialized in quality management and have appropriate resources on standby.

Big data and Hadoop is another important area where we need technical specialists who can actually understand the technology in and out, and work with our chief architect. QA Consultants has supplied one tester for this.

How did QA Consultants perform from a project management standpoint?

QA Consultants has been okay with pulling the plug on consultants with little prior notice. As such, we know that we won't be charged for more capacity than we need. QA Consultants can supply this level of convenience.

We use JIRA and Confluence quite a lot. We have evolved from SharePoint to JIRA, as QA Consultants' team was brought on board. They're very good at absorbing, accepting, and learning.

A constant requirement is an understanding of Selenium, JMeter, and LoadRunner. We put an emphasis on CI/CD [Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment] and want the developers to understand tools like Jenkins, GitHub, and others. Given this, JIRA is on the bottom of my requirements. After giving someone access to it, it will only take them 2 days to learn it.

What did you find most impressive about QA Consultants?

It's important that I am given access to resources based on changing dynamics and evolving market requirements. I have worked with vendors who came to understand what we wanted as a client, and we have established this type of relationship with QA Consultants. When it comes to quality management resources, QA Consultants is well-known for providing strong candidates with a very fast turnaround.

Are there any areas QA Consultants could improve?

In 2012, we had a need for junior testers for pure frontend user-acceptance work, only wanting the resources to play around with the site for 3 months, without even giving them access to the quality center. At the end of the day, we would have a jam session and get their impressions of the site as users. We didn't want to pay as heavily as we would for a technical tester. It proved a bit challenging for QA Consultants to bring in lower-level testers, but they were able to procure some brand-new students from their IT courses. The one-week delay that QA Consultants had at the time was our only glitch, and it was not a big deal, given that we had other people for that testing.

I can't think of any significant improvement for QA Consultants. We're able to negotiate rates, and QA Consultants has been quite accommodating and reasonable.

5.0
Overall Score QA Consultants has been a vendor for us since 2010.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I can still obtain cheaper resources from other offshore places, but I have no idea of how valuable those resources would be.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    For me, delivery means the ability to provide a resource.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I have recommended QA Consultants to a couple of companies.

Performance & Testing Automation For Global 2000 Financial Services Firm

"They really know testing. It's just in their blood."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
2011 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

QA Consultants augments a financial servicer's automation staff. They mainly handle automation development, process definition, web services, and performance testing.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
SVP, Sr. Technology Manager, Global 2000 Financial Services Firm
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Resources from QA Consultants generally perform well, integrate with the workplace culture, and remain in their positions for the long term. Any placements that do not meet requirements are relocated promptly. The team's exclusive focus on testing ensures cohesive, consistent results.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

I work for a very large, multinational bank, and I work in the technology division. We hire and manage contractors and consultants from various technology contracting firms.

What is your position?

I'm a senior manager in the large testing organization.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with QA Consultants?

It's been years now, so I don't really remember the original challenge. They probably helped us staff our automation and performance resources departments four years ago for the first time. We've since expanded their involvement both in terms of project size as well as complexity.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in detail.

I think the most complex project we had with them was a Web services and middleware project, where we were helping to define the process for Web services testing. At one point, we had up to 10 quality assurance specialists from their company assigned to our project. QA Consultants provided automation development, Web services, and performance testing resources. We had two different types of automation, as well as performance. We expanded to multiple areas of testing.

How did you come to work with QA Consultants?

We went through a rigorous RFP [request for proposal] process with a number of different providers. QA Consultants seemed to be the best fit for our given needs.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

I can't disclose that information.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together about four years ago, and the relationship is still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

We did end up having probably five or six of their resources that stayed with my company for 20 months, which is a very long time to stay as contractors at our particular company. I think that alone shows that they had some talented people working for us. If any contractor stays that long with a company, and not only for a short couple months, then you know that they had some quality resources.

From a quality perspective, I think it fluctuated somewhat depending on the people they gave us. Maybe they could have improved their screening process, but problems have arisen even with people we've hired directly in the past. These things just happen. Sometimes, it's the person themselves and their attitude, not the lack of coding ability.

There were only a few situations where we had to request the replacement of a resource. Generally, they reallocated a different resource within a month. Some of these roles are not so easy to find. Overall, I would say we've been 75 percent to 80 percent successful with their resources. I'm pleased with that retention rate.

How did QA Consultants perform from a project management standpoint?

I'm a senior manager, so I didn't really manage them directly, but I managed the relationship. I have peers that have managers that would manage the QA Consultants resources directly. I rarely received reports of issues, though.

I've found that it's important to be very specific about what we need and what the overall goal of the program is that we're trying to roll out. Detailed preparation is the key to a beneficial relationship.

What distinguishes QA Consultants from other providers?

They perform software and application testing exclusively, so they really know testing. It's just in their blood. They are the only vendor we have on our approved vendor list that has such a niche service and skill set. All the other vendors staff all types of technology resources, but the QA Consultants guys just do testing, and that's why we chose them.

In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?

I think at times they bite off more than they can chew. Sometimes, growth is good, but knowing when to stop growing is also good. They need to learn how to say no at times, and understand that old business is just as important as new business.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would totally recommend them as a vendor.

Software Testing Automation For Shoppers Drug Mart

"Testing is all they do, and quality is of utmost importance to them."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$1,000,000 - $9,999,999
 
2007 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

QA Consultants handled software testing across a range of insurance solutions. They provided automated testing and quality assurance to increase efficiency, flexibility, and productivity.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
Toronto, Canada
Tatyana Dovga
IT Director, Shoppers Drug Mart
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

QA Consultants' dedicated work saved millions in costs and shaved months off delivery schedules. A singular focus on testing has allowed them to develop an effective, affordable process automation model.  The team's intelligent resource allocation and adaptive scheduling greatly improved projects. 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

My company is Shoppers Drug Mart, and we are one of the largest Canadian retailers in the industry.

What is your position and responsibilities?

I am one of the executives. I’m responsible for development, testing, and business analysis.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What business challenge were you trying to address with QA Consultants?

The first collaboration with QA Consultants was not at Shoppers, it was at another company in Canada, where I used to be the assistant vice president. Our problem was that we didn't have a solid resource structure. We worked with multiple agencies and their resources would come and go and when people left, they took their knowledge of the project with them. We engaged with QA Consultants to support us in sourcing and then to support our automation testing.

SOLUTION

Please describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail.

They demonstrated great aptitude in terms of innovative thinking, finding better models, and increasing flexibility. They worked on pretty much every single insurance domain project that we had.

They offer something called Test Factory. It’s a great model because we could communicate with them easily, even though their resources were working from their own facility. It gave us the flexibility to have resources working near our office, without having to pay for their desks, phones, or any other overhead costs that come with bringing in permanent resources.

In terms of testing, they did automation with the broker portal, which is like an insurance portal, as well as web services. We also put in place an HP ALM [Application Lifecycle Management], and they utilized performance center components to build our performance factor. I also utilize QA Consultants in a team augmentation capacity.

How did you come to work with QA Consultants?

We looked at multiple partners. We wanted a local presence because of the nature of our business and what we needed to test at the time. We also looked at the rates, capabilities, and quality of the resources that they were willing to provide.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?

It probably cost around $16 million over three years. The number of resources they give us ranges between 60 and 90 people.

What is the status of this engagement?

We've been collaborating with them for eight years, and they still continue to service us. The last project before I changed roles, which was two years ago [2013], was the implementation of the Guidewire platform. Guidewire is a technology for insurance. We could not transfer our database to Guidewire without using an agile methodology, and this was a big organizational change for us. QA Consultants took the lead on some of the agile components and automation for that project.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?

Without the automation they did for the Guidewire project, the delivery date would have been nine months later, and each month would have cost the company over $1 million. So the benefit was huge. They saved us millions in revenue.

Using Test Factory, we actually cut the cost down about half a million for a year. From my experience, you can be successful with any vendor if you know how to manage them, provide them with the right support, and have the ability to deal with change effectively.

How did QA Consultants perform from a project management standpoint?

I would say their flexibility and resource availability are excellent and extremely conducive to our overall business strategy. Testing is all they do, and quality is of utmost importance to them. When I’m working with vendors, they become part of my extended team, and I found I could bring issues to them for discussion, and they were very good at being able to lift my business up in certain areas.

What distinguishes QA Consultants from other providers?

The Test Factory component is definitely unique to them. They also have a specific model for automation. They go into the organization, they do the assessment of all the systems, and they start doing automation. They can build your test automation and you don't have to invest anything, so your budget doesn’t suffer. Utilization for execution is a very unique concept for them as well. Testing is fairly standard, but this tool really stands out to me.

In hindsight, are there areas in which they could improve, or things you might do differently?

It's difficult to say, because everyone has a different purpose. A lot of big companies are making their profits based on volume, but QA Consultants is more of a boutique company. They are more profitable from the quality of their work, I would say. I guess that isn’t an area for improvement, but if they could manage to maintain that level of quality while also increasing their talent pool, that would be fantastic.

5.0
Overall Score It was great.
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would most definitely recommend them.