FAQ (Search categories)
When do you conduct inspection on individual projects?
For more than 90% of our projects, we conduct inspection on a monthly basis.
What kind of customer retention does SHIFT have?
Business usually starts with small-scale software testing outsourcing contracts. In many cases, we then go on to provide test design consulting or quality-oriented PMO, and eventually act as the customer’s agent for the selection of vendors, and end up building relations to the point that we become the customer’s partner, handling their overall development, as a result of which we obtain ongoing contract orders.
What kind of customers do you find the most compatible?
We tend to get along particularly well with corporate customers who acknowledge issues in areas such as the competitive environment, internal development frameworks, and product quality, and take proactive measures for improvement. We see no correlation between compatibility and specific industries or corporate size.
Has SHIFT ever been sued for damages?
The service contracts we sign with our customers before commencing work on projects contain a provision covering liability. In the event that, following product release, there should be any defects in the sections for which SHIFT handled software testing, we agree to cover damages in amounts not more than the total fees paid by the customer. That said, since launching our software testing business in 2009, no such claims have ever been made against us.
How many distressed projects does SHIFT have? And how do you manage them?
We often receive inquiries about remedying distressed projects, but none of the projects SHIFT handles have themselves become distressed. When we handle operations, one thing we always keep in mind is to provide better quality service while maintaining high productivity. We do this on a daily basis with rigorous progress management in real time, managers thoroughly versed in testing, project managers with copious experience implementing large-scale projects, and product implementation by consultants.
What accounts for SHIFT’s (and SHIFT Group’s) strengths? What sets it apart?
There are three main strengths/differences that we believe set us apart.
・A comprehensive set of services: SHIFT Group has grown in size by implementing M&A. We offer a comprehensive set of services for software development, upstream processes (consulting, etc.) to downstream processes (software testing, etc.), and post-release support (marketing, help desk operations, etc.). We have assembled a service framework that enables us to provide optimum response to customer needs.
・System-based standardized expertise, and execution by top-notch professionals: Using our CAT tool, an original system that we ourselves developed, we standardize software testing that had traditionally been conducted on the basis of “professional intuition.” We have assembled a mechanism that can be implemented by any one of our professionals. We have also developed our own CAT certification exam, which we use to identify workers with a sufficient level of basic software testing aptitude. Since our software testing is executed by top-notch professionals using standardized methodologies, we are able to provide much more efficient software testing.
・Synergistic effects between our entertainment and enterprise segments: SHIFT Group has experience handling a wide range of industries, services, and products, from the entertainment industry to financial services, distribution, and manufacturing. Through customer interaction in the entertainment industry, we have gained knowledge of the latest development methods as well as UI/UX sensibilities, while through customer interaction in industries such as financial services and distribution, we have gained new knowledge pertaining to the building of large-scale enterprise systems, and the combination of these knowledge sets generates synergistic effects. By not specializing in any specific industry, we are able to provide solutions and consultation using expertise and techniques that neither our customers nor other vendors have the opportunity to learn.
Where do SHIFT’s strong suits lie in terms of industries, customers, and projects?
In terms of sales, customers in the financial services (major banks and insurance companies) and distribution sectors account for a large portion of sales, but rather than specializing in customers or projects in specific industries, we have a growing customer base in a wide range of industries and products, from financial services, to distribution, online business, and entertainment; that is where SHIFT’s strength lies. Another unique aspect of SHIFT is that more than 80% of our sales comes not from subcontracting by development vendors, but direct contracts with user companies.
How did SHIFT come to launch its software testing business?
In 2006, Masaru Tange and current Director Motoya Kobayashi were providing business process improvement consulting to a major e-commerce company that just could not get rid of the bugs in its website no matter how much cost it threw at the issue. It was then that we realized how large the software testing market was. Software testing was tacked on to the duties of software development engineers (hereinafter “development engineers”). There were no uniform methods or standards in place, and the way things worked, development engineers used their “professional intuition” to detect any bugs. Software testing was also widely acknowledged as a process loathed by most development engineers, and there were numerous problems. Motivation suffered when engineers were required to run quality tests on their own products they develop. The lack of a third-party perspective made specifications prone to omissions and oversights. Engineers could not vouch for quality since quality control was not their area of professional expertise, and having developers conduct testing drives up costs. The fact that structural problems were afflicting the software development process even while there was such a large market to be, presented a substantial business opportunity to SHIFT, and SHIFT proceeded to take its management in a major new direction. Since then, our business has continued to grow, with software testing as our core line of business.