Polaris Software opens regional software lab

The Sydney lab will concentrate on application performance diagnostics and managed testing services

Polaris Software, in conjunction with the NSW government, opened a testing lab in Sydney last week and hinted at further developments in Australia and New Zealand.

The lab is geared toward the banking, financial services, insurance, manufacturing and services sectors with the Polaris Application Certification Enterprise (PACE). The Sydney-based centre complements others for performance diagnostics and managed testing services in Canada, Northern Ireland and India.

The Sydney lab will concentrate on application performance diagnostics and managed testing services while India will focus on domain based testing and regression test automation.

Polaris Software Lab CEO and chairman Arun Jain says Sydney has a long and rich history in banking and financial services making it the most suitable location to support the requirements of banks in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

He said the establishment of the Sydney PACE Lab will provide clients in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong with a cost-effective near-shore facility, for delivering "zero-defect" software. Software testing plays a critical role in ensuring business applications are delivered on time and cost, Jain adds.

"The PACE lab has three clear focus areas: Enable high performance, reduce release time and minimise post implementation pain areas," he says.

With revenues of A$280 million (NZ$336 million) and more than 9000 software specialists in 16 countries, Polaris Software has been operating in Australia since the year 2000. The company currently works with a range of clients including five of the top seven Australian banks as well as global giants such as Toshiba, Canon and Firth.

Polaris Software's Sydney director, Anil Verma, says the lab will be able to reduce the process cycle time by over 50% for customers in the region. The Sydney PACE Lab is Polaris's first Australian centre of excellence, however, the company is planning to open other facilities around the country and in New Zealand.

Only recently, analysts warned that Australian businesses are wasting up to 50% of software development budgets because they lack the resources, tools and knowledge to conduct efficient software testing.

Gartner application development analyst Partha Iyengar said shrinking time-to-market project deadlines and naivety about the benefits of software testing means that businesses are missing out on an opportunity to streamline and improve the quality of software development.

"The quicker turnaround of application development is affecting quality [and] regulatory issues and pressure to meet customer demand can directly impact the testing effort, which is why software testing will become centre stage," Iyengar said.

"A strong [software testing life-cycle] moves from testing the quality of software, to building quality into software, but this type of change is beyond most enterprises and most will need some form of third-party assistance.

"Software testing typically consumes about 25% of resources, including time-frames and budgets, however, most companies spend 45% to 50% in a typical testing life-cycle," he said.

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