Edge Testing challenges offshore firms with second UK hub

Software testing provider Edge Test Solutions is opening a Midlands hub in Birmingham, expected to create at least 60 jobs. One of the UK’s fastest growing and largest independent software testing companies, Edge launched its digital test hub concept in 2013, in Glasgow – the first of its kind in the UK. Now employing 250, it was founded to meet requirements for a low cost, on demand test service supplied within the UK.

Edge is typically engaged when organisations are implementing a new system or making significant changes to an existing system, to ensure systems are fast, secure, available and work as expected. The ISO accredited company, which is listed on The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100, has built up a reputation across financial services, telecommunications and media, utilities, retail and the public sector.

The hub has provided as a challenge to the offshore model as it can be accessed easily by organisations looking for a remote testing service for their in-house applications and back office systems, within the same time zone and an immediate understanding of business culture and communication norms. The company’s clients include the Big Lottery Fund, IRESS and the Student Loans Company.

The decision to select Birmingham was driven by customer demand for quick access to on-site support when necessary, and also by the increasing number of large businesses moving to the Midlands – for example, HSBC is moving 1,000 head office roles to Birmingham by 1 January 2019 and American owned Advanced Computer Software Group is creating approximately 400 jobs in new Birmingham site. Also, home to more start-ups than any other UK regional city, 17,473 new Birmingham companies registered in 2016.

To reduce the need for UK organisations to offshore testing, Edge is addressing the shortage of testing skills in the UK, by building up a pool of trained testers through its Edge Academy. All Edge employees are required to pass the testing certification ISTQB within the first six months of employment, and there is also further in-house training available.

“The digital test hub model has proven a huge hit with our customers,” said Brian Ferrie, chief executive of the Belshill-based firm. “The ability to have a low cost, on demand, remote service without the challenges of going offshore has been a real winner. We have listened to our customers who have said that the service would be even better if there was the flexibility for the team to be on-site during critical project stages. We chose Birmingham as our second hub as it’s easily accessible for our customers across our southern business, is a vibrant tech hub and gives us access to some fantastic local talent at both experienced and graduate levels”.