Revolution IT was born in 2003 when the company’s trio of directors were working in London as IT consultants on major projects, including the merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. They noticed that the UK were ahead on project delivery, quality assurance and governance around IT projects. Inspired, they hatched a plan to start an IT business founded on the sole purpose of helping its clients deliver successful projects while ensuring that the software was high quality, secure, and reliable. “There was a real need for independent governance and testing services in Australia at that time,” recalls Jamie Duffield, Director and CEO of Revolution IT. “We felt that it was the right time to revolutionise project delivery.”
Revolution’s current offering spans three business units: Assure – testing, performance, automation, and crowdsourced testing; Secure – application security and cyber security; and Transform – experience design, DevOps, PPM, Data Engineering and Data Analytics. Successfully delivering projects to over 700 clients, Duffield believes Revolution has earned a reputation as a trusted partner because of its exceptional offering and unshakeable ability to navigate the complexities in project delivery. “We are extremely adaptable and responsive, with 650 staff and the ability to move quickly on immediate project demands,” confirms Duffield. “The engagement models are flexible, including T&M, fixed price, and managed services delivered both onsite and offsite at our labs.” Quality is paramount for Revolution. “You get what you pay for in this industry,” he says of the company’s cheap offshore competitors. He believes they can’t match Revolution’s creativity. “We mix and match services, tools, training and IP to give our clients innovative solutions to deliver their projects and leave them with long lasting improvements.” Duffield adds that Revolution’s independence from the systems integrator and developer means it is entirely focused on making sure the client gets a quality outcome. “This independence allows us to call out the quality concerns and represent the client with their best interests at heart.”
Revolution IT has a Test Management Office (TMO) solution that establishes a commercially unbiased central independent model to ensure consistent quality, testing and governance across all development activities for an organisation. It provides a consistent and repeatable risk-based approach to quality and testing. Any changes either internally or from external vendors go through the TMO which can itself define the amount of testing required to adhere to the organisation’s quality policy.
“The purpose of the TMO is to provide quality assurance across all development activities to allow the organisation to accept and deploy quality solutions into production,” explains Duffield. “The TMO manages, approves and assists vendors with documentation, testing and quality artefacts required during the planning, design and execution phases of major and minor projects. The TMO provides a central point of contact and a conduit between the vendor, business and PMO for reporting purposes. TMO quality policy can be referenced in vendor negotiations, SLAs, milestone payments and ongoing vendor management.”
Innovation around testing has been a key component in Revolution’s journey over the past 15 years. “We developed Crowdsprint as a crowdsourced testing platform that allows us to test web and mobile applications using the power of the crowd,” explains Duffield. “It’s an amazing solution which allows us to ramp up 1,500 professional testers (from a network of 20,000) who use their own devices to perform the testing in a matter of hours. This achieves quick results and allows clients to test across multiple devices and operating systems for better test coverage.” The solution has been used by major companies such as the airline Qantas.
“We are big in automation, and in Australia this is really kicking off with most of our clients looking at DevOps and striving for continuous delivery,” continues Duffield, who adds that Revolution is also gaining more traction with RPA (Robotic Process Automation). “It’s an exciting proposition and one we’re starting to get more traction in through our work partnering with Micro Focus.” Micro Focus RPA automates repetitive, error-prone UI-based human actions on legacy apps and integrates them with modern IT process automation in a single product. "The solution delivers on key capabilities such as scalability, resiliency and security that our customers and partners demand," says Tom Goguen, Micro Focus Chief Product Officer. "It adapts to UI changes, automates UI and API-based applications, and includes real-time auditing and traceability, giving our customers the confidence to deploy RPA across the enterprise while providing for centralised governance and compliance for their digital workforce."
In May 2019, Micro Focus achieved market leader status for Application Security Testing in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for the sixth time. As a Platinum Partner, Revolution IT has consistently been the best performing reseller, winning the top award from Micro Focus for the past eight years. “We’re very happy with their technology,” confirms Duffield. “It allows us to be competitive, because we bundle up a best of breed software and use it to help deliver solutions that are flexible, on demand and deliver real value Our strong relationship with Micro Focus allows us to cut through all the red tape you normally encounter with large vendor organisations that have so many different business units behind the scenes. It enables us to work quickly for our customers.”
Many of Revolution’s clients are looking to move away from perpetual on premise licensing to a SaaS model where they can get flexibility around ramping up and down licences based on project demand. “Micro Focus has worked with us on many occasions to help with transitions and has been extremely flexible in supporting clients evolving to new delivery models,” reveals Duffield, who believes cloud offers the best ultimate outcome. “That’s where the market is revolutionising and where we’re helping our clients find the right operating model for them.”
Duffield notes that Revolution partners with many technology vendors such as Tricentis and Broadcom to provide an agnostic approach to tools and help delivers the most appropriate technology to their situation. “We like to trial new technology, because we've got to stay relevant for our clients and go to market with an open mind,” he adds. “We’re lucky that testing is required across all industries and technologies in that we get to play with the latest tech. This helps, but the challenge is making sure we know what’s coming and what will be useful for our clients who are all on different maturity curves. The Australian market is typically a year or 18 months behind. We're fortunate because we can keep an eye on what's happening in the UK and US and are constantly looking internally, and externally, at how we deliver solutions to our clients to stay competitive.”
Staying on top of the latest trends and being able to react to them to meet the changing demands of customers is all in a day’s work at Revolution. “In our client base we’re seeing a big uptake in automation, security (cyber and app) and data (engineering and insights),” says Duffield. “With automation, we’re looking at how we can accelerate our project delivery in both the development lifecycle and business process. Security has always been a bit of a sleeper but we’re seeing tighter controls with new legislation making this a really hot topic now with how it relates to data, privacy and the encryption required. With that data, gaining insight is a big part of the work we’re doing with specialty practices directly aligned to these trends. We use the latest tools and approaches to craft solutions that directly address our clients’ needs.”
Crafting this winning formula has helped add the likes of TAL, NAB and Sunsuper to a burgeoning roster of satisfied customers which also includes Australia’s Triple Zero emergency services. “To get involved in a project that means something and has a tangible effect on people's lives was really exciting for us,” comments Duffield. Looking to 2020 and beyond, his team aim to strengthen the company’s market position and further cement Revolution’s reputation as “the trusted partner you come to if you need to deliver a successful project without sacrificing quality.” Planned M&A activity will focus on expanding security and automation capabilities, while attracting the right talent to drive growth remains key.
What is Duffield’s advice for businesses nervous about their ongoing transformations? “If you’re a business owner, vendor manager, CIO or programme manager then consider independent testing in your next big software implementation. Keep testing separate from the software vendor and systems integrator in order to build quality KPIs and metrics into the commercial contracts. Protect your investment, keep the vendor honest and mitigate the risk of unwanted brand damage.” It’s a smart mantra that could help your business in its own revolution.