AU testing centre embraces offshoring

Australian based testing centre, Access Testing, has today announced a new strategic partnership with Indian outsourcing company Satyam in a move it claims is going to create more Australian jobs.The company was established under a federal government initiative in 1995 to provide a range of testing services across technical and business platforms.

Australian based testing centre, Access Testing, has today announced a new strategic partnership with Indian outsourcing company Satyam in a move it claims is going to create more Australian jobs.

The company was established under a federal government initiative in 1995 to provide a range of testing services across technical and business platforms. Access chief executive officer, Tony Bailey, said the company decided to "work with off-shoring" 18 months ago after deciding the practice was "here to stay".

"We had three choices to what we could do; we could do nothing, we could kick up a fuss and try and ignore the fact that it's [off-shoring] here, or we could try and create something new that's imported and offer the Australian clients something that's unique," said Bailey.

He continues that Access chose Satyam as the company's outsourcing partner as it "stood out as being both in tune with the local conditions and also very much aware that not everything is a simple matter of taking it up and off-shoring it to India".

Satyam markets itself as the "leading global consulting and IT services company," offering various services with "onsite, offshore and offsite delivery capabilities to provide the best cost and time advantage".

Bailey admits that some Access clients were concerned with "quality issues and cultural differences" in the testing services. However, he said the partnership could bring clients "the best of both worlds".

"We complement each others skill sets," said Bailey. "We'll have an integrated testing service offering for Australian based clients and we bring to the table certain aspects of testing that Satyam don't have, particularly at the front end of town."

"They'll [Satyam] continue to do their software development, of which testing is obviously a subset, and we will deal with all the front end local testing that's required."

Bailey maintains that all projects that are off-shored to Satyam will be validated in Australia before getting the green light for domestic consumption.

According to Bailey, test execution is an aspect of the company's processes that is easily off-shored as the procedures are easily executed.

"There are certain elements that are capable of being off-shored very appropriately," he said. "The higher end the value add stuff, the test strategy the planning, understanding the business goals and strategies, that's where our unique strength is and that's where Satyam also have a unique strength in the process end of town."

Bailey describes Access as "market realists," saying that the partnership is working with the reality of off-shoring to create jobs locally.

"Off-shoring is here to stay, we can't stop it. If we sit and do nothing we'll lose jobs. If were actually creative and come up with what we've come up with we'll creative jobs here locally," he said.

Access is "trying to create new value-added services that haven't been in the economy before," said Bailey.

"You have a choice you can sit and live in fear of it or you can actually adapt to the change, look at where the new opportunities are created that have never been there before and create a service that fills that need and that's what we've done."

Access provides services for 11 of the 20 Australian stock exchange listed companies, according to Bailey, as well as state and federal government departments and major universities.

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