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Web testing firm plans expansion

A SOFTWARE and web testing business is eyeing further expansion in England and Scotland after growing turnover by more than 38%.

BRIAN FERRIE: Said testing is key to prevent software failures.
BRIAN FERRIE: Said testing is key to prevent software failures.

Edge Testing Solutions, which has its main base in North Lanarkshire, also maintained its operating profit at around £400,000 in 2013 in a year when permanent staff numbers effectively doubled to 42. It also employs around 35 subcontractors on project work.

The business saw turnover rise from £2.6 million to £3.6m as it benefited from a full-year of trading from its Birmingham office, launched towards the end of 2012 and where six people now work, as well as new product launches.

Around 20% of revenue is now coming from its Midlands base.

Edge works with public and private sector clients, including names such as Heineken and FlyBe, to test their websites, back office systems and other software platforms across multiple devices and access options.

The group opened a London office a few weeks ago and expects to create a further 12 jobs across its English and Scottish operations in 2014 as well as widening its pool of subcontractors.

A turnover target of £5.1m has been pencilled in for this year with directors hoping to double that to more than £10m by the end of 2016.

Brian Ferrie, co-founder, said: "If you were writing an important email or report you would always get it proofread or checked by someone, it is the same with code, software and systems.

"As consumer expectations rise, testing is critical not only to provide a rich and relevant online experience for customers but also to ensure banks, retailers and governments don't fall victim to the kind of damaging software failures that so often hit the headlines."

Mr Ferrie highlighted a contract with The Student Loans Company which was won during 2013 and is the first piece of work with a value of £1m that Edge had secured.

He said: "We test all of their internal core systems. We have won smaller public sector contracts in the past but as the company has grown we have gradually taken on bigger and bigger contracts with this one being the biggest so far."

The launch of a Digital Test Hub specialising in a one-stop service for e-commerce sites has also paid off. That opened with four staff at the start of the summer of 2013 and now employs 13.

As a result of continuing demand Mr Ferrie expects to add at least four more people in the coming months.

He said: "It is all about the evolution of IT systems and more online and digital experiences in the business to consumer market. People want to access everything all of the time from any device and they want and expect it to work.

"Traditionally, we have provided testing of back office systems for large corporates. But we are now living in a digital age where consumers demand more services online and available 24 hours a day. It is critical that websites work, respond quickly, support high volumes of users and provide a rich user experience."

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