Software development company DVT once again hosted the popular Cape Town Test Automation User Group (CTTAUG) event on 10 July 2013. The topic for the event was ‘Test Centres of Excellence (TCOE): friend or foe?’

Mihai Grigorescu, testing capability lead at Accenture’s South African Delivery Centre, highlighted several critical factors that influence the success rate of a Test Centre of Excellence. One of the industry trends is to outsource the establishment of a TCOE to external vendors. Grigorescu cautioned the industry to not underestimate the importance of the client’s corporate culture and their willingness to engage with external vendors and particularly non-South African vendors to establish a TCOE on their behalf. He also emphasised the different managed services models and how local companies need to establish the right mix of local and onshore and offshore resources to be successful in developing a TCOE.

“What is clear from Mihai’s presentation is that one of the biggest challenges facing the establishment of a TCOE is getting support from both senior management and also the actual delivery teams,” says Mario Matthee, founding member of the CTTAUG and national head of quality assurance at DVT. “For a South African to convince another South African to support the concept of a TCOE is difficult enough. We can only imagine how difficult it is for a non-South African to do the same.”

The debate topic of the evening was, ‘When do you convert your testing capability into a TCOE?’ “A small percentage of the delegates have been or are currently participating in a TCOE but the debate highlighted some key areas to consider before embarking on the TCOE journey,” says Matthee.

These factors include:

  • Team size and composition
  • Senior management support
  • Delivery team support
  • Assess (TMMI) and establish practical end goals

The final presentation was done by Olivier Hanoun, lead trainer at testing company Neotys France. Hanoun introduced NeoLoad, a load and performance testing tool which is making massive inroads in the performance testing market globally.

“NeoLoad is the direct competitor to HP Loadrunner, a well known tool in the software testing industry,” adds Matthee. “Its competitive pricing and mobile performance testing capability were definite points of interest for several of the delegates.”

Hanoun was brought to South Africa by DVT, a certified NeoLoad training provider, as part of the Neotys Service Partner Certification programme.

The next Test Automation User Group event will be hosted in October 2013. For more information, visit