FAQ Regarding Our Expanded Vision and Name Change in 2014
Why change the company's name?
While our name is changing, this isn't about changing a name. It's about expanding our vision and our offering. We're moving from being primarily a testing company with great insights into how apps work in pre-production, to a company that will help customers with app quality before, during and after launch.
Applause will be where brands -- from technical leaders to brand owners to business execs -- turn to help them create apps that win… win new users, win greater loyalty and beat the competition.
- Offer a combination of test services and tools + complimentary dev tools + analytics to let companies listen to what their users are saying and doing
- Span from pre-production to production and back again
- Span from dev to QA to product to marketing to research and back again
- Help companies earn and measure their users' applause
- From web to mobile to wearable to TVs to automobiles
- Wherever the apps economy takes digital brand touch points
With regard to the name, we feel that Applause is a perfect name for this one-stop shopping approach to app quality. We're not just a testing company. We're all about quality and how much applause your app or website is getting. It's the right name for our expanded company vision.
Will "uTest" still exist?/Will it still be the name of your testing services?
The uTest name will live on with our community of testers and we have an expanded vision for this brand offering as well. Moving forward, once the switch is complete, uTest won't JUST be a community for paid projects with our company (though that will still exist). We will evolve the uTest brand to include:
- Free training and hands-on learning to promote career growth for testers (uTest University)
- Networking opportunities via the largest, most active forums in the testing universe
- A place to go for career advice, product reviews, contests and games
- Future offerings including offline events, certifications, a job board and more
In short, we aim to create a place for celebrating testers and testing… an open source-esque community to promote the many disciplines that contribute to testing and QA.
We currently have more than 100,000 professional testers … we want to triple that… and then triple it again. This broader vision and offering beyond just paid projects will enable us to build a million-tester community that caters to the lifestyle of testers, and let the uTest brand be what it was always meant to be (given the name): the most inclusive and important brand dedicated to the lives and likes of testers.
How will this expanded vision change what the company offers and/or how it offers it?
Our customer-facing offerings will expand and become much more tightly integrated. We'll still have in-the-wild testing (including functional, usability, security, localization and load testing), but we'll also have tools, SDKs and integrated analytics. We'll be working on the details between now and the first few months of 2014.
When will the company become Applause?
We have a LOT of work to do and decisions to make, so we anticipate the name change to be complete in the first few months of 2014.
So why announce this news now?
We test thousands of pre-production applications, so we understand the necessity of protecting IP and keeping secrets. That said, we also believe in organizational transparency. Part of the value in our testing solutions has always been that they enable companies to have transparency about the quality of their apps. We also provide transparency into our business processes for our clients.
So being transparent in stating our intentions about our vision, our offering and our brand is simply adhering to our organizational beliefs.
Are you de-emphasizing testing?
No, not at all. This change is in addition to, not instead of. Not only will our range of in-the-wild testing services live on, you'll see us make significant investments in these offerings.
The lone change for customers who use us for testing-only is that, after the rebrand is complete in early 2014, they will be purchasing in-the-wild testing services from "Applause" rather than "uTest." We are expanding our vision beyond just testing and toward a more holistic approach to app quality. Testing in the wild will still be a huge part of our vision and offerings. We'll simply enable companies to improve their holistic app quality – with testing, but also with tools, SDKs and integrated analytics.
What happens to the Applause analytics product that exists today?
Remember that right now, nothing is changing. In the first few months of 2014, we'll bring our testing services, mobile SDK and production analytics products under a single brand name: Applause. The Applause Analytics offering will live on, and be an integral part of our integrated app quality offering.
Where will I go to get company news on Blogs and Social Media?
Until the change is complete in the first few months of 2014, our blogs and social media properties will remain as-is. The company is still called uTest until then, so company news will still come from uTest properties and Applause properties will remain focused on the app analytics world. Once our expanded vision is formally realized in 2014, those properties will change and we'll let everyone know where to find news on the company – Applause – and news focused on the testing community – uTest.
For Our Customers
What does this mean to me as a customer?
In the near term? Nothing is changing. In the long term, the types of services we offer will expand, but our core in-the-wild testing services will not change. Our customers won't experience any difference in terms of what we deliver to them, or the human, honest, (some would say jovial) way we do business. The only thing changing about our testing services will be that, later in 2014, customers will pay Applause whereas they now pay uTest.
Once we complete the transition we will have much tighter integration between our in-the-wild test services and tools plus complimentary dev tools/SDKs and analytics to let costumers listen to what their users are saying and doing.
We will still offer our current in-the-wild testing solution, our mobile SDK (today called Apphance) and our app analytics solution (today called Applause) as standalone solutions – they'll just be offered under one brand, and in a unified product UX.
So does that mean I will need to buy services that I don't want?
No. If you currently have/want just mobile SDK, you can still get just that. Same for in-the-wild testing and our Applause analytics product. If you want more than one service, you'll be able to have an integrated experience and see greater value, but you will not NEED to purchase any service that you don't want.
What happens to my contract when the change is made?
There won't be any change to the status of your current contract. We'll continue to go to the ends of the earth (sometimes quite literally) to find the testers, devices and locales that our customers need in order to test their apps.
For Our Testers
Will this affect the number of projects I'm currently getting, my payouts, how testers are vetted and selected, my tester rating, etc.?
To all of the above, the answer is "no". The current structure of our tester community will not change. The payment levels will not change. The way we vet, pay or rate testers will not change because of this re-brand. Our in-the-wild testing services (functional, usability, security, localization and load testing) will still be around and we'll continue to invest in growing these lines of business.
The community will still be branded "uTest" and you'll still be uTesters (along with programs like uRamp, uMentors and uMeetups). Additionally, we will be expanding the uTest offering to do more good for more testers, including new training and networking opportunities, and new features and facets to enrich the lives of testers and elevate the profession of testing.
What are these future enhancements to the uTest offering for testers?
Fair question. And the honest answer is that we know some additions we'll make to our tester-facing offering (e.g.: we'll invest heavily in uTest University to enable testers to build new skills and advance their career).
The rest of that answer is that there are still many things we haven't yet decided. Changing the company name won't happen until the first few months of 2014, so we have time to make thoughtful decisions. As we figure out the "uTest" roadmap, we'll be transparent in sharing it with you.
What we can tell you definitively is that we think the uTest brand and offering can be expanded to add even more value to the professional lives of testers. We'll do more, not less, to realize this vision of celebrating testers and testing.