Fresh off his role leading Plat.One to acquisition by SAP, Bates has found a new home at a leader in testing automation.
Dr. John Bates, a software industry veteran with a knack for taking startups mainstream, has assumed a new role as CEO of TestPlant, a provider of test automation software.
Bates previously served as co-founder and CTO of Apama, a streaming analytics company acquired by Progress Software and which is now part of Software AG. Bates served as an executive at Software AG and most recently as CEO of Plat.One, an Internet of Things company and edge computing specialist that SAP acquired last year.
TestPlant’s market proposition is that continuous development of software across industries – from financial services to retail and the Internet of Things – requires automated testing. The company’s portfolio of eggPlant tools tests for function, performance, load, and stress across different types of devices as well as environments (networks, device clouds).
The company also offers automated testing for user experience, accomplished through a wide variety of scripts.
For an application — whether that is mobile banking or a retail system — “you have to make sure that it does not just functionally work but has really good user experience,” Bates told RTInsights in an interview. Manual testing, he said, “can’t keep up with the pace” of software development. An automated testing platform, however, allows companies to test an application with 20,000 millennials, or 30,000 senior citizens for example.
TesPlant tools have been used by more than 300 enterprise customers, in industrial sectors including financial services, automotive, healthcare, media, retail, defense and aerospace. Case studies recount eggPlant’s prolific use as testing tool for retail POS systems; digital payments; websites; Cisco networking devices; databases; drone flight-control systems; and software that monitors nuclear power plants.
Bates said TestPlant is looking into adding more artificial intelligence to its testing software, such as by tracking anomalies and patterns and flagging those for quality assurance or business managers to review. “We see that as a future route for us,” he said.
Another area the company may accelerate is Internet of Things applications. IoT systems are distributed, with “thousands or millions of devices interacting with a system, and components in the edge or in the cloud,” Bates said. “Performance testing of such a system is quite complicated because it’s not just one single system, it’s a highly distributed set of components.”
The company already has customers such as drone companies; for IoT devices and applications, “it’s a very strong use case for us,” Bates said.