Reducing Mobile App Testing Costs by Maximizing Shared Device Access

With an abundance of floating hardware split amongs various business units, we needed a way to centralize devices in order to reduce bottlenecks and increase productivity. Kobiton did just that, making us more efficient and allowing us to build a better product for our users.”Brian Baumgartner, Quality Assurance Manager

Founded in 2006, Charleston, South Carolina-based Boomtown is a fast growing, web-based software company that specializes in end-to-end marketing solutions for real estate agents. Mobile apps are a big part of Boomtown’s automated marketing tools that help customers close deals and grow their businesses. Although the company was growing quickly, Boomtown’s success led to some inefficiencies as the mobile team performed more mobile app testing.

The Challenge: Lack of Shared Device Access and High Volume Testing Stretched Boomtown’s Budget and Time

Consisting of three automation engineers and six developers who work across both Android and iOS platforms, Boomtown’s mobile team could not purchase every device they wanted to test every possible configuration. Yet, they still needed a way to test as many devices as possible to meet their users’ needs. As the volume of tests (about 1600 each month) continued to increase, the team wasted a lot of time and energy physically sharing devices—time and energy that could have been spent resolving issues.

In addition to struggling with the best way to share devices across teams, QA and Support often did not have the right device in hand. Boomtown’s limited inventory of in-house devices, while making financial sense, restricted their total test coverage potential. Boomtown had to run many of their automated tests in simulated environments to save money and time on continuous testing—even though they knew simulations weren’t as good as testing on real devices.

Boomtown knew a better way must exist for their team to get the testing they needed while working more effectively. Brian Baumgartner, Quality Assurance Manager, said, “We didn’t want our team ‘testing scared’—overly worried about minutes and time limitations that potentially interfered with the quality of their testing.”

When Boomtown explored options other than Kobiton, they hit limitations when providers:

  • Featured a plethora of real devices in the cloud to test, but with prohibitive costs.
  • Did not offer internal device access or if they did, it was complicated and costly.
  • Offered testing services at a low cost but with unreliable simulators and emulators.

Ultimately, Boomtown wanted to run more automated tests on real devices in the cloud while still using and easily managing the devices they already owned.

And Boomtown needed a better way to share its test devices and increase collaboration across business units.

The Solution: Provide Shared Internal Device Access and More Device Configurations at a Low Cost

Kobiton provided a solution that helped Boomtown in the two most important areas that mattered to them.

  • Easy-to-Use Shared Device Access and Management

Kobiton allowed Boomtown to easily share devices across teams and locations. Testers could plug real devices into Kobiton’s platform and any authorized team members could access those devices through the cloud. By working with Kobiton, Boomtown optimized the investment they already made in their internal devices, scaled their testing capacity, and increased productivity across their teams. Plus, Boomtown can also track and collaborate on the testing activity related to those devices.

  • More Device Configurations Available Without Increasing Costs

Boomtown has access to a real device library that includes more devices and operating systems that customers actually use. For testing real devices in the cloud, Boomtown benefits from unlimited users, access to all of Kobiton’s real device library, and unlimited concurrent sessions.

Results: Boomtown Saves Time and Money With Kobiton’s Customized Solution

By reducing testing costs while expanding device configuration coverage, Boomtown has maximized its mobile app testing investments through Kobiton.

  • Boomtown offloaded two full 24-hour days’ worth of scheduled automation runs each month from emulators to Kobiton’s real devices, saving almost $500 every quarter.
  • Boomtown decreased the frequency of hand-to-hand device sharing. By plugging all internal devices into the Kobiton cloud platform, those devices became accessible to all and tested more quickly. This sped up bug identification and fixes.
  • By using the Kobiton cloud to manage their devices, Boomtown has unlimited device minutes on any of their internal devices and they can run infinite automation tests on them without any cost anxiety.

Boomtown can now handle its growth and increased number of monthly tests with ease. And the most important result? Optimized and expanded mobile app testing helps improve the apps that real estate agents rely upon to grow their businesses. By taking its own mobile app testing to the next level, Boomtown continues to help do the same for its customers.

Questions? We’d love to hear from you.