Perfecto cashes in on app woes as firms seek to 'get their mobile act together'

Perfecto cashes in on app woes as firms seek to 'get their mobile act together'

Summary: After closing a fresh round of financing this month, Perfecto Mobile is sticking to its freemium model, and helping companies 'get their act together' when it comes to apps.

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TOPICS: Apps, Mobility, Start-Ups
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As the number of mobile platforms and devices in use today continues to grow, so do the difficulties in making sure enterprise apps for them are up to scratch.

"There are so many stories of glitches and bugs in mobile apps, like the one earlier this year, where Citibank customers who used the bank's iPad app ended up paying [fees] twice," Gidi Pridor, VP at Perfecto Mobile, said. "It's not rare. Many businesses are having a very hard time getting the same level of quality and security on mobile as they have on the web."

Such difficulties, though, are good news for Perfecto Mobile, the app testing company that earlier this month announced its third round of funding, worth $15m. Led by Globespan Capital Partners, a global venture capital firm specialising in IT, the round was joined by existing investors Carmel, Vertex and the Waisbein Fund.

The company's current business model is a freemium one, with some services offered for free to smaller customers, and more paid-for services available as companies grow — a model Perfecto intends to stick to for the future as well.

There is only one other company offering similar services, and they focus mostly on telecom development. "We are the only company offering services like this for enterprise," said Pridor.

Founded in 2006 by two Israeli techies, Perfecto has sales offices and connection centres in the US, Canada, several European countries, India, and Israel, where all the company's R&D work is done. Although the company is still technically a start-up, said Pridor, Perfecto has a steady income from some very large customers.

Perfecto is also a partner of HP, which uses the company's services exclusively for QA testing. "Anyone using HP's testing tools, like QuickTest Pro, is actually using our tools," said Pridor — in this case, MobileCloud for QTP.

The company is best known for MobileCloud, which gives secure cloud access for working on and testing apps on mobile devices. These are not emulators, Pridor said, but actual devices connected to the internet; the interface allows programmers, QA personnel, marketing units and IT departments — and anyone else who needs to understand how their app functions in real-world conditions — to work with any device on any mobile network.

A screenshot of the MobileCloud interface (Photo credit: Perfecto Mobile)
A screenshot of the MobileCloud interface. Image: Perfecto Mobile

Why the need for external testing? According to Pridor, the R&D and QA departments in banks, airlines, department stores, insurance companies, manufacturers, and many more that are trying to develop B2C and B2B mobile apps are overwhelmed.

"Apps need to be uniform over a full array of devices, and they need to work the same on each device, and indeed the same as they do on the web. The problem is that there are so many devices, all with their own nuances and tweaks, that it becomes very hard to write for and test all these devices."

"It's not the IT people driving the move to mobile, it's the customers" — Gidi Pridor, Perfecto Mobile

Any company serious about going mobile today has to produce Android apps, for example — "but there are over 4,000 flavours of Android, with different versions, updates, and devices coming out all the time", said Pridor.

"So many companies have had problems getting their mobile acts together, to the extent some companies have had to recall apps once they were released," Pridor said. That actually happened at eBay, which several months ago recalled what may or may not have been a test version of an app released to the Google Play store.

There's really no alternative for companies but to "work through" the app issues, Pridor said.

"At this point, companies are beginning to realise that they have to go mobile if they want to stay relevant, and many are becoming very frustrated with the process, which is nothing like the move to the web... With an app they can have a little more control with the process and security, and they understand that if they don't have an app, customers will simply use their device's web browsers to connect. It's not the IT people driving the move to mobile, it's the customers," added Pridor.

Topics: Apps, Mobility, Start-Ups

David Shamah

About David Shamah

David Shamah has been writing about Israeli technology news for over a decade, both in print and on the web, and knows the Israeli tech scene and its start-ups inside out.

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4 comments
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  • Mobile Cloud solutions are now in high Risk

    Mobile Cloud solution is based on Devices which are controlled remotely. How ? by Jailbreaking / Rooting devices.
    The big issue - Jailbreaking Tablets is Illegal since October the 28th.
    I wonder how Perfecto / DeviceAnywhere are going to manage the Tablets remotely if Jailbreaking/rooting is forbidden.
    Any ideas?
    TheMobileTester
    • Jailbreaking smartphones is and was legal

      Hi

      Perfecto Mobile is following the rules and legal guidance and always had.

      The new enhancement to the law, still states that it is legal to jailbreak iPhones (iOS smartphones) and also iPad's, however starting January 2013 - Jailbreaking tablets (only) will be forbidden. All other mobile devices used by Perfecto are not being jailbroken in any case.

      Perfecto is working toward a non jailbreak solution for the iPad, so there is no issue what so ever with regards to this subject.

      Read more here:
      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/jailbreaking-now-legal-under-dmca-for-smartphones-but-not-tablets/
      Regards,
      Eran Kinsbrunner
      • The new exemptions take effect October 28 - Read the document carefully

        And by the way - in Canada - both Phones/Tablets jailbreaking is illegal.
        http://o.canada.com/2012/10/30/jailbreaking-your-tablet-is-illegal/
        TheMobileTester
  • Jailbreaking and Rooting is still not recommended...

    Whether or not iOS jailbreaking and Android rooting is legal, it severly affects test automation:

    1. It takes six months until the smartphone can support the latest devices in the market as it is dependent on jailbreak by the hacker community
    2. The security of the smartphone is compromised - becuase they are hacked meaning their secuirty mechanism is broken
    3. The test results are less reliable - because the device has been significantly modified

    After a thorough analysis we took in BSkyB we found that a tool called seetest works with devices that are not modified in anyway. Also there are some good open source we came across that do not require jailbreak/rooting but were more complex to operate than seetest so we dropped them in the end due to a stringent deadline we had.
    Sandra Wright