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Please introduce your company and give a brief about your role within the organization.
I am Yurii Kovalov, CEO and Founder of the software testing company Performance Lab. I am responsible for the global strategic development of the company.
What is the story behind starting this company?
I started working in IT in 2002, right after graduating from the Academy. And I was lucky enough to participate in a lot of Core Banking Systems performance optimization projects. I was very impressed by the level of competence of people who are engaged in load testing and how important it is for business. I plunged into this topic as a performance engineer and then in 2008, I decided to open my own company, which would only focus on testing and analyzing the performance of software and IT systems. That’s how Performance Lab started in Moscow. We attracted quite modest investments and rented a small office in Technopark. At that time, I could not imagine how popular the business I had created could be, and that one day our team would have grown by more than 500 people, and our headquarters would move to the Bay Area.
What is your company’s business model– an in-house team or third party vendors/ outsourcing?
We use two business models. At the moment, we are developing our platform for load testing boomq.io, offering our customers to purchase a subscription. Secondly, we provide professional services for testing the performance of IT systems as outsourcing.
How does your company differentiate itself from the competitors?
Our expertise in load testing and performance analysis is like no other. Although we provide a wide range of testing services, including operational management testing services and test automation projects, our primary focus is performance testing projects. We are rapidly developing our presence in the international market of performance testing.
What industries do you generally cater to? Are your customers loyal? If so, what ratio of clients has been coming back to you?
We work with clients of all sizes from all industries. For example, over the past year, we have completed more than 40 one-time testing projects for small companies and startups. At the same time, we receive 70% of our revenue from regular large customers from a variety of areas, such as banking, insurance, medicine, biotechnology, retail and e-commerce, sports, and aviation. In reality, we have many customers who trust us and stay with us for many years.
Please share some of the services that you offer which clients approach you the most for.
We have a low-cost, modern solution for fast site performance testing for smaller companies. Its advantage is that you get extremely high-quality results that mimic what we provide to our largest customers, but they are delivered much faster and at a significantly lower cost. This is convenient for those with time and budget constraints. For example, if you are preparing for Black Friday and want to know whether your website can handle a large influx of customers, our solution is perfect for you. The solution includes a one-month subscription to our cloud platform for load testing and a few days of performance engineer work. As a result, you get not only a detailed report on the site performance but also a fully configured environment in which you can independently run repeated tests and analyze the results.
The special feature of our classic performance testing services is that we not only test but also help the client localize bottlenecks and performance issues. We analyze the behavior of the system under load and find bottlenecks in all layers of the architecture database, application server, integration bus, and API.
Additionally, it does not matter which client-server protocol the system uses. We test not only web applications but also complex legacy systems based on two-tier Oracle protocols, soap-HTTP, Siebel, and others, including encrypted protocols.
We are often asked in which cases it is more effective to outsource services than to have a team of testers from the company staff.
So if the company does not need to constantly perform testing tasks, which instead only need to be conducted three to four times a year, it is better to outsource teams than to have an entire staff of internal testers.
There are situations that require a team of developers from the company's staff, and they do an excellent job with testing; they write tests themselves and know certain approaches and solutions to performing tasks. However, even their knowledge and expertise may not be enough to solve a complex problem quickly and effectively. An outsourced team can bring a new vision to familiar things. Hundreds of our specialists have unique competencies for a specific type of testing. Our goal is to offer our customers the best services available on the QA market,—the most modern and innovative solutions.
Performance Lab performs tasks based on the latest tools, the appearance of which we constantly monitor on the market. You can always request feedback and examples of our successful cases.
What is your customer satisfaction rate? What steps do you take to cater to your customer’s needs and requirements?
Our primary objective is to determine whether the client is satisfied and whether they have achieved their goals. For load testing, the main indicators are system performance, including whether the system is coping with the load. For projects like test service management, it is important to reduce the time needed for new versions of products and services to reach the market (time-to-market) and to minimize failures due to poor software quality.
We use a personalized approach to every current and potential client; it is always unique because we try to find the best way for every particular case using only the newest and innovative technologies. By far we have got a lot of positive feedback.
What kind of support system do you offer to your clients for catering to their queries and issues?
We offer 24/7 support by our professional multinational team. We process all incoming inquiries in 4 hours tops.
What kind of payment structure do you follow to bill your clients? Is it Pay per Feature, Fixed Cost, Pay per Milestone (could be in phases, months, versions, etc.)?
For our professional services, we use two engagement models:- fixed cost projects with Time & Materials.
Do you take in projects which meet your basic budget requirement? If so, what is the minimum requirement? If not, what minimum budget have you worked for?
We work with any clients and any budgets.
What is the price range of the projects that you catered to in 2020?
Where do you see your company in the next 10 years?
I am aware that we are operating in a dynamic market. Therefore, it makes no sense to predict the future of our industry. Maybe in 10 years, there will be no industry at all, but there will be something else. We always improvise, like in jazz. I am sure of only one thing: we will perfectly understand what our customers want and we will provide them with the best service quality, as we are doing now.