Editorial

The Digital Marketplace Contenders, 6: Ten10

How can a software testing specialist help the public sector? ‘Whatever sort of organisation you are, you have to deliver things,’ answers Miles Harris of Ten10

Posted 31 January 2017 by

In the latest of our Digital Marketplace Contenders company profiles, we meet Miles Harris, Head of Public Sector at Ten10, a London, Leeds and Brighton-based software testing specialist

Welcome to the Digital Marketplace Contenders, Mr Harris. Let’s start by you telling us about your company; what is your value proposition?

Ten10 is a 300-strong company totally dedicated to software testing. We deliver software testing using the best people, the best processes and the best technology, enabling organisations in both the private and public sectors embrace innovation and technological change with absolute confidence.

 

Whatever sort of organisation you are, you have to deliver things. You really don’t ever want to release things that aren’t robust, can’t scale, that are so inflexible you can’t change them easily if you need to. That’s always been true of the public sector, but now we see new pressure around digital public services, budget pressures and so on.

The good news, we hope, is that we have extensive experience in the sector, in both central and local government, helping some very big Departments over the years, and we have deep expertise in Agile development, which is so important to the sector now. And that experience is there in our past projects, for people like the Parliamentary Digital Service, the DVLA, Home Office and The Cabinet Office.

Why are you on The Digital Marketplace now – what do you hope to achieve?

That’s a bit complicated to answer, but I think you’ll see why if I try! Ten10 is our new name for what were actually two previous distinct testing organisations, The Test People and Centre4 Testing, which came together in December 2015 to create the largest, independent and privately-owned software testing consultancy in the UK. So we’ve actually been on the Digital Marketplace before, going back as far as G6. So while Ten10 as a distinct brand has only been on there with G8, we actually have accumulated some useful experience in how G-Cloud works that we want to put to as good a use as we can.

Answering your question more directly now, we see great value in the Digital Marketplace, and in our turn we think we can offer a valuable resource for public sector customers building out large systems that need to be properly tested before they go live. I should say that also extends to the wider public sector, not just Whitehall or local government, like Housing Associations, who we’ve also worked with successfully. We have also been recognised as Best Companies 2 Star Outstanding 2015, we got on to the Deloitte Fast50 2014 and last year, very pleased to say we got in to The Sunday Times TechTrack100.

So we are there to try and help public sector organisations build and produce better systems. Sorry for the long answer!

Finally, how did you find the process of on-boarding onto the Marketplace, and do you have any guidance for others?

Because of our history, that wasn’t a big deal to us – we’ve had exposure to commercial frameworks and previous iterations of the Marketplace, like I said. The admin and data gathering, yes, that was non-trivial, course it was, but no worse than many other government procurement processes, and it was a bit of a relief when we pressed the upload button for sure.

But that isn’t really the important thing here about getting on to G8 for Ten10. We actually found it a really useful exercise as an organisation, which I guess not many of your Contenders ever tell you. That’s because we were asked to really focus and define for the application just what exactly we were now and what we had to offer, and at the same time that really helped us better understand our customer and the kind of services they want off something like the Marketplace.

If ThinkDigitalPartners.com came back to talk to you in a year, what would you like to be able to say you’d achieved in the public sector?

Obviously, we want some commercial success and work off it, but I’d love to see that work in the shape of some big digital transformation programme work. To that end, we are actively looking to partner up with other suppliers and we think a consortium model could be just right for us, with us perfectly complementing other sorts of specialists for such a project, like design and development sides of the house. That could be really exciting for Ten10, and I really want to see that happen in the next 12 months.

Great – thanks for your time, Mr Harris, and good luck to Ten10 on G-Cloud.