Careers at Applause
Applause’s mission is to enable companies to deliver digital experiences that win - from web to mobile to wearables and beyond.
Doron Reuveni and Roy Solomon saw a problem. They observed that regardless of how much testing they conducted on software applications in their lab, they could not completely prevent software bugs. The two decided that the best way to combat this challenge would be to have the applications tested “in the wild” before going to market – in other words, tested by users in the real world.
In 2007 they founded uTest to market their services to other firms. They garnered $2.3 million seed funding from the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation (MTDC) and Mesco. They then launched a pilot system in February 2008. In August 2008 they went to market, unveiling a wide range of testing services, including usability, functional, and load/performance testing.
uTest relied on a trained group of testers to conduct the procedures. By 2009 it had a community of 20,000 testers in 157 countries. In 2010 it opened an office in California to accomodate its growing West Coast customer base. In 2012 it acquired Apphance, enabling it to launch a service for clients to see how their apps worked on mobile devices across carriers and locations.
In 2013 uTest established uTest Labs, a division focused on innovation. uTest Labs introduced Applause, a mobile app analytics solution that checked over 55 million reviews from app stores to evaluate app quality and user satisfaction. In late 2013, uTest announced it was changing its focus to 360 degree app quality, and in early 2014 it renamed itself Applause.
Benefits at Applause
Business model of Applause
Applause has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offerings at organizations of all industries and sizes.
Applause offers five primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, innovation, performance, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. Its clients can use its solutions to test on all device, operating system, and carrier combinations for Android and iOS. Also clients‘ code can be tested in-house or “in the wild“, wherever their customers live.
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for clients. Its testing cycles can happen on their schedule, with the ability to run at any time on a 24/7basis, and with any frequency (daily, weekly, or on occasional basis). Lastly, test cycles can be completed on a same-day basis, with test results being delivered in real-time.
The company has embraced innovation from the beginning. It developed crowd testing, an alternative to standard software testing in which the quality assurance (QA) function for clients‘ websites/mobile apps/connected devices is outsourced to an external community of testers. The option gives clients a scalable, unbiased workforce providing real-world test results.
The company demonstrates strong performance through tangible results. Specific positive outcomes for clients include the following:
- Fonteva used Applause’s solutions to resolve more bugs in its software than were reported by its customers and drive down cost-per-issue from $2,111 to $190
- Fox Broadcasting Company used Applause’s solutions to achieve a 30% to 50% decrease in critical defects and reduce release cycle time by 25%
- MessageLOUD used Applause’s solutions to identify 100 bugs in its software over a six-week period and address numerous critical issues before its initial release
- Syus used Applause’s solutions to achieve a significant decrease in cycle time and a reduction in the amount of bad data reaching customers
- BMW used Applause’s solutions to avoid several costs related to maintaining a large test vehicle fleet and gain coverage beyond typical customer use cases
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It bills itself as the global market leader in crowdtesting/crowdsourced quality assurance. It has a community of more than 250,000 testers in over 200 countries and territories. It has over 3,000 clients worldwide, with prominent customers including Google, Coca-Cola, Nike, eBay, Delta, Staples, PayPal, and The Container Store. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Recognition as the “7th Most Promising Company in America“ by Forbes Magazine
- A Gold Stevie Award in the “Fastest Growing Tech Company – Up To 2,500 Employees” category
- Recognition as a "Cool Vendor in Mobile Marketing" by Gartner
- Recognition as the “#1 Pacesetter in the Boston area“ by the Boston Business Journal
- Recognition as "Private Company of the Year" by the Massachusetts Technology Leadershp Council
Applause’s main channels are its sales and business development teams. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, webinars, summits, and conferences.
Applause’s customer relationship is primarily of a personal assistance nature. The company assists clients by providing testing services for their software products. It also provides phone, e-mail, and social media support.
That said, there is a self-service component. The company’s website features a “Resources” section that includes research reports, case studies, eBooks, and webinars.
The company’s business model entails designing, developing, and delivering its products and services for customers.
Applause maintains the following key types of strategic partnerships:
- Strategic Partners – Partners include IBM, Cognizant, Accenture, and Intel
- Reseller Partners – Partners include Qualitest, PointSource, Prolific Interactive, Hathway, Founder Therapy, Endeavour, Syrinx, and Awesome
- Technology Partners – Partners include Microsoft, GitHub, Pivotal, BlazeMeter, FluidSurveys, Jira, HP, and Rally
The company also maintains a referral program through which it partners with firms that promote its solutions to their customers. If the customers make a purchase the partners get a referral fee of up to 10%. Partners receive training and marketing support.
Applause’s main resources are its human resources, who include the testers that evaluate customers’ software, the sales employees that promote its services, and the customer service employees that provide support.
Lastly, as a relatively new startup it has relied heavily on funding from investors, raising $115.8 million from nine investors as of September 2016.
Applause has a value-driven structure, aiming to provide a premium proposition through significant personal service. Its biggest cost driver is likely cost of services, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and sales/marketing, both fixed costs.
Applause has two revenue streams: revenues it generates from services (project-based and subscription-based) and revenues it generates from the sale of technological products.
info: Doron earned a degree at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology. He previously served as CEO and Owner of Re.D Consulting and as Senior Vice President of Solutions, Professional Services, and Business Solutions at Enigma.
info: Charlie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French at Fordham University and a degree in Economics at Université Paris-Sorbonne. He previously served as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Parametric Technology Corporation.
info: Chris earned a Bachelor of Science degree and an MBA at Babson College. He previously served as Vice President of Finance at NTT DATA and as Assistant Corporate Controller and CFO, Financial Services and Insurance at Keane.
info: Thom earned an M.S. in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA at the University of Notre Dame. He previously served as VP of Global Engineering at LogMeIn and as VP of Engineering and SaaS Operations at Ai Squared.
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