by Kendall Leeper

Customer satisfaction ranks as a top XBOSoft internal priority. In our 10+ years of providing quality software testing services, we have cultivated long-term relationships with our customers.

XBOSoft’s software testing agility, responsiveness, and reliability truly delivers for Mitel

We recently reached out to Peter Menhart, Senior Lead Software Developer at Mitel, to get his feedback on his 7-year relationship with XBOSoft.

Canada-based Mitel Senior Lead Software Developer Peter Menhart

Peter Menhart

Menhart was Lead Software Developer at Benbria until spring, 2016, when Mitel bought the division in which he worked. Because of Peter’s positive experience with XBOSoft, the personal commitment of CEO Phil Lew, and the company’s depth of experience, XBOSoft continues to support Peter’s product, Mitel Mass Notification, for the unit’s software quality assurance needs.

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mitel is the world’s fastest-growing provider of cloud communications, making more than 33 million cloud connections daily. Mitel serves more than 60 million users in more than 100 countries.

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Here’s what Peter told us about his experience with XBOSoft as his trusted testing partner:

Q: How did you initially connect with XBOSoft, and what was the quality issue that you faced at the time of the initial engagement?

A: Our cooperation started in April 2010. XBOSoft was informally referred to us via some networking we did in New York City. We were a startup at the time with frequent releases, but less frequent testing. We prepared a “test plan” with very brief descriptions of test cases, but we didn’t have the manpower to execute them fully before each release. This led to quality issues (e.g. regression bugs where new features negatively affected “stable” areas). These factors led us to have a need for a company like XBOSoft.

Q: Did XBOSoft initially resolve your issues, or was there a learning curve to the engagement? If the latter, how did XBOSoft’s team adjust to better address your issues?Mitel CS Blog Google Docs

A: We initially requested manual testing following our developed test plan, and XBOSoft delivered what we needed. As the process developed, adjustments were needed, as our requirements grew over time. XBOSoft had to develop detailed steps, add performance and stability tests, automated front-end tests using Selenium/WebDriver, and API tests using JMeter.

In addition, they had to learn how to install/deploy/maintain/troubleshoot our software, which was different from the typical deployment model that is premise based.  Usually, developing a new type of activity requires a lot of guidance on our side. But, once the XBOSoft team learns the skills, they are pretty good at maintaining the knowledge or applying it to similar types of problems. This eliminated the need for internal folks to spend time guiding XBOSoft.

Q: Did the fact that most of XBOSoft’s testers are in China have any effect on your work with them? How did you overcome the distance factor?

A: Actually, time and distance turned out to be an advantage. We could prepare the requirements toward the end of our day, have results ready for us overnight, and then analyze/provide feedback the next day. If there is any urgent problem or clarification, I can still respond late in the evening.

The language barrier was a problem at the beginning when we tried using a voice conversation practice. Eventually, we resorted to written communication, and this works quite efficiently. We are always interfacing with the team leader (although there were several personnel changes over the years). However, XBOSoft has a good knowledge-passing mechanism that works well.

Q: Why have you continued to use XBOSoft’s services over the years? Have they become an indispensable partner in your development process?

A: There are several factors that interplay:

  • XBOSoft delivers what we need.
  • Flexibility: We can ask for urgent tasks on short notice.
  • They can tackle new requirements (e.g. new type of tests or new technology). We can rely on their work.
  • The amount of know-how accumulated over time. Also, very good knowledge-passing mechanism when there are personnel changes in their team.
  • Price seems to be right.
  • Attentive CEO Philip Lew committed to customer satisfaction. Over the years, our working relationship grew into a personal friendship.

Our product was acquired by Mitel last April, and there was pressure to switch QA to internal resources. Considering all the factors, the seven-year relationship with XBOSoft, and their quality of work, a decision was made that continuing with XBOSoft was the best solution.

Q: If you were to recommend XBOSoft to another company, what three attributes about XBOSoft would you highlight?

A: Choose from the list above… Having a CEO who’ll make an effort to visit you once a year to make sure you are happy with their services is on top of my personal list. I’d also pick dependability, agility, and responsiveness.