Sky signs cloud testing deal with SOASTA

Skyhas announced a deal to test its internet TV services using the CloudTest platform from SOASTA.

CloudTest will be used to ensure Sky’s various digital viewing platforms like Sky Go and Now TV can handle peaks and troughs in traffic.

Under the agreement, Sky will replace its existing legacy testing technology with SOASTA’s cloud-based testing platform, which it said will allow it to carry out in-depth testing more regularly and within tighter timeframes.

Demand for Sky’s online services has “exploded in recent years and continues to grow”, be it from smartphones, tablets or other web browsers, the broadcaster said.

It added that on-demand services need a more rapid, precise and adaptive testing regime as customers increasingly expect services to be work flawlessly and be accessible 24/7.

Both Sky and SOASTA declined to disclose the value of the deal or how many years the contract is for, but they said it is a "multi-year order".

Sky’s head of test Sam Murray said: “Customer experience lies at the heart of what we do. ‘Believe in Better’ embodies our belief that there is always a better way to do something.

“If we are to deliver the experience our customers rightly expect from us, we have to ensure we can handle traffic from hundreds of thousands of concurrent users. Deploying SOASTA’s CloudTest puts us on the front foot and gives us the ability to plan and test with confidence.”

SOASTA’s EMEA VP Tim Bisley told ComputerworldUK that Sky will use the tool to run tests in advance of expected spikes in demand, for example important football matches.

He said: “We test the live system in advance of expected peaks. Say there’s a major football game coming up and Sky can expect hundreds of thousands of viewers across devices. We can run CloudTest on the live service and check the volume running on mobile and web app.

“If it starts to fall over, we can use our real-time analytics to get into the detail of where we’re seeing problems, what caused them and which types of traffic are hitting the site. That gives them the time to go to developers, fix the problem, come back with the fix, launch it, and then run the test again.”

Bisley claimed that Sky is keen to differentiate themselves from competitors by focusing on a quality, consistent performance from its on demand services.

He said: “For Sky, delivering the best quality service possible consistently allows them to differentiate themselves in a very crowded market.

“On the one hand it’s about subscribers and making sure users stay signed up. But it’s also about advertisers, because the last thing they want is to be associated with a media outlet that doesn’t have a good online performance.”

SOASTA has a number of broadcasting customers globally, including ITV, Fox, CBS, Disney and Netflix, Bisley said.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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